The need for an accurate communication tool between the costume designer and the technical team in the costume shop emerged from our discussions with the Heads of the costuming section at the National Theatre School in Montreal. We are looking to bridge this communication gap that often exists, even in theatres with excellent designers and highly skilled cutters.

Designers often produce stunningly beautiful costume renderings that are particularly atmospheric. These illustrations are inspiring, and go a long way toward communicating the overall “look” of a show, often providing important insight into the world that the designer is creating. These costume designs are crucial to communicating the designer’s vision to the rest of the team. Yet stylized illustrations, no matter how evocative they appear, are not necessarily the best guides for the person who is responsible for making the costume. It is here that the Costume Technical Sheet comes into play. It need not replace the costume illustration, but can serve as an additional communication tool for the designer. The benefits are images of costumes that embody the designer's vision and minimize, if not eliminate the occasional miscommunications that occur about fabrics, style details, or back views.


We start with the actor line drawing, as created using the Outline Guide. We then transfer that line drawing onto a scaled grid template. We adjust the drawing size to match the actor’s height on the grid (for instructions see the Image Transfer Guide). The template we have created is available in centimeters and in inches, has room for costume notes and swatches, and basic information about the actor, the role, the designer, and the production. This creates a complete information package for the cutter or wardrobe manager, allowing the technical team in the costume shop to spend time efficiently creating exactly what the costume designer envisioned.

We presented the Costume Technical Sheet to the graduating design students at the National Theatre School. While they were enthusiastic, the most resonant voices came from the wardrobe staff. All of us who have worked in costume shops, both great and small, will attest to the fact that time is often lost waiting to find out how the designer wants to have their design illustration interpreted. The technical sheet allows the designer to distill the information in a concise, easy to use format. Again, this technical tool enables a much more efficient use of time, and it is of great value to any costume team.
The Project
The People
Who are we?
How did we start?
Contact Us
The Process
The Photo
Line Drawing
Technical Sheets
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