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Carolyn’s Costume Design Experience

Carolyn, 77, from Portland, Oregon grew up on a farm in Illinois. Growing up, she sewed all of her own clothes. Carolyn has given back to others throughout her life through her passion for design and sewing. As an adult, she would make outfits, dresses and costumes for her children as a hobby—she even made prom dresses for her daughter, Amy, and friends in high school. Anytime anyone said that they needed some type of clothing or costume, Carolyn would make it.

When Carolyn’s husband passed away suddenly at the young age of 39, Carolyn continued to follow her passion for design while supporting her family. She became a wardrobe designer for the Des Moines Ballet for about 10 years. “She helped create masterpieces that made the shows come alive,” said Amy.  After her time with the Des Moines Ballet, Carolyn used her creativity by working part time in theaters, alterations and bridal gowns.

Today, Carolyn is very intrigued with the new fabrics and textiles in the modern sewing world and dreamed of seeing how new, modern costumes are designed and put together. Wish of a Lifetime and the Vital Life Foundation were excited for Carolyn to have a behind the scenes experience with the wardrobe designers of Cirque Du Soleil, one of her favorite shows with unique costumes. Carolyn visited Cirque du Soleil’s “Toruk – The First Flight.” Cirque du Soleil provided Carolyn with a tour of the wardrobe, closet where she got to see all of the amazing costumes that are used in the show, as well as assist in some sewing tasks! After her special wardrobe tour, Carolyn and Amy attended the show.

Photo Credit: Beth Olson, Beth Olson Creative

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