We're just days away from Gasparilla, a Tampa tradition dating back for more than a century. More than 50 krewes of pirates are poised to invade Bayshore Boulevard come Saturday, and you better believe they'll be dressed for the occasion.
An invasion is already in the making at Tatiana Bazanov's South Tampa tailoring shop. Her sewing machines are busy building the one-of-a-kind costumes of some of Gasparilla's pirates.
"They are all absolutely individually made for each person," Bazanov said Wednesday.
Tailors spend countless hours working with feathers, fringe, and the wildest of fabrics.
"We have a lot of silk, a lot of cotton, and heavy duty fabric," Bazanov said.
The custom-made creations take some time to construct. Pirates bring in their bounty of material and trim months in advance. As for those extravagant patches, they showcase the pirate's personality and history in their krewe.
Once the last stitch is sewn and fabric is treated with a few finishing touches, pirates are handed over their handmade creations.
"It's exciting. When they try it on, it's definitely a big smile on their face," Bazanov said.
While it's a tedious job, it's one Tatiana's bunch is proud to do as the tailors of some of Gasparilla's best-dressed pirates.
"It's definitely unique and nice to be part of it," she said.
The Gasparilla Day Parade begins at 2 o'clock on Saturday.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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