How many circles to a skirt?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by mindputtee, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    This is a question for those of you that have made and/or custom ordered gowns. How many "circles" does a designer/really nice full skirt ballroom gown usually have? I'm trying to order fabric for my dress and deciding how many circles I need to make the skirt makes a big difference in the number of meters I order. I know people say more is better, but how many is optimal? I'm trying not to go too expensive and the fabric ain't cheap. Any advice?
     
  2. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    I am going to email your question to a top ballroom dress designer who is a friend. I should have an answer for you in the morning in yards and translated to meters.
     
  3. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!
     
  4. dancerdol

    dancerdol Member

    OK - Deirdre Baker (Deirdre of London) wrote back that 3 half-circles (about 5 yards of fabric) is a very full circle skirt (three seams) but, if you want a SUPER full skirt- use 4 half-circles (about 6 yards of fabric) which gives you two full circles

    I've seen the skirts on Standard dresses with 3 half-circles and they are beautiful! If you want tips on adding horsehair binding to the bottom or satin ribbon edging - please send me a pm
     
  5. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Ok, that's great, my current plan was to do two full circles (really 4 quarters and 4 quarter inserts to maximize my fabric usage, it came out to about 5.5 meters when I was planning it out) so that's good to hear. I was planning to use crinoline which is another name for horsehair binding, right?
     
  6. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    It's also the layers. I don't think my red dress has more than a full circle, but it has a 4-layer skirt, and the bottom layer is made out of some stiff fabric, so it makes it bigger.
     
  7. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    What are the layers made of? I'm thinking about a 3 layer georgette skirt with crinoline in the bottom layer to add some stiffness.
     
  8. NonieS

    NonieS Well-Known Member

    Organza is great under skirts to add body.
     
  9. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I may do this. I like the movement of the georgette a little better than the organza, but I want a very full skirt without too much material, so I think I might need an organza under layer.
     
  10. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Just ordered the fabric. I decided to go with a two layer 1.5 circle organza skirt with crinoline in the hem. Thanks everyone for the help!
     
  11. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Hi Mindputtee, Horsehair binding and crinoline are two different things.
    The Crinoline is a good choice, especially for making a skirt or any garment/dress seem fuller. Crinoline trim added to the bottom of skirts, mine is on the top layer skirt at the bottom hemline - cause the dress to fly beautifully and adds texture interest as well without adding alot of weight. Have fun!!
     
  12. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    This thread is close to my current debate...

    Currently in the process of designing, ordering fabric/lace and sewing my first from scratch standard dress, and the number of circles in the skirt the big question. I want to really show off movement, as it's one of my big strengths, and I'm fairly tall, so am not too concerned about being overwhelmed by fabric.

    I'm between a single circle skirt (with godets?) as the top layer (likely 1.5 circles for the underskirts) or a 1.5 circle skirt in multiple layers - not sure whether I'd add godets to the 1.5 option; I think that might make it too full. Fabric choices for the skirt are between a light stretch satin with an organza undershirt, and two layers of chiffon with a layer of organza (with horsehair).

    Any thoughts/advice from those that have sewn/had made/worn more standard dresses than I have (which is exactly none if we're talking full gowns with stoning)?

    I asked my pro's partner, but she seems woefully uninformed about the design of her dresses. All I got was 'I don't know how many circles are in my white one, but don't do it like that because it's too full'. So helpful :rolleyes:
     
  13. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    I just got my new standard dress yesterday and I'm absolutely in love with how full the skirt is. If I'm not mistaken, it is a 1.5 circle skirt. However, it has 3 underskirts made with organza. Each underskirt has two layers - a top layer connected to the dress, then a bottom ruffle that seems to be fuller and connected to crinoline. The top layer is made of satin and also has a crinoline.
    Are you making the dress for standard, smooth or both? It seems that the trend in smooth is to have more circles, while the trend in standard is to have more underskirts.
     
    middy likes this.
  14. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Helpful, thanks. Does the skirt or underskirt have godets inserted, or are they just the simple 1.5 circles?

    The dress is for standard only. I think I'd like to stay at no more than 3 layers for the skirt, partly for cost reasons. There's a dress budget - a decent one, but limited just the same :)
     
  15. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    No godets, simply 1.5 circles. It is of the variety attached to the body suit by little triangles that interlace
     
  16. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    It seems like a good deal of the fullness also comes from having the crinoline attached to each layer. That might give you a good bang/buck, although I'm not actually sure how much crinoline costs/yard and there sure is a lot of of!
     

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