Honesty Time

Keeping it real since 2013

How A Costumer Shops


Welcome. To. My. Hell.

I’m about to take you on a photo journey of what it is like to go fabric and notion shopping as a costume designer.

It is frustrating. It is overwhelming, and incomplete because at certain points I stopped taking pictures because #frustration.

Here we go.


Thought 1: Why why why why are the aisles SO NARROW today? It’s like a cave. It’s claustrophobic. I can’t fit my cart through here. So of course I pushed the racks and rearranged because I’m a stubborn Taurus with a little OCD. Oops


I also brought my gigantic binder that has all of the information for my three shows in it. Well, now I have that much less room in my cart. Still in a narrow aisle. I imagine this is what Elton John’s closet might look like.


Now I am also confused because that fabric says “Merry Christmas” and… What? I realized that I’m not actually sure what day it is. We’re pretty far from Christmas, right?


My cart is already full. But I’ve only just begun. Stress.


Can’t I just cuddle with this monkey fleece instead? Maybe I did, and maybe I didn’t.


My students requested something Earthy and natural for one character’s costume. Is this taking things too far? Nah.


Today, annoying glitter fused sequin fabric, you have not won. I did not put any of this in my cart, even though I usually use it for every show. Not this time, sewing machine destroyer. Not this time.


This fabric was right next to it. It is shiny and pretty and got to join my too-full cart.



This is a real thing. Looks like fancy satin. Feels soft like flannel! Excuse me while I update my wardrobe because this is amazing.


I stopped to scowl at this glitter costume satin, which I used in a show last year. That costume was a big fat fail. Scowl scowl scowl.



I am overwhelmed by the trim and ribbon wall. So much. So many. Too many. Which to choose? More like which not to choose.


Welcome to Mt. Everest.


While I wait on a very long line to get my fabric cut to size, I contemplate buying cat print fabric, because I am bored and a cat lady. I manage to resist the charm.


I see this at the cutting counter. I contemplate making myself an Elsa costume, because I’ve lost all control of my life so maybe now’s the right time. I don’t, because I don’t hate myself that much yet.


Remember when I posted about birds on hats for Hello, Dolly? Yeah, I’m doing it.

Not picture is the long line to check out, me trying to resist all of the candy and the large bags of Chex Mix while waiting to check out, and my struggle trying to get all of this junk to my car.

Happy musical season, everyone.


Author: Allyssa Ellen

A costumer, a makeup artist, an educator, and a librarian, all rolled up into one convenient, fun-sized package.

4 thoughts on “How A Costumer Shops

  1. if you wanted to make me clothing out of that cat fabric…i wouldn’t say no.

  2. I had no idea that flannel-backed satin existed, but now I really want to get some haha.

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