Ballroom Dance > Sprucing up my Standard gown - sewing questions!

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by musicbrain, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    Back to my black latin dress - refresher - it is fitted and flared with godets inserted in the hem and trimmed with crinoline. Two questions:

    1. if I go for adding the underskirt, which would be same fabric, circle skirt attached to miniskirt attached to bodysuit, should I be trying to match the diameter of the hem of the topskirt, or go bigger? Idea is more movement, more swish, more fabulousness (the elusive dream of having a pro look costume :) The underskirt will have the same black crinoline trim for body.

    2. I like the look of what look like long straps attached at the shoulders, heavily stoned and framing / draping around the back opening, usually attached at the bottom or side of the opening - not sure what these things are called. Are they normally made of 1/4" covered elastic, or just a rolled tube of the dress fabric? I can't decide whether elastic is necessary to add body or will be too heavy.

    Thanks!

    Sania
     
  2. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    wow wow wow just SO pretty!! I wanted my niece to go for that length but she was adamant she wanted ankle length.
     
  3. datitmarsh

    datitmarsh Member

    Thank you so much! It was my first competition and I thought I had enough to be concerned about without worrying that I may step on my dress. It did move nicely I thought, as the top skirt is chiffon (with organza flowers my daughter made from multiple shades of blue)
     
  4. SwayWithMe

    SwayWithMe Well-Known Member

    Gorgeous!! Where did you get your satin trim?
     
  5. datitmarsh

    datitmarsh Member

    I ordered it from a guy on Etsy. I wanted satin bias and the guy sold it in 12 metre lengths. I also got a 50 metre roll of horsehair trim from the same guy.
     
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  6. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    FYI I have had great customer service with EEAGAL Trimming in LA - don't know if they have satin but they have lots of trimming options and definitely have crinoline
     
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  7. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    My fav source for crin trim is Hats by Leko. Amazing selection of colours and widths, wholesale prices and prompt service. There is a min order, but 2 rolls of trim (so ~2 dresses of 4 layers worth) is well over the min. order.
     
  8. datitmarsh

    datitmarsh Member

    oh thanks, that is good to know. It's always good to know where to look instead of going round in circles on the internet. I will make a note of it.
     
  9. datitmarsh

    datitmarsh Member

    I will check that one out too. The satin bias trim was about $7 CAD for 12 metre length, and the horsehair was $35 CAD for a 50 metre roll. These were from etsy shop Utrimming.
     
  10. flying_backwards

    flying_backwards Active Member

    Who has experience dying gowns? Im concerned the different fabrics, lycra, chiffon, and organza, will absorb dye differently. And I think most dyes require heat to set but these fabrics may not tolerate heat. Should I just forget this dye idea?
     
  11. datitmarsh

    datitmarsh Member

    I
    I have only dyed some stretch lace - did that with regular Rit dye and it dyed nice and evenly. I see now there's a Rit 'dye more' which is suitable for synthetics, which sounds interesting. Looking forward to doing some experimenting with that.
     
  12. SwayWithMe

    SwayWithMe Well-Known Member

    Thinking of changing my floats to attach to wristbands rather than gauntlets. How wide do people make them? Elastic, rigilene, or something else entirely?
     
  13. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    I do mine using elastic, and cover the elastic using one of the stretch fabrics I've used in the dress. I've made various widths, often influenced by the width of the elastic scraps I have available! From experience, don't forget to put the stretchiest part of the fabric ALONG the elastic, so it goes around the wrist - yep you got it, I was in a rush and did one wrong. It kinda worked ok but I ended up ditching it and making another one. The latest trial used an offcut of shoulder elastic covered in tan mesh, and I put hotfix ss34 pearls around it. Haven't made a float for that one yet, I just wanted to see if it looked OK.
     
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  14. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I've done it that way and also made a bracelet, just layered mesh, glue and rhinestones, that closes with velcro.
     
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  15. SwayWithMe

    SwayWithMe Well-Known Member

    I have one half of a snap left to sew on, and then my dress revamp is complete! Super excited, pics soon.
     
  16. Retrocat1942

    Retrocat1942 New Member

    Hi all! My first forum post - eek!
    I'm about to start my first standard dress but having not seen a "real" ballroom dress in the flesh I'm a little mystified about how the underskirts attach.
    I am planning on having a skirt of 3-4 layers. The first two as godets sewn as one layer to the Vs of the bodice, and then sewn individually below. Then 1 or 2 layers of underskirts below. Is the miniskirt with ruffles/flounces the most common method fir attaching underskirts do some dresses use an entire underdress between the leotard and top dress?
    Any assistance will be greatly appreciated!!
     
  17. Retrocat1942

    Retrocat1942 New Member

    Also I'm not sure if this is common knowledge (being a absoulte novice) but I found the Christine Clover website a total resource. Under "sponsored couples" if you click on one of the couples there is a is a few dress sketches with notes on construction - how many half circle godets etc!!
    I found it so helpful to understand the volume and proportions for getting that "pro look"
     

    Attached Files:

  18. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums! I'm no help with the sewing, but others hopefully will have comments for you, and I just wanted to welcome you. Nice resource you found on the Christine Clover website.

    Is there any chance you can get a look at a dress or two in person? Maybe you know some dancers that would let you look at their gowns, or if you go to a local competition perhaps you can take a peek at any dresses the vendors have for sale? It might help you visualize things better.
     
  19. Retrocat1942

    Retrocat1942 New Member

    Thank you for the welcome Raindance!
    I wish I could see some dresses in person but I probably won't get to any competitions till later in the year and I'm too scared to ask my teacher because I have a strong inkling she'll say something sensible but unhelpful like "don't worry about that now, just focus on your technique". Problem is I've caught the ballroom dress bug and simply MUST make one!!
     
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  20. SwingingAlong

    SwingingAlong Well-Known Member

    one I did, I sewed the 2 under layers of half circle godets to the vees of the bodice. Then I hemmed the top layer with a rolled edge, and sewed the TOP layer right sides up on the outside. That way you get a neat finish on the points. The next one, I overlocked all 3 layers together and sewed them as one unit to the Vees. They were only sewed together as far as the bottom point on the vees, after that each layer is joined up to its neighbour so each layer becomes a complete circle. BTW it is much easier to make a dress like this on a dress form!
     
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