Updated: Apr 9
Luckily, costumes for the royal court are pretty “simple” in that you only have one king and one queen and a limited number of nobility. When it comes to dressing the servers, kitchen staff, and volunteers, that’s something else. You need a lot of costumes that you can use from year-to-year, are easy and adjustable, and above all, MACHINE WASHABLE.
For the skirt wearers, at least, there are very fast, easy skirts you can sew that don’t even need a pattern. Check out this video:
This is a great tutorial you can assign to volunteers with basic sewing skills or costumers-in-training.
Now, as far as fabrics go, cotton is a clear winner. It’s durable, lightweight (it’s hot in the kitchen), and it washes well. Plus, it’s CHEAP to get. A close second is a cotton/polyester blend that is simple to work with at the sewing machine and hangs well (less ironing).
So, where do you get cheap fabric? Your first thought is probably to hit a sale at your nearest fabric store, but there are other creative ways to get cheap cotton fabric for your skirts:
You can find like-new bed sheets at thrift stores or even really affordable ones at retail stores. It's a large cut fabric that you can find in a variety of colors for your servers, and you can probably squeeze two skirts out of them.
Go Maria from Sound of Music and check out what’s selling in the curtain section in your retail store or second-hand shops. People donate curtains in some pretty fancy fabrics, but many of them are cotton or polyester. The long, straight cut of curtains are perfect for skirts.
Sold in machine-washable fabrics, you can find very tame, peasant-looking colors in the tablecloth section. And tablecloths are a dime a dozen at your local Goodwill or garage sale. Someone is always selling a tablecloth.
And before you go shopping, ask your cast parents if they have any of those to donate.
Skirts are fifty-percent of the costume pieces you need for your female servers. If you stockpile muslin blouses, you can mix and match these every year. Costuming doesn’t have to be a headache, and between this easy no-pattern video, some thrift shoppers, and sewing enthusiasts, you’ll have your staff outfitted in no time. Let’s just hope there’s not a Captain von Trapp in the audience who will recognize his curtains . . .