Blog

When it comes to group & team costumes style matters!
March 25th, 2010

As with an everyday wardrobe some styles can look great on some people and not so good on others. Certain styles can be slimming and complimentary while others can really accentuate areas of the body that some people would prefer not to, and this is very important when you are looking to dress people in stretch fabrics as its clingy nature can tend to do exactly that, but even with the use of stretch fabrics designing a costume with those factors in mind can be easily overcome and well worth the effort for all involved.

So when you are looking to outfit a group or team careful consideration should be given to the body types and sizes of the performers in the group, this holds especially true for activities such as dance and synchronized skating, as you can have large groups and considerable variances in sizes and shapes to deal with and it’s often not realistic or possible to sort your groups by size. So the costume you would love to order may not be the right costume for everyone in the group so consideration in this area is very important. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great looking costume but it may mean some revisions to give you the same end result in a different way.

For example, let’s say you have a member in your group that has a body type known as an apple shape (includes oval and diamond shapes) you would try not to put that person into a costume that has the following elements or you will actually exaggerate their appearance….

•Clingy fabrics
•Fitted costumes
•Fabrics with large patterns
•High necklines
•Large lapels
•Belts
•Tucked-in style tops
•Pleats
•Narrow or tapered skirts
•Narrow or tapered pants

Now of course there’s different do’s and don’ts for all body types and far too many for us to list here, but when we do a design for a group we try to take into account the shapes and sizes of the members of that group to produce costumes that are the most flattering to everyone involved.

We invite you to consult with us and use our knowledge, experience and resources and you’ll find we can be instrumental with your costume planning, you’ll enjoy the process and at the same time you’ll find that your groups will appreciate your sensitivity to their costumes and you will ultimately end up with better looking costumes regardless of the assortments of body types involved.

Costume ideas often start as bits and pieces of information…
March 23rd, 2010

Its fun, exciting and sometimes frustrating but coming up with ideas for new costumes can be tricky for some. Often we receive ideas from clients as bits and pieces of information and it’s our job to put those pieces together into a visual rendition and to tell you the truth the process is fun because it’s so creative.

We absolutely love it when we create a design and we hear ‘Wow – that’s exactly what I was thinking!’ No we’re not psychic and we can’t read your mind but after doing what we do for so long in some ways perhaps we are. Essentially we take your pieces of information and we add the missing pieces into the design to create a picture of what you have in mind and it works very well, in fact it works so well that 99% of all designs we create are approved without requiring revision. Got some ideas? Well let’s get creative and we’ll help you bring those ideas together. Don’t be frustrated let’s have fun!

I didn’t know you can make that!
March 23rd, 2010

As costume makers we often receive inquiries as to whether we can make just about anything and a lot of times we are asked if we can make custom made mainstream apparel, well the answer to that is absolutely we can!

In many cases designing and manufacturing costumes is more complex than traditional apparel, so for us to create and produce different forms of garments be it custom jackets, track suits, active wear, dresses or just about any other form of apparel, yes we can certainly do that and it’ll be affordable, unique and of course will have a custom fit.

Whether you need just 1, 100 or 1,000 or more we would be happy to quote on your need’s. Please contact us.for more information.

Will your ideas work? – Our designs will make sure they do!
March 23rd, 2010

So you’re looking for a costume and you have some ideas and need someone to pull those ideas together into a costume that looks and feels terrific to wear and most importantly will perform flawlessly. Well costume designing requires more than creating great looking costumes and two factors that are critical to the design process are consideration of construction and fabrics. When we look to create a design we have to consider if the costume can be constructed in a way that is functional to wear and will look as good on the body as it does on paper and we also have to be sure that the fabrics used will allow the costume to work the way it’s supposed to.

If you’re performing in high intensity routines or competition we need to be sure the costume responds with complete freedom of movement to the extremes of the activity, this takes into account how the costume is made and the stretch tolerance or restrictions of the fabrics being used. Other factors include the placement of additional support, need for reinforcement of high stress areas, if and where to put lining, use of appliqués, and trims and any other elements that could hinder the performer and activity. So all things considered In most cases we can make your ideas into a reality and if we can’t, we’ll show you suggestions on how the costume can be made so that we retain your ideas in appearance by modifying the design for you where necessary to achieve a costume that can withstand the activities you choose to wear it for.

Proposed H.S.T. has no impact on costume pricing
March 22nd, 2010

Starting July 1, 2010 in Canada the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia will introduce a Harmonized Sales Tax (H.S.T.) essentially replacing the current 5% G.S.T. and 8% P.S.T. with a 13% H.S.T. In Ontario costumes have always been subject to G.S.T. and P.S.T. so this change will have no direct impact on the cost of costumes. International buyers are currently exempt from these taxes and will continue to be exempt from Canadian sales taxes.

Making your own costume? Consider this…
March 19th, 2010

When we first started our business we never imagined needing a help line but at least once a week we hear of unfortunate stories of costume nightmares, usually panicked parents and performers who have gone the route of attempting to make their own costume for the first time or relying on a seamstress who is not trained in the art of making costumes and the specialty fabrics they are generally made of. Now to their shock they are facing an important performance, appearance or competition and their costume doesn’t look or fit right and time is quickly running out.

Costumes are a highly specialized form of clothing and the main component that requires professional skills is the use and blends of stretch fabrics. Working with stretch fabrics is very different than working with regular fabrics; in fact they are so different that even if you have a good understanding of traditional garment making you are in for quite the challenge when it comes to working with stretch fabrics. Here are some basic questions you would need to ask yourself or your seamstress…

– Can you find a pattern or would you know how to make/modify a ‘stretch’ pattern?
– How complex is the design?
– How much sewing skill do you have with stretch fabrics?
– Do you have the ‘right’ equipment? A single needle machine is not enough!
– Do you have an easy-to-fit body shape?
– Do you know how to take ‘proper’ measurements?
– If you are making more than one costume do you know how to grade?
– Do you want to use different fabrics with different stretch properties?
– Do you buy 1-way, 2-way or 4-way stretch and can you use them in combination?
– What stretch fabrics are problematic?
– Will you be using stretch trims and how will they impact the fit?
– How important to you is the quality, look and fit of the finished product?

If you’re confident that you or your seamstress can tackle the task then making your own costume can be fun and will save you money, if however you are not confident then this is a task best left to professionals who have the equipment and know-how to construct these specialty garments.

Gently used costumes can find a new home!
March 19th, 2010

So your teenage child has been in their activity for many years and you now have closets or boxes full of gently used costumes. Of course you were saving them for sentimental reasons thinking that one day your daughter may want to keep them and show to her children, but that doesn’t look likely now and as they continue to collect dust the time has come to part with them and the best possible scenario would be for them to find a new home. Costumes have an interesting but generally short life, that’s not to say you can’t get a lot of wear out of them it’s just that the activity or competition they were designed for is so short lived. If we look at dance for example, a competitive studio dance costume is worn perhaps an average of three times totalling maybe 10 minutes or so, a very short life for a sometimes elaborate costume.

Custom costumes are often theme based and made to a specific size so finding a new home for them can be a bit tricky but certainly not impossible. So what do you do? Free classified web sites such as Craigslist are a great place to start and if you have an account with an auction house such as eBay, you may want to consider listing them in what is known as ‘lots’ where you are selling groupings or all of them as one batch. Listing them individually can be a bit tedious and depending on what someone may be willing to pay for them may not be worth it considering you will have selling fees to pay. Either way some good pictures and descriptions especially as they relate to size and condition should find you some buyers, which will return you some cash and free closet space of which both can always come in handy.

Spring into gear with Kats Designs
March 18th, 2010

Looking for a great custom costume at a great price? Look no further! We’ll design and create any style or theme of costume you desire and with our Spring 2010 promotion, you’ll save an additional 10% off your order and receive double Crystal Credits. Order deadline June 20th. 2010 (last day of Spring) to qualify. Also receive free shipping on your order.

Free Shipping on summer 2010 deliveries!
March 11th, 2010

S1000Place an order with us for a required date of June, July or August and receive free standard shipping.  Custom orders must be placed and confirmed by no later than July 16th. 2010 to qualify.

Free shipping applies to individual orders over $100.00 shipped to one location within North America or the United Kingdom.

Custom Design of the month!
March 1st, 2010

resized_RD1056_rszMarch’s Design – Rhythmic Leotard

Our feature custom rhythmic leotard for March is available in any color and fabric combination of your choice. The rhythmic leotard, appliqués and inlays are all hand crafted.  Crystals shown are optional and all of our leotards are custom made to an individual’s specific measurements.   

You can also view more designs in our Rhythmic Gallery and some of our past work in our Rhythmic Portfolio.

Our feature rhythmic leotards qualify for our Leo Club® and Crystal Credits® programs. For further information please contact us.