Below is a collection of questions I have received over the years. If you have further questions, feel free to send me an e-mail on my contact page.
Q: Are you an opera singer ?
A: I wish ! I can’t begin to innumerate how many people asked me this question when I first began dressing up for the operas. It is my all-time favorite question and never gets old.
Q: Do you get paid to dress up ?
A: No. No entity ─ not the theater, nor the Met, nor any other organization ─ pays me to make appearances in character.
Q: How long does it take to sew a costume ?
A: That depends. For my own personal comfort (and stress) levels, I like to allot 2 months to create an outfit. Since costuming is not a full-time job, I work on them at my leisure.
Q: Do you have a formal education in costuming/fashion ?
A: No. Many have asked me if I have a degree in theatrical costuming and fashion design and I don’t; I’m entirely self-taught in sewing through articles and videos online (you can read about how I taught myself to sew in my post about Madama Butterfly from 2016). The design flair is my own talent on loan from God.
Q: Where do you source your materials ?
A: Most of the fabrics I use for my outfits is purchased online since the selection is far greater (and usually less expensive) than what I can find in my local area. Fabric Wholesale Direct in Farmingdale, NY is one of my most reliable outlets for costume satin and the 3 meter width jacquards. Their prices are unbeatable ! For a truly unique and constantly rotating inventory, I love Fabric Mart Fabrics in Sinking Spring, PA. I became a member of their swatch club (Julie’s Picks) and have learned a great deal about different fabrics through it. I’ve even used fabrics from the swatch club to create some of my opera outfits as detailed in an article I wrote for Fabric Mart’s “Fabricista” blog (link below). http://blog.fabricmartfabrics.com/2020/03/fabricista-guest-postjulies-picks-goes.html
Q: What do you do with the costumes after you’ve worn them ?
A: This used to be a problem as my endeavours became more numerable. Thankfully, I purchased a store rack where my costumes have their home.
Q: Do you ever design costumes and/or clothing for others ?
A: Not yet ! However, I am open to designing and sewing custom work for individuals seeking an outfit for special occasions.
Q: What kind of sewing machine do you use ?
A: I am the proud owner of two Baby Lock machines: a regular sewing machine and a serger, which I acquired in 2018. I adore them both !