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Dance dresses
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Celticstitcher
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Celticstitcher
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UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 5/12/12 2:29 PM

Folks, has anyone got any experience in making dresses for ballroom or latin dancing?

I've been asked to make some for 3-7 year olds and can't find a pattern. I've roughed up one using a basic leotard and circular skirt with fishing line!! through the hem, and now have one someone else has made to copy.

I feel like I'm making it up as I go along and wonder of anyone else has found patterns or got any tips.

Ta
Hazel

michelle_01
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michelle_01
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Date: 5/12/12 3:27 PM

I've made dance dresses for little girls and I wasn't able to find any patterns. I just ended up drafting and grading them myself. It's not too difficult b/c they don't have as many curves as women and the knit fabrics are pretty forgiving. I did run into some problems grading for the plus size girls (you can't just grade up a size like you normally would), but it was a good learning experience.

When I was researching patterns, I came across this site:

https://specialtysportswear.com/4-catalog_pages/catalog.php

I didn't end up using them, but they may be worth looking into.

ETA:

Also, during the design process, its a good idea to see their dance if you can. The whole thing about dance costumes (IMO) is how does it move. If there's a lot of turns, you may want to make a full and twirly skirt, or if there's a lot of arm movements, you may want to make a drapy sleeve detail. You don't have to worry about intricate pattern details because that won't really show.
-- Edited on 5/12/12 3:38 PM --

SheBear0320
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In reply to Celticstitcher <<


Date: 5/12/12 3:28 PM

PR member tourist designs and sews her ballroom dancing gowns -- she has a blog where she has been posting about her most recent creations.

tourist's blog

I'm sure she'll be along to offer some advice.


------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
66.0 yards sewn (as of 09/27/14)
133.875 yards purchased (as of 09/27/14)

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 5/12/12 7:30 PM

There's also a whole (quite long!) thread somewhere on the boards about ballroom dresses (try a search. IIRC, the title is something like, "Does anyone make their own ballroom gowns?")... and loads of PR members who sew skating dresses for their daughters, so I'm sure you'll find lots of advice and information here!

ETA: Found it! All 29 pages' worth!!
http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=12944
-- Edited on 5/12/12 7:32 PM --

------
~Gem in the prairie

Celticstitcher
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Date: 5/13/12 7:43 AM

Thank you so much guys, I'll check these out, I've managed to draft a simple pattern from a smaller dress, so I'll see how it turns out.

Good advice about watching them dance, I'll try to get along next week when their wearing the dresses.

Hazel x

SheBear0320
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In reply to Celticstitcher <<


Date: 5/13/12 10:03 AM

Most of the dresses I sew are skating dresses and whenever possible I do what I call an "on-ice fitting" -- things can look and move quite differently than you expect once they are on the stage/ice and in motion.

For my long distance clients we do the "on-ice" via video if necessary.

If you are looking for patterns for smaller dresses, you may want to look to Kwik Sew or Jalie for their skating dress patterns -- they could provide you with a base for developing your patterns as well as valuable construction techniques. The Jalie patterns have a variety of sizes from small girls to women's in each pattern which may help you a lot. The older Kwik Sew patterns have similar designs for both girls and womens.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you make out.



------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
66.0 yards sewn (as of 09/27/14)
133.875 yards purchased (as of 09/27/14)

tourist
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In reply to SheBear0320 <<


Date: 5/13/12 11:22 AM

Well that sounds like a great project You are certainly on the right track as the leotard and circle skirt is a perfect start and you could go for years just doing variations on that. We are at a competition right now and there are several vendors with spectacular gowns. I will try to post links when we get home.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

Celticstitcher
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Date: 5/13/12 4:44 PM

I have just spent hours reading through the previous thread, wow! what talented people we have on here

I've learned almost all I need and have posted a question on there.

Thank you so much for your help, and Tourist I look forward to seeing those pics

Hazel x

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