Ballroom dress blog along

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by mindputtee, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I have a medium and a small that look like this one:

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  2. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    I think I remember that the fabric came from Chrisanne so it should be high quality 6 way stretch dance crepe...one quick tip- take a small piece and try to glue on the stones (DSI glue is best - non-toxic and dries clear) to make sure that this fabric doesn't soak up the glue too much. Anyone on this thread should always test to make sure any new or unusual fabric "holds" the stones. I used a bathing suit lycra once on a Latin fringe dress and I only found out AFTER the dress was finished that it wasn't a good "stoning" fabric.I was able to get the stones to stay on the dress but, I had to use three times as much glue and it was a slow project to get it right.
  3. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    It was just called lycra, I don't know that it's actually "dance crepe". I personally don't like lycra as an outside fabric so I'm making the bodysuit out of the lycra and then making the outerbodice of satin chifffon, which does hold stones well, I've already done some tests on it. I'm going to be using gemtac to stone, but that won't be for a while yet. Thanks for the tip though, I'll keep that in mind in the future!
  4. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    That looks fantastic. Can I borrow the small one? I'll pm you about details.
  5. Andreth

    Andreth Member

    I have the blue adjustable dress form that is supposed to be good for fitting pants too (they sell it at JoAnn's), but the problem I'm having is that the body suit on the dress I'm working on doesn't fit over that bottom part very well. Has anyone else has issues with getting a body suit over a dress form?

    My current project, in progress. I hope to get some more done today...mostly underskirts and hemming. Also trying to decide whether to fishline/wire the hem, and if so, how many of the 4-5 layers.

    [​IMG]
  6. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I just ordered swarovski rhinestones for it. I understand completely now why these dresses cost so much money. I mean, I guess that designers probably get discounts on the fabric/stones but still, it's costed about $500 just in raw materials. (I refuse to compromise on raw materials, I've done a lot of study of dresses and the thing I find that makes a big difference in a dress between looking cheap and nice/expensive is the quality of the material it is made of.) When you factor in the labor they have to do as well, you're easily looking at $800+ just to cover costs, much less make a profit.
  7. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Is this made of velvet? I can't really tell from the picture.

    As for fitting it over the dress form, I'm thinking about putting snaps in so that it's easier to get on and off (or use the bathroom in) and then I can leave the snaps open while I have it on the dress form. I'll just do fitting for that part actually on my body. Good thing there are safety pins in the world and not just straight pins. :eek:
  8. Andreth

    Andreth Member

    I didn't mean to hijack your thread, Mindputtee, but since everyone was talking about dress forms and I'm in the middle of a dress project too I thought I'd ask here. No, it's not velvet, just regular old lycra (with a sheen to it) with a mesh overlay at the top and chiffon skirts. The lighting isn't great, I know. The skirt is super heavy now...I didn't think 5 layers of chiffon would be that heavy, but they are! I'm hoping that trimming off the hem will help, and I'm thinking about wiring it too.
  9. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, my dress form splits..I can pull the top body off of the supporting pole. This was great Andreth as I had the same problem with getting the body garment on the form. For me, I pulled the body garment up from the bottom of the form,,,after I took the top body off of the pole. Then everything worked out quite well. Much like a swim suit. Should be interesting blog.
  10. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Andreth - beautiful dress! But, 5 layers of chiffon is a lot of fabric for a skirt - most of the designers use a dance crepe skirt with chiffon as an underskirt. Two layers of chiffon maximum.

    Ballroom dresses need to be able to move and "bell" which is a balancing act of enough fabric weight to move with resistance but, not too much weight to drag down the dress. My advice is to take off three of the layers of skirt and use horsehair braid on the two remaining layers varying the height of the hem and braid. If you don't put braid on every layer the skirt will not "fly"

    If this is a smooth dress - you can also cut open a few slits in the front which will help with the weight. Just use a very narrow horsehair braid for Smooth because heels get caught in the wider braid if you have kicks and flicks. Remember - you haven't added stones yet so, if it is heavy now - it will only get heavier.
  11. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    How does adding slits help with the weight? Unless you're removing fabric when adding the slits, the weight of the dress doesn't change.
  12. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    It weighs the same, but the dancer's perception of the weight is different b/c of the way the skirt moves, and the way the dancer moves the weight.
  13. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Haha no, it's fine, I kind of wanted this to be a general dance dress making thread anyway, I just thought I'd lead it with my experience. You could always add chiffon one layer at a time until you have the right balance of look and weight. I know these dresses can get ridiculously heavy, you don't want to start yourself out behind.

    There's the promise of free time tonight to sew! Hopefully I'll have a working bodysuit by the end of tonight and pictures to show for it! Once I'm past the body suit I get to get into the more fun parts like the parts you actually see. Good foundations make for a good final product though.
  14. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    Hi Joe- if you watch a Smooth dress fly up almost parallel to the floor when a dancer turns - this effect isn't accidental by the designer. The balanced weight of the dress, underskirt, any boning on hem etc. are all designed to help the dress fly up and out. Slits on a smooth dress help to decrease the drag of the weight of a full circle (or double circle) skirt by giving the dress more lift as the split opens out. I have one dress that dances completely differently once I added splits on every seam of the skirt at different heights and dropped the skirt over a full circle chiffon underskirt.
  15. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Oh, I know the effect. I just think it's more a function of additional lift due to additional airflow than reduced drag.
  16. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I made a mock up of the bodysuit in the stretch white fabric, but I'm not going to post any pictures of it because a. I didn't take any and b. the fabric doesn't make it look very good. The white stretch fabric was a little bit lighter weight than the lycra so it showed any little imperfections more obviously. It was a very useful exercise and helped me realize some things I needed to change before cutting it out of the lycra. So I cut apart the white leotard and traced it to make some patterns! Yay!

    [​IMG]
    Front

    [​IMG]
    Side/back


    After making some observations on the original pattern, I made adjustments and redrew it. On the left is the cut apart white leotard piece, on the right is the redrawn pattern.

    [​IMG]
    In lycra!

    After realizing that I had forgotten to include seam allowance (eep!) I cut out the pieces in the lycra and pinned and basted the majority of it together. And now it's living on a dress form in my family room (thanks Joe!).

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    It's inside out because it still needs a little bit of adjusting in the front for perfect fit. I also left the crotch open because I haven't entirely decided how I want to work it, I'm planning to do snaps but haven't decided how long I want to make the legs go down, I'm thinking a boyshort instead of the typical leotard cut because I think they are more comfortable. Also because by the time I got to this point it was 12:30 am and I had to leave for class at 7 am the next morning. It's still in the adjusting stages, my motto is you can always cut more off but you definitely can't cut less.
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    You go girl! You're getting there. :-D
  18. jiwinco

    jiwinco Active Member

    I completely agree.. the float is a function of airflow on a full skirt. Also, I use three layers of georgette instead of chiffon, and it isn't heavy. If you don't have great legs, it provides a little coverage.
  19. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Elastic is evil. Completely evil. I'm working on finishing the armholes/neckline of the leotard and I think I've spent something like 6 hours putting in elastic and taking it back out because it wasn't the way I wanted it. Gahhh... So I decided to take a break from working on the leotard and start on the skirts. I have 2 quarters (out of 6) of the first layer of the two layer skirt cut. I'm going to take tomorrow off though and not sew at all because I'm approaching frustration point and when I pass frustration point I start to do sloppy work.
  20. Olga35

    Olga35 New Member

    I'm not sure about your dress design, but usually you should make bodysuit and dress from main fabric, and then connect them at armholes, neckline and back , and finish it with elastic (both layers).

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