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The King and I

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Props, Scenery, Costumes and Makeup
Forum Discription: For how-to's and where-can-I-find
URL: http://www.communitytheater.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2599
Printed Date: 12/26/14 at 5:07pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 8.05 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: The King and I
Posted By: drose
Subject: The King and I
Date Posted: 8/23/07 at 7:12pm
How is it so impossible to find a pattern for the Siamese envelope pants the the king wears in almost every concievable version of the King and I?  If anyone knows where to find the pattern, or how to make and tie them, I would love to hear from you!  I'm certain I can create my own pattern, but I'd love to know if a "real" pattern exists somewhere.  Thanks!  -d.



Replies:
Posted By: biggertigger
Date Posted: 8/24/07 at 2:28pm
Here is a book about costume design.  http://www.theatrehouse.net/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=THH&Product_Code=9206&Category_Code - http://www.theatrehouse.net/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=THH&Product_Code=9206&Category_Code =
I'll try to find others.


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The two greatest days in a theater persons life, the day you start a new show and the day the damn thing closes.


Posted By: Linda S
Date Posted: 8/24/07 at 2:52pm
I found this link. http://www.mediatinker.com/blog/archives/2004_02.html - http://www.mediatinker.com/blog/archives/2004_02.html
Scroll down a bit and they give full instructions on how to make two kinds of traditional Thai pants with illustrations.
Linda
 
This is an example:
pants-comfy-pattern.jpg


Posted By: Linda S
Date Posted: 8/24/07 at 2:57pm
I also found this link. It has a variety of middle eastern patterns. I also believe that men's and women's pant styles are similiar. http://www.artemisimports.com/patterns/ - http://www.artemisimports.com/patterns/
Linda


Posted By: drose
Date Posted: 8/25/07 at 1:37am
thanks for the link, I'll check it out.  -d


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 8/27/07 at 2:04pm
When does your "King and I" go up?
 
We are opening on November 8, 2007. 
 
By the way, I found some outstanding backdrops that I am going to rent.  A set of 8 drops and borders that are very colorful and well done.  
Here is a link to photos of them on our "King and I" Production Blog: 
http://gdsking.blogspot.com - http://gdsking.blogspot.com
 
-Dana


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: drose
Date Posted: 8/28/07 at 1:30am
We go up august 2008.  But we seriously underestimated our costume budget for our last production, mainly due to lack of pattern knowledge...who knew it took so many yards of fabric to make a ballgown!?  So now we are researching a little deeper into sari fabric and thai patterns.  But those envelope pants that resemble backwards diapers (no offense to anyone intended) are still a mystery.  They look simple, but experiments show that accidental exposure is far too easy, and how do they stay up?  Crazy.  Best wishes on your production and thanks for the link, I'll check it out!  -d.


Posted By: Joan54
Date Posted: 8/28/07 at 8:20am
Good luck with the backwards diaper pants......I wish I had a successful solution for them.  Sometimes when I am stuck on a costume design I just try to imagine how it was done for the real clothes.  To begin with most of the "wrapping" type clothes: togas, loincloths, breechcloths and some capes were just one piece of fabric.....and usually narrow fabric (small home looms).  I think knots and strings and pins were used a lot more than the old art work shows us.  Get a long piece of   silk or soft cotton and try to wrap it around you in a logical and comfortable way.  Remember that the King probably had lots of slaves dressing him so get a friend to help.  Do this in front of a mirror and have a good laugh.
Then get the actor to give you a pair of his shorts that fit him well...and as tightly as possible.  Cut the shorts shorter and make sure that all of his private areas are well covered.  Now sew the costume pants to the shorts.....at least you'll know that he is covered up and that the costume won't fall down. 


-------------
"behind a thin wall of logic panic is waiting to stampede"


Posted By: Gaafa
Date Posted: 8/28/07 at 10:49am
This is far too technical for me, but if I could chuck in my 'arf a tanners worth.
When I was in the jungles of Malaysia, we wore a Pario most of the time. Which is similar to a sarong less the top half.
It just wrapped around & the end of the cloth, stuffed  down the back at the waist.
A lot of the womem wore the same, except  they pulled the cloth back thru thier legs & pushed down under the cloth going across thier waist.
I don't know if that helps?Ouch


-------------
      Joe
Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}



Posted By: drose
Date Posted: 8/28/07 at 8:33pm
Every little bit helps!  Thanks so much to all of you for your ideas, I appreciate that you all continue to take the time to pass along your experience and expertise.  If I come up with a distinct solution, I'll post it.  Until then, every little bit helps.  Thanks. - d


Posted By: biggertigger
Date Posted: 8/29/07 at 7:55pm
I know that we rented ours from a costumer shop.  They had the "diaper" type that used velcro and snaps to do them.  As Gaafa mentioned it wrapped around the waist (think of a dress that has a longer front) and take the front and pull threw the legs and attach in the back wasteline. 
I have been searching the web for a good pattern.  I remember a few years ago one of the pattern suppliers had them specific for King and I.  But I'll keep looking.


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The two greatest days in a theater persons life, the day you start a new show and the day the damn thing closes.


Posted By: drose
Date Posted: 8/30/07 at 12:58am
Thank you so much!  I really love the help and cooperation I've found here.  It's such a change from the air of competition and territoriality I've been dealing with for the last two years.  I have some inquiries into several of the local theatres around here, and I'll be sure to let you all know how it pans out.  You guys are tops!


Posted By: DramaMamaStill
Date Posted: 8/31/07 at 10:40am
Drose... while I did not yet find a good pattern for the pants there is something to remember about early clothing.
 
Cloth has always been labor intensive to produce (I am a weaver) and most early clothing used fabric straight off the loom, adding triangle gussets to increase width where needed. This translates into long narrow pieces of fabric used whole  in many cases
 
The pants appear to be a continual length of silk fabric wrapped aroung the waist once (possibly twice) and then pulled up through the legs and tucked or belted... It would be very cost prohibitive to used silk (you could wrap silk fabric several times without bulk being added) but if you tried the idea of it on a person and then figured out a pant that could replicate it using the very generic pant pattern above you would get a pretty good look without worrying about southern exposure
 
if you made the straight wide bloomer style pants and pulled the threads on the inside you could get an interesting look... it would not be too complicated and you probably could even put an elastic waistband in them.
 
I do not like using velcro because of it's distinctive un period sound when ripped apart and I have not found it terribly reliable... just a personal preference (I am old fashioned too)
 
just some thoughts


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Life is Mysterious don't take it too serious


Posted By: drose
Date Posted: 8/31/07 at 1:36pm
Thanks for your time.  I have to agree with you about velcro, especially the sound it makes when ripped apart.  its instant contemporary sound recognition...the perfect  way to destroy the illusion of late 1800 Siam.  We're going to start playing around with some general wrapping ideas here this week: using different lengths and types of fabrics.  I'll let y'all know how it works out.  Thanks!  -d.


Posted By: drose
Date Posted: 9/04/07 at 11:38am
Just a quick update:  I think the wrapping technique using a rectangular piece of cloth is going to be our best bet for the look I want.  We've been playing with holding the short side centered in front, securing its two loose ends behind the back (right now we are tying the ends together, but we will use some thing more permenant for the show).  Then we pull the other end between the legs, UNDER the secured waist at the back, and let the extra hang down over the actors rear end.  We have plenty of coverage so long as the short side of the fabric goes all the way around the waist and overlaps by a few inches.  When the its short of that, we get some interesting southern exposure.  Still playing a bit with the draping in front, but thats a matter of center tension on the fabric you pull thru at the back waist.  Ok.  Hope this wasn't too hopelessly garbled.  If I come up with ideal measurements of the fabric, I'll let y'all know!  Thanks!  (by-the-way, biggertigger, I did order the costume book...and it will probably answer all my questions, making this whole post completely moot!  Good times!)


Posted By: biggertigger
Date Posted: 9/04/07 at 11:20pm

drose,

I am glad we could help here.  My costume designer has thousands of costume books and this is one she highly recommends for those that have little experience with creating costumes for a show. 
One thing I would like to point out, this is theater and though velcro has that annoying sound, most audience will not see or hear the velcor.  It really is useful for quick changes.  The use of safety pins or other fastners can take longer than what is needed for quick changes. 
No need to build the complete Eiffle Tower just for a scene in Paris.


-------------
The two greatest days in a theater persons life, the day you start a new show and the day the damn thing closes.


Posted By: bambi4c
Date Posted: 9/05/07 at 12:41pm
New here - I work with an all volunteer Theater group.  We seat about 200 in our building but for small theater we pride ourselves on "big" productions.  We just finished King and I at the end of August.
We cheated a bit with the thai pants and i think we were very successful.
I know because I altered a lot of them.
We made simple skirts, yes skirts for pants - elastic waistbands and to the knee length. Then we had long strips of same fabric about 6-8 inches wide and attached inside the waist band on the front and the back (between the legs)  looked great - we had numerous kids wearing them as well as the king and they put them on just like pants.
We also canibalized old satin prom dresses.  Removed sleeves trimmed down to straight skirts, added the cross body sashes of silky fabric strips and sequin trims etc.  We did some matching of colors or trim "mother" to "children"  They did look pretty good.
 It was quite spectacular in look for pretty cheap.
I also read about t he velcro and we use it often as it does help with adjusting sizes as well as the quick change issues.
 
Good luck with it, drose - Great show


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B4C


Posted By: drose
Date Posted: 9/05/07 at 6:51pm
That's a great idea, B4C, I'll try it out ASAP.  Thanks! -d.


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 10/12/07 at 12:01am

Production Update:

We hit the half-way point in our pre-production schedule today.  And our production of "The King and I" opens one month from tonight!   (On November 8th).
 
We have four big racks of costumes ready so far, most of the platforms are complete, and we are finishing more and more props on a daily basis.  Tomorrow my lighting cue reports to knock out some of the basic hang and rough focus.
 
If you care to, you can follow along with the process on our Production Blog at this address: 
http://gdsking.blogspot.com/ - http://gdsking.blogspot.com
 
Regards, Dana
 


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: tristanrobin
Date Posted: 10/12/07 at 8:35am
Your 2-litre Pepsi bottle bottom rosettes are ingenious!  Bravo!


Posted By: Gaafa
Date Posted: 10/12/07 at 12:50pm
I agree, what a little bottler Dana!Star
I always felt there must be a better use for those plastic cool drink bottles.
Beyond chucking them in the recycle wheelie bin.


-------------
      Joe
Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}



Posted By: DramaMamaStill
Date Posted: 10/13/07 at 6:14pm
I love the liter bottle rosettes too.... I foresee them in future shows here  LOL

did you spray them from the inside?


-------------
Life is Mysterious don't take it too serious


Posted By: SherrieAnne
Date Posted: 10/16/07 at 10:03pm
My favorite show ever!  Out of curiosity (my production of it was umpty-ump years ago, & I was the lead, not a costumer!Big%20smile),  how are you working the trick hoopskirts for Act II Scene 1?  I spend a great deal of my time mucking about in hoops, & while I can think of several ways to make my specially-made hoops do that, none of them will work with commercially-available hoopskirts with their flexible boning. 

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There's a little bit of diva in all of us. Some just have a larger helping than others.


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 10/16/07 at 11:27pm
Thanks folks, for the compliments on the coke bottle scenery.  But I have been doing what I call shabby-tech for years!  Out of neccessity.  When you are cursed with a low budget and a creative mind, everything you see in the course of the day is a potential prop.  I could write a book on this stuff!  (In fact, I found some more stuff in the garden shop at Home Depot just today that will appear as part of the King's dais tomorrow!)
 
To DramaMamaStill:  yes, I usually try to paint the inside of the coke bottle bottoms for a better shine.  Much like you paint the back side of a piece of glass to make a mirror.  But on this show I am also the Lighting Designer!  So I would rather not have the rosettes so shiny that they glare and upstage the actors.  So, not only am I painting the bottles on the outside, but I am also dusting them with copper and black paint to give an "aged patina" effect.  (And besides, some of the bottles are from Sprite soda, which are made of green plastic).
 
*We started construction of the coke bottle rosettes this weekend.  You can see photos of this project under the October 21st entry called "Blitz Bottles" on my production blog:   http://gdsking.blogspot.com/ - http://gdsking.blogspot.com/
 
 - Dana


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: DramaMamaStill
Date Posted: 10/17/07 at 11:34pm
Thanks for the information on the pop bottle rosettes.  My hubby is the tech director for the Musical this year at the high school.  I have been trying to stay out of it as much as possible, but I just found a fabulous pair of MC Hammer balloon pants at Goodwill with studs and everything that I dropped off at the theater tonight.  I cannot keep my hands off the costumes I guess.

I too am known as the wizard of the pinched penny... It can be a curse to see potential in everything you run across.  Every time I go into a resale place I wonder if I will ever see that costume or prop again or how could that be used?



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Life is Mysterious don't take it too serious


Posted By: TonyDi
Date Posted: 10/18/07 at 8:45am
I LOVE this coke bottle idea. I WISH I had known of it when I did my production of it. Awesome idea for future though. THANKS.  Wonderful idea. And DramaMama - I had to laugh at your nickname of being wizard of the pinched penny and how you view everything as a potential use for stage. HAHA!! LMAO.  THAT is why many of us never throw anything away - because it WILL eventually have uses.  I'm that way with wood. If it's 6" long it will be useful for something at some point.  Need to cull the shed though and get rid of some stuff.  I've already decided to get rid of a lot of stuff. Maybe I can get rid of most of the junk down the road at the rented utility building I've rented for the last 10 years.  I figured how much average I spent renting those buildings and realize I could have BUILT one about twice the size for the same amount of money I've spent renting. But of course, didn't think of that at the time and didn't know I'd be renting for 10 years either.  Sheesh!!  Embarrassed
 
TonyDi


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"Almost famous"


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 10/22/07 at 9:19am

To SherrieAnne and others:  About the hoop skirt project...

The chorus just rehearsed what I call "the royal flashing scene" last week.  The girls bow for the King's entrance and their hoop skirts moon him!  One of the few big laffs of the show.
 
The cheap, simple and expediant way to do this gag was to sew Hula Hoops into stock dresses.  However, after some testing, the costume designer encountered two complications.  One, the Hula Hoops were not big enough around, and two, putting the hoop into the dress itself looked bad.  It made the dress look like the "Tweedle Dumb" costume in a Disney parade!  
 
So the solution was to change hoop material and move the hoop to an inner slip skirt.  The new material we found was some 8' lengths of 1/2" outside diameter PVC plumbing pipe at Home Depot.  (It's thin water pipe used to run a little water to the ice maker in your fridge, etc...).
 
The PVC pipe is rigid yet bendable, and could easily be cut to the proper length for each different skirt.  We joined the two ends by inserting nails inside the joint and taping it up.  After the hems were sewn into the the skirts, then the pipes were inserted and joined.
 
The costume ladies found a bunch of old stock slips from other shows in our storage area.  By putting the hoop into the slips instead, it allowed the outer dresses to fall naturally and look better.  During the costume parade yesterday, the girls tested the new hoop skirts/slips.  They worked pretty well, but in my opinion, the outer dresses will have to be pinned or sewn to the rim of the slips so that the dresses won't bunch up on the girl's backs when they kneel and flip.
 
You can see the photo of the girls with the hoop skirts on my production blog.  Go to an October 21st entry called "Blitz Hoops" :   http://gdsking.blogspot.com/ - http://gdsking.blogspot.com/


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 11/16/07 at 1:48pm
A success!  The King and I was an outstanding production.  We sold out all four performances and luckily there were no major "Murphy's Law" incidents!
 
The "coke bottle rosettes" and the "homemade hoop skirts" that were discussed above all work well too!
 
To see photos of the show, you are welcome to view the entire 3 month process from start to finish on my Production Blog at:
http://gdsking.blogspot.com/ - http://gdsking.blogspot.com/
 
Just 3 months until "Seussical"!!!  -Dana
 


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: Linda E
Date Posted: 11/28/07 at 5:24pm
Your show looks great.
I live in Maui and we are doing the King & I to open April 08. I am wondering how you made the crowns for the dance. The idea with the hoop skirts was helpful. Mahalo   Linda


-------------
Linda in Maui


Posted By: Mr. Lowell
Date Posted: 12/26/07 at 3:39pm
Hi Linda E.,  thanks! 
 
The Thai headdresses used in the royal dance in Act I, Scene 2 and in the Uncle Tom's Cabin Ballet in Act II were "home made".  
 
Here are some pictures.
Act I:
http://www.lowell.to/DesignKing/KingHeaddresses.jpg - http://www.lowell.to/DesignKing/KingHeaddresses.jpg
Act II:
http://www.lowell.to/DesignKing/KingBalletEliza.jpg - http://www.lowell.to/DesignKing/KingBalletEliza.jpg
 
They were simple to make.  We made a form mold using a styrofoam wig head with a styrofoam tree cone from a hobby shop on top.  This was covered in plaster strips, (like a cast on a broken arm).  Then some gold paint on the outside and foam rubber liners on the inside.  Volunteers hot-glued tons of jems and beads on them, plus an unbreakable Christmas ornament at the top.  A good craft project for parents of the cast on our "Parent Blitz Day".
http://www.lowell.to/DesignKing/KingHeaddressFab.jpg - http://www.lowell.to/DesignKing/KingHeaddressFab.jpg
 
These hats are VERY show-specific, and odds are, I won't be doing King and I for another ten years.  No doubt by then they will get crushed in the prop room!  Cry 
 
So Ruthie, the director, and I would just as soon see them put to good use.   Although, with all the productions going on here, we just don't have time to get into the "rental business"...as you can imagine.  So I would prefer to sell them to you...and you could then re-sell them to the next theatre troup who needs them. 
 
Maybe a $20.00 donation to our Thespian Club for all three.  Then add postage to Hawaii. 
 
Please e-mail me if you are interested in them. 
Thanks, Dana
  
 


-------------
Mr. Lowell,
Lighting/Set Designer & Tech Director,
for the Linda Sloan Theatre,
in the Davison Center for the Arts,
at Greensboro Day School


Posted By: Linda E
Date Posted: 1/14/08 at 8:21pm
Thanks Dana
I had already purchased the cone and a few parts so I think I will give it a whirl creating them. You still might hear from me about those that you have.
Thanks so much
Linda

-------------
Linda in Maui


Posted By: katko
Date Posted: 12/16/09 at 3:58am
Wink    I GOT IT !!!  
We just finished with our production of the king and I last Sunday.  I had looked all over the internet as well and couldn't find anything the really resembled what the king wore in the movie ......UNTIL.......  I figured out actually what they are called in real life.  The people of Thailand wear something called a SAMPOT.  sometimes it has a longer name to sampot chang kben.  or something like that. 
There is a you tube video showing how to fit one that I will post here.  Basically it is a 3 meter long piece of fabric.  I finished the edges and put some decorative trim around the bottom edge to make it pretty when you fasten it.  The trim in the end, runs up the back like in the king and I, It looks great, and it is absolutely authentic.  We had 15 kids wearing them, so needless to say there was a lot of big safety pins used to fasten the back so they would not slip throughout the night.  But all in all it looked awesome.  A little note.  Since most of the fabrics that we used were satins or lining fabrics, they were all prone to slipping when tied up.  We sometimes had to retie and some of the satins that I used were very difficult to tie due to thickness.  Choose thinner satins or thin fabrics, it makes it easier to tie, roll the know under and then stay tied.
The link for a the video are below
For a woman  
< ="Content-" content="text/; charset=utf-8">< name="ProgId" content="Word.">< name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 12">< name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 12"> file:///C:%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml - file:///C:%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_themedata.thmx - file:///C:%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_colorschememapping.xml - <> < name="ProgId" content="Word.">< name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 12">< name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 12"> file:///C:%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml - file:///C:%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_themedata.thmx - file:///C:%5CTemp%5Cmsohtmlclip1%5C01%5Cclip_colorschememapping.xml - <>



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