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Costume Construction

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2017
Fain Fine Arts Center
Days & Times

MW 11:00 am - 12:20 pm

Elizabeth James Lewandowski (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

Course Objectives

This course is developed to bring the student to an understanding and development of  the technical skills necessary to build and create theatrical costumes in a healthy, safe environment and to document that work.  This will include the study of basic hand and machine sewing techniques, health and safety in the costume studio, fitting and alteration techniques, an understanding of fabrics and the basic modification thereof, and the documentation of the work.  This overview will enlighten the novice to the role of the costume technician.  These course objectives fulfill, in part or in full, the Department of Theatre Learning Outcomes.  The successful student will be able to:

v  Identify the costume studio personnel (Employability, Professionalism)

v  Understand the physical organization of the costume studio

v  Recognize and understand the safe use of costume studio materials, tools and equipment (Employability, Safety knowledge and Practice))

v  Identify the grainline of a fabric and modification techniques used in distressing fabric/garments  (Employability)

v  List the steps in the creation of a costume (Employability)

v  Demonstrate a command of a variety of hand and machine stitches (Employability, Theoretical/Conceptual Knowledge and Application)

v  Take accurate body measurements (Employability, Professionalism)

v  Create costume crafts  (Employability)

v  Photograph costume techniques and create a digital record of that work (Employability, Professionalism)


Grading Standards


Apron Project                                                                                                              25 points

Sewing Techniques                                                                                                     350 points      

Quilt Project                                                                                                               100 points

Lab Assignment                                                                                                         100 points

Dyeing/Distressing Project                                                                                          75 points

Attendance and Participation                                                                                    100 points

Quizzes                                                                                                                      100 points

Portfolio                                                                                                                     150 points

                                                                                                            Total points =1000

The primary emphasis for grading will be the individual projects.  Attentiveness, neatness and a healthy positive attitude can counterbalance beginning skill levels.  Your final grade will reflect your progress and the willingness with which you have embraced the process.

The class projects will strengthen skills and reinforce information covered in assigned readings and lectures.  All projects are due on the assigned date.  No projects will be accepted late.

Ten quizzes will be given during the course.  These will not be announced.  These quizzes may be written, a hands-on activity or a skill that should be mastered or a combination of the two.  An unexcused absence on the day of the quiz will prevent the student from being allowed to make up the quiz.  Make up quizzes will be more difficult than the one given in class.

Many days you will need your sewing kit in class.  I suggest that you bring it to school and lock it up in one of the Dressing Room lockers.  You can also use this locker for storing class supplies as needed.

Some days you will be required to wear specific dress to class i.e. grubby clothes for dyeing and distressing.  Appropriate dress on these days will be counted as a quiz grade.  Failure to dress appropriately will result in a grade of 0 for the quiz. 



Final Exam 12/11/2017 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Submission Format Policy Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

You are expected to do the assignments when they are assigned.  Failure to do so will result in an inability to keep pace.  All graded assignments should be submitted on or before the deadline.  Late assignments will not be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

You are expected to attend all classes.  Since lectures expand on assignments, missing class means missing important information.  This class is, by its nature, participatory.   Missing class means missing the chance to participate in your own education and the education of others in the class. The college policy allows for five and you die.  You are allowed five fifty minute absences beyond which you will be dropped from the class by the professor.  Attendance is taken at the beginning of the class.  The professor reserves the right to disallow counting a student present who is extremely late.   If you need to miss class due to a religious holiday, please see the professor as far in advance as possible.  If you need to miss class due to university-sponsored events such as field trips and sports, please see the professor as far in advance as possible.  You will be required to complete the assigned work on or before the due date, and you will be required to submit an official form from the university before your absence.  Please note that work, non-emergency medical and dental appointments, hangovers, intramural games, visitors from out of town, fixing your roommate’s computer, fraternity/sorority events, arguments with boyfriends/girlfriends and studying for other classes do NOT constitute excused absences. 

Other Policies

Dishonest work on homework or on examinations is a serious offense, as is plagiarism.  The university and the professor will not tolerate either one.  If either occurs, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.  The 2002-2003 Student Senate wrote and adopted the MSU Student Honor Creed.  The highlight of the creed is “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”  Enough said.

Students with disabilities or who are in need of special arrangements should see the professor as early as possible in the semester.   Please note that in order to qualify for consideration of special accommodations, the student must be registered with the MSU Office of Disability Services, and the professor must receive a memo on file from that office, along with the Special Accommodations Request form.

Social justice is one of MSU’s stated core values, and the professor considers the classroom to be a place where students will be treated with respect as human beings, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age or ability.  It is the professor’s expectation that ALL students be able to consider the classroom a safe environment.  Be civil at all times and focus on understanding the material being discussed.

            Cell phone use in class is prohibited.  If your cell phone goes off during a class you may be asked to leave the classroom and receive an absence for the day.  No texting. Again, you may be asked to leave the classroom.  Please don’t make this an issue, just turn off the phone during our class.  If other commitments are so pressing that they cannot wait until the end of the class session, it may be in the student’s best interests to reconsider the priority placed on being this class.  In any case, the professor reserves the right to ask you to leave immediately or to embarrass you mercilessly if your phone/pager/beeper/ etc. makes noise during class.

            Federal privacy law prohibits the professor from releasing information about students to certain parties outside of the university without the signed consent of the student.  Thus, in almost all cases the professor will not discuss students’ academic progress or other matters with their parents.  Please do not have them call.  Regardless of these important legal considerations, the professor’s general policy is to communicate with the students, not their parents, even when a student has signed a consent form.  College students are adults and are expected to behave accordingly.


            In short:  Be on time.  Be awake.  Be prepared.  Be engaged.  Ask questions.  Study.  Come ready to become a costume technician or stay home!


Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at