Something that is always on the mind of the ventriloquist while dressing their figure is if they should cut the clothing to accommodate the access to the head stick. This is a common thought and I myself have had to make the choice many times.
I scour the antique clothing stores and internet looking for vintage clothing to dress the figures in the Ventriloquist Central Collection. When I find a wonderful vintage suit or suit coat I just can’t bring myself to cut the jacket or suit coat to make access easy. I just slip my hand under . Of course I am not using the figures to perform so it really makes no difference.
On the other hand when I purchase clothing that is new I have no problem with making the cut to open it up. I have found though how to do it in a neat and easy manner. If you just use a regular scissors once the fabric is cut it will fray and get messy.
To alleviate this you should use a pinking shear which makes the cut with a triangular pattern. I also cut a slit about 10″ long then cut across both the top and bottom about 4″ so the cut looks like a capitol I. Then I use fabric glue and fold the flaps inward and glue them. Once dry,Iron the crease and you have a perfect opening to access the interior of the body.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2012 by Dan Willinger
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What I have done is have a seamstress put the opening in for me. That way it’s just the right size and is a finished opening that will not fray. It looks like a giant button hole. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can do it yourself. If not, then perhaps your wife, other relative, friend, etc., would do it for you. I’ve had it done to all my figures clothes. Works and looks nice.
I usually prefer not to cut the clothes for my figures (except soft figures) However, great tip Dan I never though of doing that.