Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as a costume-designer, an artist, and a teacher, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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Seacreatures in the making

By spotogspindel | June 4, 2015

“The mermaid and the Mystery of the Deep” is the name of Brosteinteateret´s new show. It´s an amateur group in Haugesund with a very creative and versatile, professional director, who also wrote the show.


The past three days I´ve been with a wonderful, little group of women and we´ve been making the costumes for the different creatures living in the deep. I have a dual purpose in the setting: as a costume-designer and as a costume-making-teacher in our 3+3 days workshop.


We do have quite a lot to actually make, so after a very short introduction, we just got down to business!


A lot of the action is going on underwater, in the sea outside Haugesund. So the challenge is to make costumes of sea-creatures, that will fit around the human body. I´ve done a lot of animal-costumes before, but not so many sea-creatures, so this was a fun challenge 🙂 First up is the sea-urchin: Made with 10 panels appliqued and sewn sepearately, before mounting t all together. After sewing the pieces together, we added more fabric over the seams to hide them. The little girl who´s gonna wear the costume was very happy with it, and we actually managed to finish this costume the very first day!


The second costume is a flounder (flatfish?) Here the basics are in place, we´re still missing the odd lip, and some color to add depth to the pattern.


To make the layers stay in shape, we sew three layers together: calico, a 0,5 cm soft foam, and finally the top-fabric, which of course varies from costume to costume. First we overlock (using a serger) to fasten the fabrics to each other, then we actually se the pieces together.


Below is part of what will become a shrimp! We´ve made a cotton-vest, adding a lot of filling in sewn cables. In front, I added big straws to simulate all the tiny frilly legs or whatever it is they have there in front. I´m very satisfied with using the straws, I think they will look so cool when it´s done!


Kitty is being helpful, posing as a live mannequin, allowing me to see what needs to be altered. Still some fun stuff to do on this one 🙂 (She actually helped with a lot of cutting to – she was such a big help today!)


And of course, being a fantasy-story from the depths, we need a bad guy. Guess who?! The octopus! We´ve been sewing lots of legs for him to, but it´s the beginning of the head that I´m showing you. Here there are 4 layers of fabric. You can hardly see it in this picture, but the top fabric is a cut-out chiffon, covered in small, matte sequins. It´s be the coolest octupus I´ve ever made, that´s for sure! 😉


Stay tuned, next week, I´ll be back with an update of what we´ve managed to come up with the next 3 days of the workshop 🙂

Topics: Costumedesign, theatre | No Comments »