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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Ballroom Gowns ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Ballroom Gowns
Anyone make their own for competitions?
jvallee
jvallee
Intermediate
Member since 12/19/05
Posts: 41
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Date: 2/28/06 8:26 AM

Just wondering if anyone else competes in ballroom dancing and makes their own dresses (smooth and/or latin)?

I have been sewing my own for several years and have learned a lot - like best way to apply rhinestones and especially what not to do

Would love to share designs and other ideas.

katynairn

katynairn
Intermediate
International AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/3/03
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In reply to jvallee


Date: 2/28/06 10:04 PM

I've sewn a few for medal exams. Places to check out for info and discussions include: dancesportimage.com and dance-forums.com

redhead
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redhead
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Tennessee USA
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Date: 3/1/06 10:40 AM

I made a latin dress from black panne velvet with silver lame godets once. It was a good first effort I'd say.

AliceB
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AliceB
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Michigan USA
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Date: 3/2/06 5:15 PM

My DD dances competively in West Coast Swing where they all seem to wear plain black pants....b o r i n g. She loves costumes and we've talked about some latin which I could do the costuming for but she is still in college and just too busy to pursue another area right now. I'd love to see a thread with costume sewing ideas and techniques I could file away for when the day comes.
Alice

artzyval

artzyval
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Indiana USA
Member since 1/27/06
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Date: 3/2/06 5:29 PM

Right now I sew dance costumes for a modern dance company, which is kind of similiar, but not really. And I sewed a ton in college for student dance performances, usually ones that I was in. Not like being an Art major with a dance minor that usually included 8 hrs. of dance in one day was enough on my plate. I dont know how I made it through, but now that I am through I sure do miss it all! Anyways how do you set your rhinestones? We used a bedazzeler because we were on a college budget and that seemed like the best way to do it. My roommate my Sr. was a dancer too and she wanted her lead dancer to be draped in rhinestones! I think I was stoneing up to the performance. Talk about stress, and I was in the piece too! Luckily the modern dance group likes things simple and usually wants no trim.

jvallee
jvallee
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Date: 3/5/06 11:27 AM

The types of dresses I am talking about can be seen at Acapulco Paradiso

MichelleE
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MichelleE  Friend of PR
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 2/7/03
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Date: 3/6/06 7:55 PM

Yes, actually I do. I made one for a friend of mine and I decided to make a few more and sell them. It's been a long process of trial and error. Stretch fabrics, chiffon, elastic - if you are into sado masochism, this is a good avenue! Just kidding, but one dress does require a lot of work and a lot of material to get that flowy bottom. I start with a master pattern and work from there. Currently I am fashioning a dress after one I saw on Dancing With the Stars. Rhinestones are flatback Swarovski crystals and are individually glued on. Most dresses use at least 20 gross of stones (!), although I am noticing a trend to use less stones lately, thank goodness because the biggest expense comes from purchasing the stones! I find some of the styles very gaudy and I am trying to not go there in my designing! I even started a blog documenting my progress Sew Now What
There are a lot of intricacies with a dress - a built in bodysuit is a must and different hemming techniques, such as using horsehair braid for extra 'swingyness'

------
Sewing With Attitude
http://www.kissmystitch.com

MichelleE
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MichelleE  Friend of PR
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California USA
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Date: 3/6/06 8:26 PM

By the way, I forgot to mention that I would LOVE to share ideas, exchange information etc. I am not a dancer myself but I have learned a lot about construction, yet a lot is still a mystery to me!

------
Sewing With Attitude
http://www.kissmystitch.com

jvallee
jvallee
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Date: 3/8/06 11:11 AM

the dresses on MichellE's bog are great!

I dance American style smooth (foxtrot waltz tango) so I try to make my skirts a full double circle (I'd atach pix but I don't know how on this msg board). Latin dresses are the same for international and american style. Yes they can be pretty skimpy esp if you are a pro.

I have been dancing competitively 7 years and have experimented a LOT! (My dance dress stash fills up 2 double dressers!)

I finally hava a master pattern (used KK). It's the first one I've found that STARTS with princess lines and goes all the way down to the hipline.

My most useful discovery re putting on rhinestones is to buy a bottle of fabric paint called Scribble (from michael's), empty the paint and use the bottle to dispense glue. It's a soft plastic bottle with a tiny tip. Also use Orthodontic wax aka dental wax pressed onto the end of a 6 inch skinny dowel (you could use a pencil). It has just the right stickiness to it to pick up the rhinestones. Loved your idea of the hairdryer to soften glue. I have recovered many rhinestones from dresses I'm no longer going to wear.

I also discovered that you MUST have a snug sleeve. Armscyce must come right up to armhole. That way bodice is not pulled when you raise your arms.

Another thing I read about years ago was about color - the brighter (think neon) the better. Gotta catch the judge's eye...

I'm sure I'll think of other things...

jvallee
jvallee
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Date: 3/8/06 2:24 PM

I did think of something else :-)
i use paper tape like you find in the first aid aisle when altering patterns. You can reposition & write on it.

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