Redressing Judy

This is the place for Technical Tips, Questions and Answers.

Redressing Judy

Postby Chris T » 02 Aug 2014, 22:34

Have used my weekend fruitfully redressing my Judy between gigs. Here are some before and after pics. She has gone from Blonde to Brunette.

Image

Image
Chris T
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 05 Jan 2012, 16:03

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby Chris » 03 Aug 2014, 19:31

Definitely better as a brunette I think.
Your "after" picture doesn't do her justice. I've tried to get a bit more detail, but it isn't there I'm afraid.

Image
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3206
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby Chris T » 03 Aug 2014, 23:07

I agree, Richard Coombs did comment that maybe the blonde was a mistake when I redressed her a year or so back, and I think he was right, it didn't suit the colouring of the face. I was working with the material I had at the time. I was spoilt for choice in terms of hair this time around, as my mother works for a charity retail chain, and she had a box of dolls wigs come in which were ideal. My only reservation with the new look, is it is a lot of white, which could mark easily.

Here is some additional pics of the process - hopefully better detailing the transformation:


Image

Image

Image
Chris T
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 05 Jan 2012, 16:03

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby Chris T » 03 Aug 2014, 23:08

And some more:


Image

Image
Chris T
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 05 Jan 2012, 16:03

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby martinpunch » 05 Aug 2014, 19:30

Really great, I am going to be dressing Judy soon as I have a puppet in the making (with help at all stages) but I have been doing the costumes myself so far, but Judy's costume will have to be done by someone better than me. Your Judy costume is fantastic! the detail is great you must be really pleased with it?
Kindest regards

Martin

That may not be the way to do it , but I'm here to learn
Sun
User avatar
martinpunch
Beefy
Beefy
 
Posts: 77
Joined: 04 Mar 2014, 19:38
Location: Southsea

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby Chris T » 06 Aug 2014, 01:30

Thanks, it is always a learning curve, what I ended up with wasn't what I had in mind at the beginning, but it all turned out ok in the end. I am very lucky, I have a beautiful set of puppets to perform with, made my some fantastic puppet makers.

Here are my main set if you are interested:



Image

Wish you all the best with your projects, I am sure they will turn out just fine!
Chris T
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 05 Jan 2012, 16:03

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby Tony James » 14 Aug 2014, 09:01

That Judy redress looks delightful. I think I can also see her character as a consequence. Obviously I can't be certain without seeing her in action.

I've always believed that figure dressing should always reflect and establish the character of the figure. Of a basic set Judy, the baby, Joey and the doctor have more scope for individualism. Punch, the policeman and the crocodile are more proscribed.

I particularly like the back detail of Judy. Again, I am a great believer in paying attention to the back of costumes as they provide the audience with additional visual interest provided the figure turns its back to the audience.The turning action itself also adds visual interest.

That's easy for me as I work hands above but maybe less easy if you work hands in front. Whilst I like the apron shoulder straps I am assuming these have been stitched down onto the costume underneath or there is a risk that loose straps will catch on something especially any frame projections such as puppet hooks. The same goes for any trimmings or loose fullness in costumes.

The other practical aspects of any fabric being considered is to be careful of loose weaves which can be very attractive but may result in catching or poor wear quality. The lower half of any costume is always prone to excess wear, rubbing along the inside edge of the playboard.

Any figure using the stick is equally prone to wear in the arm and upper body area where the end of the gripped stick rubs. I find my highest degree of wear is to Punch, followed by Joey and then Judy simply because of the duration they are up. The baby follows next depending on your routine though the baby is easier to redress.

It's also worth cutting a small sample of proposed fabrics and immersing each in individual white cups of water and leaving them overnight. You don't need much water or any resultant colour loss will be diluted and less easy to detect. A white container makes colour bleed easier to see.

Likewise, any shrinkage may be detected so check the sample dimension and measure after it has dried.

Few supplier pre-dressed figures in my experience suit my usage. Not surprising really. It's the difference between an off-the-peg garment compared to a bespoke, tailored to your individual measurements and requirements. Once you've experienced the bespoke you'll understand the difference.

My Punch was very wet and when I packed him I later found his red coat was not colour fast. Whilst in the drop bag he had come into contact with other figures and had transferred patches of pinky-red to their costumes. I tried unsuccessfully to flush out the colour under a running tap without any obvious improvement. So I carefully mixed a small quantity of proprietary Colour Run Remover ensuring it was more dilute than the instructions indicated for general usage. I didn't want to risk damaging the other figures any more than they were already.

I dipped just the affected area of one into the mix and two things resulted. First the transferred colour disappeared almost like the changes in a wine and water trick. Second, the surrounding red stripe in the fabric turned a sort of dirty brownish khaki colour. In a panic I held the costume under a running cold water tap and the result of that was the original red stripe was restored. Don't ask me why or how- that's what happened.

So emboldened I treated the rest with similar results. I think original blue colours went a sort of greenish yellow but flushed back to blue. Anyway it worked and I haven't had to do it again because all my figures have since been redressed - some many times - by my lady who is a theatre costume designer and she tests every fabric for colour fastness and shrinkage. It's a part of her normal job.

If this helps anyone then it has been worthwhile recording it here.
Tony James

Magic With A Punch!
User avatar
Tony James
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 664
Joined: 08 Aug 2006, 21:22
Location: Cheshire UK

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby Chris » 15 Aug 2014, 10:40

Personally I've always thought it best to avoid shoulder straps and men's braces on glove puppets which are to be manipulated in the usual Punch style with thumb in one arm and second finger in the other arm. They look fine when the puppet lies flat on the table, but when your hand is inside such accessories tend to emphasise the distortion of one shoulder much lower than the other. Good costuming should aim to disguise this as much as possible.
You also have to be very careful with belts which if horizontally placed on the costume appear like a cowboy's gun belt when your hand is inside. You can compensate for this in the sewing just as long as the puppet is always to be worn on the same hand.
There are of course different ways of manipulation which allow for better costuming, but these usually result in stiffer looking movement. This is especially true of puppets which are given shoulders (which vastly improves the costume possibilities). Unfortunately we like very large glove puppets for Punch and the variations of design and manipulation which allow elegant costuming and less figure distortion (such as the Catalan style) work most effectively with smaller figures than we normally use.
But it always surprises me how Punch figures seem to be judged when purchasing without regard to how they will look when being used, as for example in the preference for glossy enamelled faces despite the fact that this is the worst possible choice for visibility.
It's good to squawk!
Image
User avatar
Chris
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3206
Joined: 05 Jul 2006, 11:13
Location: North Wales

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby Chris T » 26 Aug 2014, 00:06

Image

New judy in action this weekend. Luckily she looked really good, I was worried about how the apron would work in practicality. One slight mishap though, the head came loose during the first show, and needed an extra tac! But the show sent on, and I managed to style It out.
Chris T
Porky
Porky
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 05 Jan 2012, 16:03

Re: Redressing Judy

Postby Tony James » 26 Aug 2014, 09:49

Instead of tacking the dress directly to the neck I prefer the old fashioned way of stitching the dress. Take a strip of strong material and wind it around the neck three or three and a half times. Now tack the strip to the neck to make a semi permanent collar. The number of tacks will depend on the neck. Many necks are round and small. Others, like my Tickner figures have square necks which are slightly bigger. But I would suggest four tacks as a minimum - front, back and one each side.

Sew the dress to the collar using strong thread rather than fine cotton.

Three advantages:

1. Because the collar is semi-permanent the tacks remain in place for a long time. You are not creating lots of holes in the neck every time you remove the dress.

2. The stitches will prevent the head nd body parting company unexpectedly. So use separate stitches - not a long continuous tacking stitch. The dress is easily removed by snipping the threads.

3. The dress does not require any trim to mask the tacks required if you directly tack the dress.

Remember to use tacks which are blued to resist rust and with a decent head to hold the collar in place. And when eventually you do need to replace the collar or you are refurbishing an old figure, remember to fill the holes in the neck and to tack a new collar into fresh wood - not the old holes.
Tony James

Magic With A Punch!
User avatar
Tony James
Joey's Jewels
Joey's Jewels
 
Posts: 664
Joined: 08 Aug 2006, 21:22
Location: Cheshire UK


Return to Punch Workshop

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron