A few weeks ago I agreed to help with costumes for my daughter's former high school production of "Hairspray." Their first question: "Can you make a Fat Suit?" Umm... Yes?
Three weeks, a bunch of sketches and some seat-of-the-pants drafting with PatternMaster Curves later, I brought the "Edna" suit to this afternoon's rehearsal for the actor to try on.
For those of you unfamiliar with the staging of "Hairspray," the lead role of Edna is customarily played by a guy. For this particular show, the actor is about 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 135 pounds and has a 29-inch waist. And I'm supposed to make him look like he weighs at least 300 pounds.
I was quite nervous as he got changed (with the help of a male cast member -- he can't wear anything under the suit but his skivvies), but the hoots and laughter when he came out to model the suit came as a tremendous relief.
Here he is, in all his glory:
The director's only comment was, "He needs some boobs." So I'll be adding some more padding in the next day or so, and will then make the first of her costumes: the muumuu for the opening scenes.
I still have to make the fat suit for the (very slender) girl playing Tracy, but this "small" success has given me some much-needed confidence that, perhaps, these costumes will work just fine.