John Merritt III
Costume Designer · Crafts Artisan· Wardrobe Supervisor· Stitcher

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I first started sewing in the shop my first semester at USI, Fall 2014 where I was introduced into the costume shop by my professors and staff. I started sewing several projects for our shows at USI, and have gained further stitching experience over the years. From building basic skirts to more structured skirts, dresses, and even corsets are all in my experience of Stitching. I can also perform basic alterations to more challenging ones, such as an inseam reset on a pair of men's trousers for our production of Our Town. I also have basic knowledge of how to use sergers, and I have experience on industrial machines. 

Five Gore Tucked Skirt for Our Town  by Thorton wilder

Costume Designer: Rachel Clark 

I was asked to create a five fore skirt for Mrs. Webb in our production of Our Town. I cut and measured all the pieces, and atttached the center backs/sides together. After this, I then was asked to create four tucks along the side seams/center backs of the skirt. The front panel was the only panel that did not have these tucks. After I attached the front panel (which had to fit appropiately after tucks were set), I attached the plackets to the center back seam, and placed gathers along the skirt. After this step I then attached the waist band.  I followed this process twice through the muslin mockup and to the real skirt. 

Mock-Up Process 

4 tucks placed on center back sides and side seams. 

Attaching center front to lined up tucks. 

Placket attachment

Skirt center front view

Skirt Side view

Real Skirt 

Creating the Center back Seam

Close up of four tucks. 

Pressing seam of Center back

Attaching front panel to tucked sides of skirt. 

Pinning One tuck across skirt. 

Attaching plackets. 

Front View in Fitting. 

Back view of Tucks. 

*Production Photos coming soon*

Stepsister Dresses for Into The Woods 

Costume Designer: Jill Kelly 

Summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to work along side Beef And Board's Dinner Theatre's costume designer, Jill Kelly. I was a shop assistant and design assistant for her that summer, and I helped her build several dresses/ items for their fall production of Into The Woods. 

Cutting and Attaching the main skirts of the dresses. 

Cutting and Attaching the underskirts. 

Attaching Bodice Pieces together/Flatlining them to coutil. 

Flatling/Serging them together. Placed on Dress form.                              Front View                                     Back View

                       Pinning tucks/Attaching to bodice                                        

Attaching Sleeves/Flounce                                                                                             Detail shots of bodice

Attached Ball Trim along sleeves and neckline. Final Results 

Production Photos 

Men's Regency Vest for Arcadia 

Costume Designer: Shan Jensen

Spring of 2016, I made a men's regency vest in for Septimus in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. The vest included building two welt pockets, which I hd never done before. 

Production Costume Shot                                  Attaching Lining to Vest                                       Welt Pocket Close-Up

Views of Vest

Other Sewing Projects/Builds 

Fall 2015, Girls Dress for Grapes of Wrath 

Marge Simpson Tube/Princess Seam Dress for Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play 

Production Photo