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Donkeyskin | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi, About my name: Donkeyskin is a fairytale about a princess who is doomed by her father to wear a Ds all the time and feed pigs. She finds a way out of her dilemna by spending some of the money her father still lets her have as her inheritance. Naturally she has fabrics and jewels and readymade dresses sent to her which she  wears at night in secret.  A peeping tom prince sees her, falls in love and she is rescued from the pigs and donkeyskin. Well, it is about clothes. 

This Spring I am completing a sundress and planning a filmy vest of colorful and sheer fabric that I can wear over anything.

The article in this Spring Threads about the Opera is great  The real costumes are even more amazing in person and so is the seamstress.

How many of you are costume ladies for local theater groups?

Enjoy the spring coming, Donkeyskin

Edited 4/5/2008 9:51 am ET by Donkeyskin


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    I love fairytales, and thank you for sharing where your "name" came from.  My email "name" is Thimbellina, you've probably heard that story, it suits me very well.

    I have a few sundresses ready to hem and one ready to cut out.  Kwik Sew 2787, and love your idea of the sheer top.  What pattern are you using?   Mary

    Edited 4/5/2008 1:35 pm by MaryinColorado

  2. damascusannie | | #2

    I'm an ex-costumier for a local theater company. My biggest shows were "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "A Christmas Carol"--huge casts needing lots of period costumes. "Meet Me..." was particularly fun because we got to turn my home into a millinery shop for a week. I think we made two dozen heavily embellished and decorated hats. Loved it!

  3. User avater
    JunkQueen | | #3

    Hi. I'm not a costumier by any stretch of the imagination. However, I did make three medieval dresses -- one with a cloak, pantaloons, a man's shirt and cape, and a night dress as well as 'repurposing' some gray women's Banlon knit capris I found at a thrift store into period pants for a man for a high school theater class my DIL was teaching and taking to an Interscholastic League competition. And I might add, I got it all done in about 5 days.
    It's a good thing the play was a stage play and not on film. Some of the finishing would not have fared well under close scrutiny

    The next year I pleaded for simpler costumes and had to do on three saloon girls dresses. I cheated on those. I used brides maid dresses made of the usual moire and taffeta I found at a thrift store and modified them. They were perfect.

  4. dollmarm | | #4

    Hi my lady that is an interesting name and thanks for the explanation.  

    Great  to know why we name ourselves what we do...  :~)  

    I love sewing costumes. I made several for the kids when they were little. 

    The best one was a Dinosaur for my son.  We were stationed in Frankfurt, Germany at the time and there was a contest for costumes for a party for the kids. 
    My neighbor and I spent half  a night after I put the kids to bed (hubby was out of town) and we had to use a coat hanger and then add stuffing  all around the tail and then horn on top of the head piece. My son even had hand pieces with the claws and feet with the long toe-nails.  The head piece attached to the body like the removable hoods on a coat.  This was fun.  I made our daughter a Unicorn outfit.  On the day of the party my hubby painted their faces.  MY daughter has this butterfly design with a glitter paint. 

    Oh my name is due to I have a collection of some dolls.  I use to love to make my dolls clothes and wrap them in all sorts of different costumes.  I come from a long line of Crafty women.  My grandmother worked as a Professional Seamstress for a company and she made many of our clothes.

    My daughters' favorite movie when she was a kid was 'Little Women" and she would call me marm or marmee.  Years later she made me a plaque with little wood pieces in the shape of a doll for my craft/sewing room and that has stuck. 

    I have a belly-dancers costume I want to make one day.  I have done some lesson and have the symbols and the a few pieces, but would love to make one of the costumes. 
    My hubby has said  I need to find a local theatre here and sew and even be a part. 
    I use to do voices when we would read to our kids when they were little. 
    Our son is Autistic and still lives with us and still laughs when I get into character. :~) 

    Thanks for this posting.  I hope many respond and share.  Attach some photos of your work if you can,  :~) 


    1. Donkeyskin | | #5

      Dear Dollmarm,  My Grandmother and Great Grandmother were seamstresses. My Grandma made her baby clothes and outfits for my mother and her 2 sisters. Grandma made doll clothes for my Betsy Wetsy doll and LittleEugenia, a Madame Alexander Doll she gave me.  I enjoyed making costumes for My three girls. The first two were lion and tiger for Halloween.  I still have the head pieces and mittens from them and the grandchildren wear them.  I made a knight's costume this winter out of cardboard and duct tape.  Shield, sword and helmet.  He is four and loved it.

      I got to sew for the local church production of "Narnia"  Lots of animal costumes. But the best ones were the Lion, a very large head piece made of yarn and a tail. It was very satisfying to see it finished and on the actor.  Also I made a white and silver head piece and crown for the White Witch.  That too came out better than I expected. The sewing part was not the fun part but creating the costumes was fun.

      I am making vests for a ladies convention for the hosts. I cut out and prepare the vest and a friend sews it on her machine. Just four isn't too demanding. Fitting is also required. I've done it over the phone.  That's hard.  hope it works.

      We also lived in Europe for less than 2 years.  Fribourg, Switzerland where my husband was sent for his job. Later we lived in England for 3 years where my girls were in early elementary school. We had a son born in England.

      We now have 8 grand children 3 boys and 5 girls 3 of whom are 3 years old this year all girls from different parents.  It's great to have cousins but they all live in different states. Christmas and summer vacation we are together often.  Chiao, Donkeyskin

      Edited 4/15/2008 9:34 pm ET by Donkeyskin

      1. dollmarm | | #6

        OH wow NARNIA - you must be part of a really neat church !!  (would love that) (we are church hunting- fairly new to an area) I love that movie and can not wait for the new coming out.   We bought the movie on DVD when it came out and there was an extra DVD on the making of the movie - which our son enjoyed. I would love to be a part of that productions - whether I sewed 4 it or not.  Sounds like you have a really neat family.  All of hubbys family is spread out through all the states.  His mom is part of a 12kid family.  His grandparents are no longer on this Earth and one of her  sisters' died of cancer when my hubby was a boy. Hubby,our & I are the only ones in Va and several of his immediate family are in the south with all my family.   No one had left the state to live until me - that took some adjusting for them all.  For years many did not like him for he took me away from them all (teeheehee), but all is forgiven now.  Our travels were great for the kids got a great education - we decided to home school and we traveled with my husband.  We did many USO tours and would go on day trips while he worked and meet up for dinner and share what they had learned.  I miss the adventures at times but do not miss the flying.  Always had to take those horrible pills so not to get sick.  But we have great memories, treasures, photos and etc...  My grandmother made most of all my Barbie clothes.  Sad I do not have any of them now.  They were stolen when I was a kid by another kid visiting a neighbor.  I ask her to make my daughter a few.  She laughed and told me it was my turn.   I made very few due to our travels and moving a lot.  We found many different one from in many different countries.  I have many ideas of what I want to get into as far as sewing for the fall but have many little pressing projects to finish and learn more of our area.  I Would love to have a sewing group in my home and etc...   Time with tell, Enjoyed hearing from you and sharing,  :~)

    2. cskulmoski | | #7

      Hi - I am new to this site. I have a high functioning  son with Aspberger's. He has a fascinating knack for fashion. He desperately wants to learn to sew but I am not the person for the job (the search is on). I bought him a 20 in. tall, fully articulated, wooden artists mannequin that he drapes and pins and ties fabric too. I got the idea from a book on the fashion designer Madeline Vionnet( a contemporary of Coco Chanels).She was in her time the only famous designer who draped in 3-D as opposed to sketching.

      We also bought him a digital camera to photograph his designs (we are both scrapbookers too). We made a large fabric back drop that he does the photos on. He does some very good pictures and everyone is catalogued in his scrapbook. His designs remind me of Alexander McQueen's more fantastical fantasy creations. I would need to be a millionaire to actually create them into life size! He is 18 and barely reads or writes but I see a genius in him that makes my heart sing.

      I am an obsessed sewer. I just completed 2 bags, a fully underlined linen shirt dress all cut on the bias and am now working on a very chic safari jacket. I love the jacket, it is a classic that never loses it's appeal.

      1. dollmarm | | #8

        Hi and I have only been on board for about a month and have so enjoyed these posting.  My daughter has a 7 year step-son that has Aspberger.  My son use to talk and tell such neat stories as he looked at picture story books.  He slowly stopped talking - we did so many different test.  He occasionally says a word or so.  He is now 24. We took at trip with other family members and he had his own camera and he enjoyed taking his own pictures, esp when we went through the Grand Canyon. He loves to paint and draws some and works with clay and legos.  He goes through spurts of which ones he wants to do.   However he does love string and yarn.   I have to be careful for he likes to tie knots and he will have the whole room tied up and it can be a real mess. I have to watch my floss or he will take it and wrap it around his little GI Joe men.  He really loves his Microscope that he has with his computer.  He would constantly print off the most unusal pictures.  we went through a lot of ink, it was costly. When we moved where we are now we did not contect the printer due to space and when we remodel his room we will hook it up for him to print some of his designs.  Your sewing sound fun.  I am cross stitching for now and hope to get back to some sewing soon.  I stay busy with our son alot too.  Take care and glad to hear from another sewing mom with a special son.  Where did you find that artist mannequin?  :~)

        1. cskulmoski | | #9

          Hi again - the artists mannequin came from an art supply shop. They use them for students drawing the human form in any position because all the joints are movable. This is a big bonus when my son is designing his creations because the arms, for instance can be taken out of the way when you are doing a skirt etc. A lot of times the arms are left raised in the air looking very joyful!

          I am going to go to the local quilting group in my town that is all elderly ladies who sew and quilt for charity. I am going to ask if any of them think they would be interested and patient enough to try and teach my son to do some basic hand sewing, needle threading, knot tying etc.

          We did this when he wanted to learn to knit( he's so easy to get along with, he likes everything that I like!). The woman that was teaching him owned the local yarn shop and she also taught knitting. What I really admired about her was that she never got uptight or frustrated that he didn't quite get it. It didn't matter, they just kept plugging away at it. He enjoyed it immensely, he liked her, she was a lot of fun and good energy for him.  Unfortunately her funky little business did not survive and we lost the knitting lessons.

          Must get back to my safari jacket, am setting in a sleeve and finishing inside seams. I love finishing seams, something so tidy and orderly about it. I have worked as a dental tech for 27 yrs. making crowns under a microscope. The tiny little details have a big appeal!

          1. dollmarm | | #11

            Well I tried writing out this to you last night and a thunder & rain storm hit and knocked out the satellite.  :~(I am going to try to find one of those mannequin's - sounds fun - my son use to dress his GI Joe dolls.  I had to constantly hide my good threads, floss and extra fabric and scissors; he would cut up good fabric. Then he went to yarn and string.  He doesn't stay w/ one craft for a while.   I would give him scraps and or cut pieces and later learned he wanted to do the cutting so I  had to get special scissors.  I wish you the best with the quilting group.  Both his grandmothers (now in Heaven) use to quilt and sew and he would sit next to them and they would share stories with him of the family and or their childhood.   One grandma called him little man.  She never forgot him, even she was losing some of her recent memory.  He would sit with her for hours and work with clay and built w/ his Lego's. Your jacket sound great - would love to see it when you are done.  I am a fine detail person as well.   When I study a subject - I have all the book I can find on the matter.  I can get so totally engross I am no good to anyone else around so I have to pick and choose.   Right now I am still cross stitching.  It can be so mindboggling with all the different colors close by and intertwining to make the shading and etc... I love to applique too. I have too many craft loves and too many projects going but that's me.  :~)  Take care and enjoy your jacket and let me know how all goes w/ your son as well.

  5. Teaf5 | | #10

    Used to be a costumer for college theatre, but haven't had time since.  My daughter's new housemate is doing a masters degree in costume design, and I can't wait to meet her; what a dream major that would have been for me!

    1. Donkeyskin | | #12

      Dear Teaf,  I am a late bloomer.  I did sewing when I was young and on and off for years but never felt qualified.  At 60 I started doing constumes sort of for a local theater group.  I have taken a break now because of family health reasons but still make fun dressup clothes for my young grandchildren.  Our 4 year old G- son loves to play pretend and is a Knight in armour made from art board and duct tape  I made.  I am working on a peter pan dress-up out fit in green satin and fake leather for him now. 

       I sat next to a young girl from Canada and her mom at a symposium about opera at a local fabric store( see Threads April May edition) She was graduating HS and going to New York to study design.  Wouldn't that have been ideal


      1. Teaf5 | | #13

        Children's dress up costumes are just about the most fun of all to make, especially if you get to watch the children use them--princess skirts with knights armor plates with cowboy boots topped off by a witch hat was my daughter's favorite combination!

        For your next dress-up designs, be sure to check out the internet for interesting techniques;  the "duct tape prom dress" and "how to make fabric from duct tape" sites are informative and fun, and some of the "cosplay" sites offer novel ways to achieve good effects cheaply and quickly. 

        There are many, many historical re-enactment and medieval-costume sites that offer insights, too.  I always check out a few sites before beginning any project nowadays--to learn from others and become inspired.

        1. Donkeyskin | | #14

          Teaf5, Thank you for the web info. It is funny how encouraging this Message board and the people on them encourage one to keep on with the creativity.  I also get that from my daughter who is an artist and very creative in her jobs. Keep on corresponding to everyone.   Thanks  Donkeyskin

        2. dollmarm | | #15

          reading this takes me back when I use to do more creative sewing.  I miss it - I hope to find a drama group or theater group and get back into doing some fun sewing. I so miss this.  Thanks for sharing.  I love looking at the sites, esp the historical costumes.  this is a fun group. What would it be iffin' we could all meet - wow :~)

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