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Nashville Ballet

First Hand

Nashville Ballet


Job Summary

The First Hand’s main focus is to oversee the daily operations of the Costume Shop and the draping, patterning, creation and execution of all costumes for all Company, NB2 and School of Nashville Ballet productions including, but not limited to, management of cutters and stitchers, supply ordering, fittings, and serving as liaison to the artistic staff and dancers.  The First Hand works closely with the Costume Shop Manager, Artistic Director, and Director of Production to coordinate all costume needs well in advance of each production for the main Company, NB2 and School of Nashville Ballet.

Job Responsibilities

  • The First Hand shall be responsible for taking the lead in the draping and patterning, and build of costumes, accessories and costume props for Nashville Ballet Company and NB2 performances. 
  • Serves as the communication link for designers, Costume Shop Manager, and costume shop staff.
  • Fabricate and/or correct patterns for costumes as needed.
  • Assist in the preparation, shipping, and receiving all incoming and outgoing rentals of costumes.
  • Determining and ordering fabric yardage, trim, notions and embellishments as needed.
  • In collaboration with the Costume Shop Manager, schedules work-weeks, delegates specific show assignments, sets and maintains deadlines, establish long-term planning for the costume shop.
  • Provides leadership, coordination, and planning of day-to-day operations of the costume shop.
  • Calculates yardage estimates and needs (notions, zippers, etc.) for each costume.
  • Performs drafting or draping of costume pieces for rendered designs.
  • Tailors or alters costumes, as needed.
  • Supervises and/or conducts fittings as needed, as well as executing any alterations or notes generated in the fitting.
  • Assists in the restocking or reorganization of costume warehouse and other storage areas.
  • Attends rehearsals, dress rehearsals and preview performances to take costume notes, as


  • Attends all costume shop meetings.
  • Cleans and maintains costume shop equipment
  • Stocks and monitors shop supplies.
  • Maintains a safe, healthy, and clean work/shop environment.
  • Assist in the preparation and upkeep of all paperwork with regards to the costume shop:  inventories, costume plots, accessory lists, show bibles, etc.
  • Attendance at production meetings and studio rehearsals to have a working knowledge of the performances; attendance at technical rehearsals and performances as needed or assigned.
  • Assist the Costume Shop Manager in the pulling, restocking, fitting and altering costumes for all appearances, photo shoots, recitals and other events for marketing, special events, the School of Nashville Ballet and community engagement.
  • Serve in a wardrobe run crew capacity as needed.
  • Performs other related work, as required.


Work Requirements and Qualifications:

Education: Minimum of BA or BFA in costuming or similar arts education or equivalent professional experience to be considered to be an expert in this field.  Professional portfolio of construction, draping and patterning.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated proficiency in flat patterning and draping
  • Knowledge of a variety of costume construction techniques
  • Knowledge of and experience in basic hand and sewing techniques.
  • Knowledge and experience in both men’s and women’s tailoring techniques
  • Understanding of period shape and how to adapt it to theatrical costumes
  • Experience working with and patterning for stretch fabrics
  • Good working knowledge of costume history as well as fabric types and uses.
  • Excellent hand and machine sewing techniques
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and reprioritize.
  • Working knowledge or various sewing machine, sergers and other tools of the trade.
  • Basic shoe painting and dyeing.
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel and Outlook.

Experience: minimum of 3-5 years in a costuming position with demonstrable patterning and draping work or extensive build work.

Equipment: Knowledge of various sewing machine and tools used in a costume shop and the safe use of each. Basic knowledge of general office equipment.

Additional Information


Health/dental/vision insurance, 401k, paid vacation and sick time

How to Apply

Please send cover letter and resume to careers@nashvilleballet.com with “First Hand” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.


  • Date Posted: June 3, 2021
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Other
  • Service Area: Arts / Culture