Ballet AZ Blog

Behind The Scenes with Ballet Arizona’s Costume Shop

Featuring Costume Director Leonor Texidor

Photo of Maria Simonetti and Leonor Texidor.

How many individuals are on the Ballet Arizona Costume staff?

[LT] For Ballet Arizona, it depends on the production that we are currently working on. Typically, it ranges from about 5 to 10 people in our costume shop. We have a dedicated team of staff and volunteers that help out.

How many sewing machines are used?

[LT] We have a lot of sewing machines. In total we have 14. Each sewing machine can do different styles of stitching. A basic home sewing machine has straight, zigzag, overcasting, knit, stretch, blind hem, buttonhole, satin, edge, and a locking stitch. With our models of the sewing machine, you will find more decorative and advanced stitching options.

Is there a preference of a sewing machine compared to hand sewing?

[LT] Personally, there is not a preference over machine or hand sewing. It all depends on the costume, and the type of work we do for the piece. Some things are done on the sewing machines, and other things are done by hand. Most of the finishing work is sewed by hand. Every individual detail and stitch are important.

Do you have a favorite costume that you have worked on in the costume shop?

[LT] We have so many costumes, it’s too hard to pick! All of them are my favorites. We have to do everything with love, otherwise they aren’t going to look good. With all that love, and effort put into each piece, it makes it impossible to pick only one as a favorite.

How are costumes cleaned with all the tulle and beading?

[LT] Some of them we can wash by hand very carefully, not all of them. For the ones that we can’t, we send to a special cleaner that works with costumes and clothes that have beading.

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