How would you equip and arrange a new costume shop?

wfactd

Member
I work at a Junior College and am seeking advice on how best to layout and equip a new costume shop. It will be built as part of a larger expansion project of our existing fine arts building and is expected to be around 800 SF. We do not currently offer costuming classes, nor de we have a costumer, however, we want to set the room up as if we did. It’s all about future proofing where possible. As part of the 800 SF we are asking for a fitting / changing room, laundry room w/ limited dying capacity, and office.

So given these few parameters, how would you equip this costume shop? What items are must haves, luxuries, and dream items? Eventually we are going to have to cut items, but before we get there I want to plan for the ultimate costume shop. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. If you have photos or floor plans that you could provide that would be amazing. Thanks!

P.S. We are working with a Consultant on this project. Also, I will be posting similar posts for a scene shop, project room, and black box, so if you can help with those areas as well please do so.
 

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Storage is the bigger fight. Good costume storage is worth its weight in gold. I hope that the 800sqf does not include stock storage.

Ideally, you'd have few 4'x8' standing height cutting/pattern drafting tables. They should be on wheels and have muslin stretched over foam. Next to that you have a good ironing station. Next to that you have your machine stations. Next to that you usually have a few round tables that students can work on projects at... button sewing, pinning cut items, etc. (Throw a radio blasting Christian music in and you have my college costume experience!)

Beyond that, a good storage area for findings, a good storage area for interfacing, a good storage area for patterns, etc. Washer and dryer are critical, 2 of each is preferred. If you are aiming high, a dye vat is a big deal. You also need a spot for wig prep and a wig dryer.

800sqft sounds like a lot but for this is might actually not be.
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia

wfactd

Member
Storage is the bigger fight. Good costume storage is worth its weight in gold. I hope that the 800sqf does not include stock storage.

Ideally, you'd have few 4'x8' standing height cutting/pattern drafting tables. They should be on wheels and have muslin stretched over foam. Next to that you have a good ironing station. Next to that you have your machine stations. Next to that you usually have a few round tables that students can work on projects at... button sewing, pinning cut items, etc. (Throw a radio blasting Christian music in and you have my college costume experience!)

Beyond that, a good storage area for findings, a good storage area for interfacing, a good storage area for patterns, etc. Washer and dryer are critical, 2 of each is preferred. If you are aiming high, a dye vat is a big deal. You also need a spot for wig prep and a wig dryer.

800sqft sounds like a lot but for this is might actually not be.
Costume storage is slated to be separate and around 200 SF. I’m going to ask for a slight increase in that, maybe 250 SF. Our consultant recommended a carousel solution to maximize space, especially if we need to limit our square footage. I like the idea of a carousel though it doesn’t solve all problems.

Do you know if there are commercially available solutions for the cutting / pattern tables or is that something normally just purpose built? It will be easy to overwhelm ourselves with projects as part of this expansion so I’ll be trying to stick with turneky solutions where possible.

I’m curious about the two sets of washer / dryers. Is that due to quantity of items to be cleaned or is one reserved for dying? Im on the fence on the dye vat, it would be awesome to give costumers the option but don’t think it’s something that would get much use. One of our freelance costumers recommended a stove / hot plate saying that would be plenty for what we typically do. That mentality doesn't really follow the future proofing mantra though.
 

NJLX

Active Member
If you're planning for any dye capabilities at all, you need to plan for a separate space, with adequate ventilation(not just a corner of the room). Ask your consultant if they have experience in this, otherwise it's worth checking out https://artscraftstheatersafety.org/

A dye room is basically a chemistry lab - you need proper ventilation, storage, and disposal of potentially hazardous chemicals, and need to provide PPE and training.(up to OSHA standards, at a minimum)
 

Benjamin Fink

Active Member
Ideally, you'd have few 4'x8' standing height cutting/pattern drafting tables. They should be on wheels and have muslin stretched over foam. Next to that you have a good ironing station. Next to that you have your machine stations. Next to that you usually have a few round tables that students can work on projects at... button sewing, pinning cut items, etc. (Throw a radio blasting Christian music in and you have my college costume experience!)
What type, thickness, and density of foam would you recommend for this? We are looking to resurface our cutting tables and replace the old homasote that is there. Our plan was to just directly replace with a new sheet of homasote, but if there's a better option I'd love to do it the right way instead.
 

Users who are viewing this thread