Showing posts from May, 2015

Evolution of a ballroom dance gown - part 3

With one somewhat successful-ish dance dress under my belt, I set out to try again.  This time I used a ITY Spring Green Jersey Knit that I purchased from Fashion Fabrics Club.

I liked the fit of the last dress I made pretty well, so I started with the pattern I had used with that and shortened it to be just the bodice again.  I also cut the center front panel to create more of a sweetheart neckline.

For the skirt, I don't really remember what I did, but it's a 6 panel skirt with the seams matching the princess seams of the front bodice.  I decided that I wanted even a bit more swish to the skirt, so I added some godets in the seams.  I went with this yellow glitter knit because it looked nice at JoAnn's (it was a last minute purchase) and it pulled in the yellow color from the rhinestones I had purchased to decorate this dress.

Here's a photo of me modeling once the initial construction was complete.

I had purchased 5 yards of the green fabric, not really knowing how much I was going to use.  I believe that was the same amount I had purchased for my previous dress.  I cut two bodices in the green and a third in a swimsuit lining to be next to my skin.  I assembled the outer bodice and used the swimsuit lining and the other green pieces together, with the swimsuit lining being the "right" side of the construction.  So when I joined the two bodices together, all the seams were hidden between the layers of fabric.  I sewed everything together at the neckline and sewed elastic to the inner most layer with a 3 step zigzag stitch (I learned my lesson from the last version!)  Then folded it all over to the inside and zigzagged it again to have a clean edge.

The bottom end of the inner bodice was left hanging.  I had thought I would end up adding a second layer of skirts to create an underdress, like Laura La Gassa shows in her step by step gown construction post, but I haven't done that (yet?)  I also figured I could sew in some swimsuit bottoms to finish off an inner leotard, but I also haven't done that yet either.  Although I planned this dress for a while and purchased most of the materials early, I had to rush it at the end so that I could do at least a little decorating before I wore it.

I added a flowering vine-like pattern around the entire neckline, with a little more detail in the center front.  

I also started on a waist design, as you can see in the photo above.  But attaching all those rhinestones is very time consuming, so after several evenings working on it, I ended up needing to stop to let everything dry and cure in time for my competition.  So I just have a strange blob of rhinestones on the front of my waist.

Here are a couple photos from the competition last year when I first wore it.

And here is a video of my foxtrot solo where you can see how it moves.

I wore this dress again a few times since then, including to another competition a couple weeks ago, but I've modified it quite a bit, so more to come on that soon!

Evolution of a ballroom dance gown - part 2

With my lesson learned about dancing in bedclothes, I decided to go for making an actual dance dress for the longer version of my Viennese Waltz routine.  I stopped in to Pacific Fabrics and found a lovely maroon slinky knit and a lovely black and white stretch floral netting.  I liked how the maroon under the netting gave it more of a purple appearance.

So I took the pattern pieces I had altered previously for the blanket version and removed some of the width to remove the excess ease since I wanted the knit version to be close to my body.  I also omitted the peplum and lengthened the bodice pieces to be floor length.  I didn't put the netting over the center front piece to make it reminiscent of the Renaissance/Baroque style ball gown.

Also, dance dresses usually have built in leotards so that you don't have to worry about what you are wearing under the dress.  So I turned to my handy dandy Kwik Sew's Swim & Action Wear book and used that to create a leotard.  I ended up inserting it inside out, so I hacked at it a bit so that it doesn't look horrible.

And here's a video of me dancing it it.  The neckline really needs to have elastic inserted to keep it up better and the skirt doesn't move as much as I had hoped.  I have extra material and someday I might end up going back to hack at this dress some more to make it work better.  As it is, I haven't worn it again since this dance.

During the creation of this dress, my Singer machine started acting up so much that it was no longer productive to use at all.  So I borrowed a Pfaff sewing machine from a friend of a friend to finish the dress and I fell in love with her machine.  Thus, when I finally broke down and purchased a new machine, I splurged and managed to get the floor model of the Pfaff Expressions 150.

To be continued...