Wizard of Oz Emerald City Dress for the Academy Theatre

About 3 weeks ago I decided to volunteer to make a dress for Academy Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz” after talking with a girl who was acting in the play and becoming acquainted the the costume designer hired for their production of “The Music Man” by giving her a tour of the mansion that I work at. The costume designer for “The Wizard of Oz” gave me this prom dress and gave me a vision for how she wanted it transformed.

The idea was to transform it from a prom dress into a Victorian, Steampunk, high society, yet gaudy gown. They wanted the train removed to keep the girl and her dance partner from tripping over it while they danced, and they wanted a puffed sleeve! The dress also needed sleeve straps, and I needed to pull out the zipper in the back and install lacing instead.

After about 5 days of working on it, which consisted of about 1-4 hours per day, I had it completed.

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The Lacing

Changes included; long puffed sleeve (1 yard) with ruffle at wrist, lacing and panel behind lacing, chopping of the beautiful train and turning it into a draped overskirt secured by golden rosettes of puffed tulle, shoulder straps, a small golden rose puff beside the leg-o-mutton sleeve, and adding a pleated underskirt because I cut the skirt to short (this actually turned out to look very nice, the next pictures will show it)

After I handed the dress over the costume desinger made some changes to it that I thought made the dress look a lot better. Those changes included; taking of all the golden rosette puffs and replacing them with green flowers, pushing the puffed sleeve upward so that all it’s thickness was around the armscye, replacing golden ruffle at the wrist with a green ruffle, and adding a belt with black and white stripes (I don’t have a picture of the belt, it was only worn in one scene).

Here are some pictures of the dress being worn at the production.

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The girl kneeling on the left is wearing the dress. You can see that the gold rosettes and sleeve ruffle have been replaced, also the puffed sleeve is pushed up.
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Here is a closer version. Again the girl is on the left. You can see the underskirt in this picture, the puffed sleeve pushed up, the sleeve ruffle, and the green flowers. She is also wearing a belt. I love the hats!

I had a wonderful time altering this dress and letting my creativity flow! It was really fun to not have to follow rules of historical accuracy for one, and be able to use crazy fabrics! The dress looked fabulous on stage! When the girl would twirl the draped overskirt would flare and swirl out (It looked really cool!). It was so much fun getting to meet these people and spend a few evening hand sewing while watching them practice, and I must say that the play was stunning and phenomenal! Everything was marvelous from the set to the costumes to the beautiful voices of the singers! I am very glad I got to have this experience!Image result for the academy theatre, meadville pa

The Academy Theatre is a beautifully preserved building from the Victorian age. I just wish I had a picture of the interior because it’s 50 times more beautiful than the exterior. There is a chandelier and a lot of gold leafing.

Here are a few pictures from the production

The girl on left, her dress was gorgeous!

This dress was just stunning! The blue reminded me so much of Lily James’ dress in Cinderella!

I loved that they used a real dog for the show!

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Author: Taylor'sHistoricalSewing

I love to sew historically accurate clothing and also costumes. I also like to read, swim, write, interact with people, sing, and of course I love history.

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