Backstage tips and Tricks from a West end Costumier- How to cheat seamed tights

Dancers and actresses often need their costumes to multi-task, wearing a traditional pair of seamed tights if they are nylons, create saggy ankles- not a good look! Repro seamed tights are pretty sheer, and often performers are looking for more support in a pair of tights. Repro seamed tights are also expensive and hard to find in fuller figured sizes.

Many moons ago, i worked on a Canadian production of Show boat at the Prince Edward Theatre. Whilst there i learnt this sneaky trick for faking seamed tights, and i am currently doing this on the play i’m now working on in the West end. Whilst this trick doesn’t work for photographic shoots or film, as it doesn’t give the heel detail, it is a fab way to cheat a seam on a regular pair of support/dance and sheer tights.

You’ll need a  pair of tights with  pressed crease at the back like this pairBackstage tips and Tricks from a West end Costumier- How to cheat seamed tights

Grab a reel of thread that’s the colour of the “seam” you want to create. I used a rich brown, because I need the “seam” to stand out onstage

Set your machine stitch selector to Zig zag

Set the Stitch width to the Widest setting, and the length to a shortish one aprox 2

Stretching the tights as you sew, zig zag over the back edge of your tights from the hip to the heel.  This can take a little bit of practise, you don’t want the edge to be too fluted, or too tight. If the stitching is too tight it’ll break when worn.

Backstage tips and Tricks from a West end Costumier- How to cheat seamed tights

Although close up the seam looks “stitched, once stretched it really does create the illusion of a real seam!

Backstage tips and Tricks from a West end Costumier- How to cheat seamed tightsBackstage tips and Tricks from a West end Costumier- How to cheat seamed tights

 

Watch my video clip on this technique here

1 Comment

  • Peter

    02.08.2012 at 07:46

    Oh my goodness….you are one taeletnd lady!!!! You’ve inspired me to try something fun…..although I may need you to teach me how to put a zigzag stitch!!! Can’t wait to pick your brain:)