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About mcgrewsadmin

Big fan of all art forms, systems theories, cultural studies, fantasy and sci-fi, costume and fashion history, monsters, essays, novels, biographies, films, politics and most music.

“Butt Bumper” Commercial Costume and Props Design: FiftyFilms

We built and installed the visual joke that sells The Advocates’ message in FiftyFilms’ hilarious 2015 commercial.

 

 

 

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McGrews’ production designer Hraefn Wulfson vacu-formed a real bumper several times, laminated all the pulls together, then attached them to a custom wooden frame.

After some choice rumpling, primer and some chrome paint, he treated the tail lights to some fun effects as well – – one broken and one flashing- akin to how your own car’s tail lights would be after an accident.

 

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Costume designer Jen with actress Cherie wearing a corset (underneath her blouse). Two specialty plastic gun holster clips sewn to the corset’s back hold the bumper’s strap in place, as Cherie does her grocery shopping, knocking merchandise off the shelves.

 

The commercial’s unmistakable message: Some accidents just follow you around and keep causing trouble unless your lawyers are The Advocates!

 

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Our thanks to everyone on the FiftyFilms production crew. This was a fun design challenge plus a most entertaining shoot that kept us constantly laughing:)

Custom Irish Dance Costumes: BYU

Have you witnessed “Christmas Around the World”?? Absolutely stunning. BYU Folk Dance Program’s amazing production had me in tears during several of the performances (the Samba, in particular– ask me about it sometime and I’ll try to describe how amazing it is– and the Irish dance, of course, had my DNA vibrating at a particularly high frequency).

 

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THESE are the new Irish Dance costumes our shop made for these dedicated lovelies.

All-star performances from everyone and great leadership from champion Irish dance captain Victoria Ringer, Folk Dance faculty Jeanette Geslison and wardrobe manager Amy Handy. The program decided it was time for a costume redesign with a sparkly new look and feel, and we were thrilled to work with them to produce these.

 

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Mesmerizing, in performance at BYU’s Marriot Center

 

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Early prototype skirt in production. With mint green lycra underneath and sparkle netting. It was nixed when they decided their netting added too much fullness.

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Cutting circle skirts. You can usually identify which patterns our shop develops. Years ago. I bought a giant roll of red paper and we’ve been using it ever since.

 

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Sleeves. Being cut in three sizes.

 

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Tops of the bodysuits with zippers installed, inside out and ready for the black shorts to be attached. I loved how they reminded me of pelts.

 

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Fluffy skirts! 2 layers of mint silk chiffon over silver sparkle lycra.

 

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Yaz and Diane. Rhinestoning necklines.

 

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Diane. Ever methodical about her work.

 

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Fantastic attention to placement and detail by Diane and Yaz…

 

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Backstage at the Marriot Center for the Performing Arts-

 

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With Annie!

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So psyched (and grateful) that Eliza Crosby and Annie could come to dress rehearsal! Champion Highland Dancer Annie getting her pic taken with the whole BYU Scottish troupe. And me, too, — because of the Scots-Irish thing, of course…

 

Extra love to good elf helpers Eliza Crosby,Diane Thompson, Yazmine Tatiana and Michelle Marie. My superstars:) xo

 

Happy holidays everyone!

Custom Boots and Spats: Kris Kringle the Musical

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Holy tap-dancing elves!

 

In 2015 we made a bunch of custom elf boots plus some elf SPATS for Ohio production and costume designer Inda Blatch-Geib. She designed the new production, Kris Kringle the Musical, which premiered Friday, December 4th 2015 in Olmsted Falls.

 

 

Thank you Inda for giving McGrews a nice shout out in The Akron Beacon Journal http://www.ohio.com/entertainment/kerry-clawson/kris-kringle-is-a-rich-magical-world-of-color-texture-for-akron-costume-designer-1.643784

 

 

These stage production pics are from http://www.kriskringlethemusical.com/photos.html

 

 

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The lead dancer’s wearing elf boots. The rest are SPATS worn over their tap shoes!

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Great assistant and good helper elf, Peri C.  showing off our hard work!!

 

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A visitor is unexpectedly asked to model some boots in progress-

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Custom Superhero Costume: Littlest Wonder Woman – Josh Rossi Photography

Famous Photographer, Famous Daughter

 

 

A project that’s had 33 million views and counting as of January 2017.

 

When Jessica Alba, George Takei, and even the new Wonder Woman film director Patty Jenkins are talking about your work, trust us, it’s pretty cool.

 

McGrew Studios and Josh Rossi Photography have wanted to work together on a project for several years, and at last we finally have!

 

10/20/2016

 

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The convergence of his daughter Nellee’s 3rd birthday,  the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman, Halloween 2016, plus the new Wonder Woman movie trailer all culminated in a personal project for Josh that hit viral status within just several days.  As Josh told KSL TV in an interview at our studio, “All the trending buttons have been hit with both the timing and subject matter of his project,” (not to mention Full Time Photographer‘s original click-bait article title that waves a design and labor rate in readers’ faces).

 

 

Josh’s project has generated a BIG range of discussion, contention, admiration and even scorn– throughout comment threads on all the websites that have reposted the project or created their own new features about it.

 

At McGrews, we are naturally just agog at all this activity and very proud to have played our role in this fantastic project.

 

Some of the videos, articles and links:

 

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Nellee is one cool, three-year old superhero!

 

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Costume made by McGrews’ cartel members Jennifer McGrew with Diane Thompson, plus custom sword and shield by Randy Crit Killen. We love how great Josh’s photos make our work look:)

 

We made Nellee’s costume using several types of leathers along with worbla details, lacing, grommets and a variety of trimmings. We designed her leather bodice to be adjustable in the back as well as on the sides, because she will grow fast!

 

Her leather skirt pieces are sewn onto their own waistband which is attached under the bodice, and this whole element is alterable so it can also be adjused as she grows. Nelee’s armored spats lace up over her boots and should also endure two or more shoe-size increases. We made Nellee’s shoulder straps expandable, and for adjustability over time,  plus created her pauldrons to slide on her straps.

 

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Something Josh brought up after the KSL interview at our shop was the idea of creating and marketing patterns for kids’ costumes. Based on the overwhelming response to this project’s release on the web, it’s something we may seriously consider.

 

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We wanted this costume to be something that replicates the cinematic version and something that she’ll enjoy for a long time. We predict she may wear it until she is five or older!

 

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Would you like a pattern for this Wonder Woman costume that you could create for your own 2-4 year old? Tell us what you think.

 

Tags:

wonder woman toddler photography surreal kid photography child photography comic con photography comic con cosplay cosplay fashion wonder woman outfit marvel costume DC comics wonder woman costume dad spends $1500 on daughters costume josh rossi photography full time photographer

Props and effects wizard Crit Randy Killen’s process photos.
He made Nellee’s Wonder Woman sword and shield.

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Crit even made a cool bag for Nellee’s sword and shield.

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Johnny Killen helped his dad, Crit, with this project.

 

 

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Sword and shield delivered to Josh!

 

Follow and see more from Crit on Facebook-

Crotch Maintenance and Repair (NSFW?)

 

Here’s a jeans repair process that help soooo many people!

 

It’s not always glamour projects and new wardrobe in the costume studio! Favorite jeans and thunder thighs eventually lead to maintenance and repair situations. We perform quite a few of these procedures here!

 

I’m using my own jeans here to show you (this is Jen). And my jeans here are women’s 515 Levis. The butt area fabric is worn pretty dang thin and there are already some holes in the inner thigh areas.

 

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These repairs always remind me of making riding breeches and jodpurs with extra fabric on purpose in the seat and inner thigh, in advance of someone needing it.

 

First,  turn the jeans inside out. Stick a tailor’s ham underneath the crotch/butt area so it’s elevated and you’re staring straight down at it.  Flatten out each area at a time, then drape and trace some muslin pattern pieces for areas that need coverage and reinforcement. You can create your pattern piece’s mirror-image by folding the muslin in half, then cut.

 

Keep your new patch pieces as flat as you can, as well as the jeans’ crotch area.

 

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Be thrifty. Make your patches from legs of other recycled jeans that are a good color/texture match.

 

Below, I’ve already cut my first patch piece from recycled black denim and have glued it in place. I used barge cement because it was on the table and handy.  Almost any fabric glue will work. If you glue your pieces, it’s easier to stitch them on than if you’ve pinned them. Put some weights on them and let them set and dry before sew.

 

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To reinforce this butt area I’m making two of these pieces and I’m avoiding the jeans’ existing flat-felled seam areas here so the layers won’t be too bulky for my sewing machine.

 

You can feel the seams underneath the areas you’re tracing.  You get better results with multiple pattern pieces. They’ll lay flatter and you’ll achieve a better overall result.  A pants crotch/butt is a curvy area and there’s no way to do this with just one pattern piece!

 

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Below: All my patch pieces are cut out and glued down. You can see my chalk lines defining the shape and borders. I’m attempting perfect butt symmetry here.

 

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Now get your free-arm sewing machine threaded up in a matching color and stitch your patches on. Keep all your fabrics flat and pucker-free. It’s why you are applying two or more patches rather than one big patch.

 

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I straight-stitched them on, then went around a few times with a zig zag stitch. I want the patch edges to not curl up or fray. If your machine has a low gear like this great old Viking does, use your low gear in the bulkiest areas for more control, power and less chance of needle breakage.

 

Enjoy your repaired, reinforced jeans! This process is good for those old favorites where you (or your client) don’t mind a bit of frankenstein-ing.

 

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P.S.-

 

I’ve had these jeans for years and they’ve already been through some previous alterations.  I lowered the back pockets (which were too high on the booty) plus shortened and tapered the legs (which were too long and too wide).

 

When I removed my jeans’ back pockets to reattach them, I did this when they were new, so it’s almost impossible to see the previous stitching marks.

 

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When it comes to jeans, women seem to be pretty picky about what works for us and what doesn’t. I think it’s a universal refusal to unquestioningly accept whatever manufacturers put out there!

 

Maybe sometime in the future I’ll re-dye these jeans with some nice, intense intense fiber-reactive dye. That’ll get them nice and black again like when they were new!
My old faves…. sigh.

GIANT Convention Props: USANA 2016

USANA Supplement Bottles built by McGrew Studios’ production designer and props specialist Hraefn Wulfson. USANA annual convention 2016.

Precision cut foam pieces with plenty of sanding, assembly and a Screen Goo custom painting process to make the show’s 3-D projections look amazing.   Moved in this fun time-lapse video to the convention’s set location at downtown Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena with crew Paul and Eliza Crosby plus Mike Bishop.

Big Custom Steampunk Guns

 

One-of-a-kind steampunk weapon by our own Crit Killen. This fantastic piece won the “best elements” category in the Crown of Cogs Fashion Show at 2016’s Salt City Steamfest. Congrats, Crit!

Modeled during the show by our own Hraefn Wulfson.

Perhaps you’d like to have a version of your own?

Call us: 801-596-2210.

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Custom steampunk medals created and awarded by Fashion Show Coordinator Eden Lustgarden.

 

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Hraefn, gunslinging at the Exhibit of Victorian and Edwardian dresses and shoes provided for Steamfest by Salt Lake Community College Fashion Institute‘s Archival Collections.

Barf Pockets

Definitely as awesome as they sound.
Sometimes all a costume needs are the final detailed additions– in this case, new POCKETS!

Heroically, two pairs of khaki trousers sacrificed themselves to become the new pockets and dropseat we added to Bill’s existing coveralls.  Now he is the essence of “Barf” from Mel Brooks’ hilarious Spaceballs film.

Thanks, Bill for having us make your new pockets and for sharing your photos.

May the schwartz be with you!

Photos: Mark Loertscher Photography

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