Terri Middleton first discovered the importance of being able to sew from her mother when she was growing up. She went on to major in fashion merchandising and do graduate studies in costume design. Her film credits include Forgiven, The Cross, and Secrets of the Heart.
When did you first learn to sew?
My grandma use to make us dolls and custom made Barbie clothes. It was not until many many years later I realized the value of those things. Later, my mother made our Easter dresses, my 8th grade graduation dress and my senior prom dress. I grew up in a a small town where the shopping was not all that great. My mother made it so I could have original clothes when it mattered most. So even before I learned to sew, they were my inspiration. I learned to sew some at home, home economics, and later college.
Tell us about your first original fashion or costume creation.
I made a dress for myself in my first flat patterning class and a genie costume in my first college theater job.
I have a BS in Fashion Merchandising and a year of Graduate Studies in Costume Design.
What was your first design-related job?
I assistant costume designed a play at the University of Idaho. It later went on tour and ended at the Kennedy Center.
I designed Forgiven, Secrets of the Heart, and The Cross.
Describe the role of a costume designer on a typical film project.
The costume designer’s role is to give the audience information to understand who the characters are. The choice of style, color, fabric and the way each costume is worn define a character, identify a place and time, and help tell the story. I am a creative collaborator that works to realize the director’s vision based on the script.
What do you consider your strength as a costume designer?
Creativity, visualization and the ability to speak through clothes. As the head of a department, I am a good leader. I lead by example, genuinely care about my department, have excellent budget and breakdown skills, time management, and 18 years of experience.
There is so much room for growth in faith based filming. For people like me this is not a hobby. It is a career. I think faith based films are ready to take a step up and be at the level of other films. I hope to bring my knowledge and experience to the table.