Ballroom dress patterns

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by argentine_princess, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. argentine_princess

    argentine_princess New Member

    I'm currently summoning up the courage to begin making my own ballroom and latin dresses. Does anyone know of any good patterns for dance dresses that would be a good place to start. I'm quite happy to modify things to get the design I want but I'm not having much luck finding a pattern to work from.
  2. fluffy

    fluffy New Member

  3. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl New Member

    Rinestoneguy.com has a Ballroom Gown Manual for sale. I haven't seen it, but you might want to take a look at the website and/or call to find out more about it.

    Laura also has great info about making gowns on her website, but I can't remember the address. I'm sure she'll be along soon.
  4. Laura

    Laura New Member

  5. Keelzorz

    Keelzorz New Member

    And if, in the process of learning how to make a ballgown, you fall in love with Laura's sample white w/black godets gown, I've noticed it's for sale on ballroomcostumes .com. Or at least a pretty dang similar gown.
  6. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    My comment would be that, more than patterns what you really need is cheap but appropriate fabric. Assume the first few projects are not going to come out well - they are learning experiences in pattern adjustment, manipulating the fabric, and fitting. Also on that note, and especially if you get the swim & actionwear book Laura recommends, start by making seperate bodysuits/leotards and skirts - that gives you practice in understanding the issues of both components, a mistake in one won't ruin the other, and this is much more economical of fabric than cutting out the shoulder-to-ankle panels of a one piece gown - if it works, you have practice/syllabus comp wear, and if it doesn't you have a learning experience.

    And go into the packing supplies section of a store and buy a roll of brown wrapping paper. When you've done whatever you think you are doing in the way of adjustments to the pattern, trace it onto the paper, iron it flat, and cut out that. Mark your fitting issues on that, so that next time around you can work forward from what you actually tried, instead of trying to re-assmble the pattern tissue bits taped and overlayed exactly as you had them before...
  7. Laura

    Laura New Member

    It's still for sale. Someone want to make an offer? I'm sure Anya, the woman who I made it for and who has probably forgotten that I've still got her dress, would be tickled for me to suddenly surprise her with a check!

    Chris gives very good advice above. As far as archiving and adjusting patterns, I've graduated from cheap tissue paper to the kind of heavy-duty trace paper that comes on long wide rolls that architects use. It's a lot more expensive, but it works awesomely. A sewing buddy of mine (who is a great designer and a trained architect) got me hooked on that stuff.
  8. swan

    swan Member

    I usually buy the trace paper (almost like rice paper, but softer) from Joann fabric - may be that's the tissue paper you're talking about?
  9. Laura

    Laura New Member

    The stuff I am talking about is used most commonly by architects. I don't know what it is called because I've never actually shopped for it, but I think my sewing buddy gets it at an art supply store like Pearl or Flax. I don't recall ever seeing anything at JoAnn that looks like it. It's not like rice paper at all, it sort of reminds me of waxed paper except it isn't waxed and is much thicker. But it's not like baker's parchment paper either, because it is see-through. One real cool thing about this paper is that if you tape pieces of it together, you can peel the tape off again if needed without a lot of difficulty.
  10. bjp22tango

    bjp22tango Active Member


    Something like this? http://www.draftingsteals.com/catalog-paper--vellum--and-more-vellum-tracing-papers.html
  11. argentine_princess

    argentine_princess New Member

    Thank you so much for your help guys your information is fantastic. Laura your website is fantastic!! It's answered almost every question I had-I love the step by step project, everything that was confusing me about putting the dress together suddenly makes sense! I've started designing a dress already!!
  12. Laura

    Laura New Member

  13. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    I've been lurking for a while, but decided to come out of hiding and join this lively group. I am very interested in the white w/ black godets gown. It looks like it might be a great fit for me. I don't want to breach forum etiquette--should I just send a personal message to Laura?
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    How nice!! Thanks for joining us, SlowDancer. Welcome.

    To be honest, I'm not sure how the etiquette works around public posting directly to folks, even though I've been here a while. :? In this case, though, it probably is safest to PM Laura, just to be sure she sees your message. :cool:

    And again, welcome!! It's nice to have you here. :D
  15. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Yes, please send me a PM!
  16. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Reviving this...

    Anyone tried simplicity 3912? It looks like it has a good variety of patterns and some nice standard dresses.

    Alternatively, can anyone recommend a pattern with a nice full skirt?
  17. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Actually...scratch that. Discontinued and $90 on eBay.

    Anyone know any good dress patterns? XD
  18. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I don't sew beyond mending, so I haven't used it myself, but maybe check out kwik sew 3294?
  19. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    It's not as quick as making a dress from a commercial pattern, but if you want to learn some skills that should serve you well in future dress-making, I used this method to make a latin dress for one of my partners and the result turned out pretty well:

    Background info/references needed:
    - Kwik sew swim and action wear book (for the bodysuit/bodice base) (alternatively, if you're looking to be super cheap, you can definitely find drafting instructions for your own leotard online)
    - Basic knowledge on how to make a gored skirt (I can send you a link if you want, otherwise googling "gored skirt instructions" or something similar should do the trick)

    1) I bought the kwik sew swim and action wear book recommended by Laura (<$30 on amazon, I believe) and used the leotard pattern for the bodysuit and bodice.
    2) Use the leo pattern up to the marking for the waist (this is your bodice section).
    3) Splice on a gored skirt yoke scaled to the same waist measurement the leo pattern uses to get the extension from the waist to wherever you want the skirt to flare from (for the latin dress I made, I added a left to right slant so that it flared from the hips on one side and from lower on the other).
    4) Decide whether you want to cut the dress as one piece or attach a separate skirt (if you're doing a ballroom dress, you probably want a separate skirt instead of shoulder to ankle spandex) (most attached skirts are basic circle skirts or some variation on them; google can give you a wealth of information on them).

    You can modify a basic leo pattern for different neck/backline variations as you choose; I personally made a very low-cut back for the dress I made for my partner.
  20. twothreefourone

    twothreefourone Active Member

    I just picked up Burda 7879 on Amazon UK for £7, for when I'm feeling braver :) There's one on ebay for AU $22.50 when I checked just now:
    [​IMG]

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