Sewing, Ballet and Don Quixote



This is Jemma about to go on stage.   Her class were Little Cupids.  If you don’t know much about Don Q  you might look it up.  I remembered very little from Literature class in college.


Since the end of February I have been working on ballet costumes for my friend Lisa that owns her own ballet studio,   This past Friday was the performance.  I barter sewing for Jemma to take ballet lessons.  I had several late night this week along with teaching VBS.


Two and a half years ago, I had something to do with 35 costumes when she put on the Nutcracker.  This time she did Don Quixote.  I had something to do with 51 costumes.  Some of them I had to shorten, some of them I had to take in, some of them I made with a pattern and 1 made from scratch.  I don’t like to make things from scratch, I’m a big pattern person.





This is Olivia, she played the main character, Kitri.  This costume took me 31 hours to make.  I made the skirt without a pattern, but I did have a pattern for the top.  It also weighed 4 lbs.  It had 4 ruffles and 3 trims on the bottom of each ruffle.  The one trim I had to sew on by hand because it had beads on it, so I kept breaking needles on my machine.  The skirt was similar to a poodle skirt, so it flowed very nicely when she danced.  Olivia is a super sweet girl and was always very appreciative of my time and work.  I finished this costume dress rehearsal morning by 10:00 am.





This was the costume for the wedding scene.  It took me 21 hours to make it.  The bodice was made from a pattern and the white tutu part was purchased.  So a lot of my time was sewing on sequins, petals, and small flowers.  Everything on the skirt has to be sewed on individually and knotted to prevent it from catching on something and a whole string coming off.





This is Laura she was the Dryad Queen.  I sewed three dark purple appliques on and individually sewed sequins on the skirt.   Olivia also had the same costume that I sewed 3 light purple appliques on and sewed 2 rows of sequins on her skirt in a scalloped pattern.





This is Hannah.  I’ve already posted about her costume, but it looks so much better on a person than on the hanger.





This is Jeff, he played Kitri’s love interest.  They actually get married in the third act.  Jeff is not a dancer, he actually plays football for his high school and has done some plays there.  Lisa sometimes hires professional male dancers, but this time she asked dad’s or friends to play the male characters.  I made this whole outfit for Jeff.  The cumberbun I made from scratch.





I made this vest and a pair of black knee pants for Jeff.





I made this vest and a pair of fake leather pants for Don Q.  Lisa’s husband Mike played this role.  He was also in the Nutcracker 2 1/2 years ago.  If you’ve every seen the movie, Lemony Snicket’s A  Series of Unfortunate Events, Mike looked like Jim Carrey.


If you’ld like to see more pictures taken during the ballet, you can go to  She took a ton of pictures.

6 Responses to Sewing, Ballet and Don Quixote

  • Rachel says:

    WOW! I am just amazed at your sewing skills. You are a true seamstress. I can’t even imagine sewing a clothing item without using a pattern.
    All these costumes look so beautiful. If the performance was anything like the costumes, I’m sure it was fantastic.

  • Mimi says:

    All the costumes look great. Jemma looks like a princess. Hope someday we can come down for a ballet performance.

  • Marilyn says:

    Wow Amy! I bet you don’t want to do any hand sewing again for a long time! They all look great and Jemma looks so sweet!

  • Lindsy says:

    I thought I commented on this post, but I guess it didn’t go through.
    You did an awesome job! They all look great, and Jemma looks so cute in her outfit.

  • Kelly T says:

    Amy, these costumes really look amazing! I’m so impressed with your professional looking work!

  • Michelle says:

    Those are just gorgeous! I know how hard you must have worked to do all that, and they turned out beautiful!

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