Interview with: A COSTUME MAKER

Our ‘Interview With’ series speaks to people in varying careers to ask about their role and how they got there, to inspire others who may be at the stage of picking a career, or switching up their current one.

This week we interviewed a costume maker who works in the theatre industry and heard about the busy day to day goings-on that happen behind-the-scenes…

  • WHAT IS YOUR JOB TITLE?

Costume maker

  • HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING SINCE LEAVING FULL-TIME EDUCATION?

10 years

  • WHAT ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR IN YOUR ROLE?

Drafting patterns and cutting fabric to construct costumes for the Theatre

  • WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WORKDAY LOOK LIKE?

It depends what stage of the production we are at. I work within a team to create all the costumes needed for a show. Typically I will chat with a designer about what they want, draft patterns, cut the patterns out of the correct fabric, talk to the wardrobe assistant about how the costume could best be constructed and attend fittings to make sure the costume fits correctly

At a later stage, I may be in technical rehearsals and will be making notes on the costumes to make sure they are correct

  • WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?

Bringing a design to life

  • WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE LOOKING TO GET INTO YOUR INDUSTRY?

Be prepared to work hard. You may have to work unsociable hours but it’s an incredible industry to be a part of

  • WHAT ARE THE MAIN QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED FOR YOUR ROLE/INDUSTRY?

That’s the beauty of it you don’t need any. If you want to work in costume you can start as a ‘dresser’ and not need any formal qualifications

A degree is desirable but not essential

  • WHO WAS YOUR ROLE MODEL GROWING UP?

A ‘dresser’

  • IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF ANY ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I wish I had pushed harder to be taught costume construction

  • PAY RANGE IN £ (TOTAL PACKAGE): 

A = up to 20k
B = 21-30k <<<<*
C = 31-50k
D = 50-70k
E = 70k +

*It’s worth noting that this is specific to the Theatre industry, however similar roles in the TV and film industry are paid a lot more.