Revamping a used dress

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by stash, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    Alright, thinking about working on my dress again after MIT. I will no longer be wearing this dress, but I still want to finish it up and make some adjustments as I am renting it out. I still plan to add horsehair hemming to the bottom eventually, but that seems like a much longer project for the summer.

    Right now I'm thinking about changing the floats. After re-watching old videos from the Fall, (and getting past what the dancing looked like lol) I have decided I don't like the floats. There's too much open space and over all they look tiny and sad. Though I am thinking I also want these new floats to be removable. Any ideas on how to make this possible with full sleeves?

    Thanks :)
  2. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    TRUFFULA TREE FLOATS! But actually, use a hook and loop to attach the float to the sleeve. I tried on a dress like this and it made it much easier to get in and out of it. You could even use the same fabric, just in a different configuration. I'd carefully remove the floats and while wearing it, (or with someone else wearing it) play around with pinning them in different shapes and see if you can find something you like. They look kind of triangular, it might be cool if they were moved out to the wrists.
  3. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I'm really not a fan of the Truffula Tree Floats. I was thinking of making the floats bigger and scrapping the old material, but I'm still working the idea out in my head.
  4. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    so... I found an old plain stretchy sheath dress that I want to turn into a basic show dance dress, for small studio performances. I'm planning to cut off the hem asymetrically, but then I want to add ruffles with horsehair for the skirt, similar to the skirt on this: ebay.com/itm/LATIN-SALSA-BALLROOM-COMPETITION-DRESS-M17-/370398664974?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item563d7b190e . Question for the sewing people around here - know any good tutorials on how to do that? or patterns? I've found a couple tiered ruffle skirt patterns, not sure how that would work. Any suggestions would be lovely.
  5. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    It is very much like the lower/circle flounce of an Ice Skaters costume. Kwik Sew Swimwear/Swimsuit manual has the exact directions for the perfect fit, measurements and calculations of what your trying to accomplish. You can order Kwik Sew Swimwear book with master pattern from Amazon.com
    In a more general sense. The "length" of your ruffles would depend on you. The inner circumfernce of the ruffles depends on your measurements at your hip line and the following measurements of your body, where it is you want to place the ruffle layers. It's to your benefit to have written exact instructions.
    scullystwin42 and Miss Silly like this.
  6. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    Brilliant! Thank you, 3wishes! I will check it out asap!
    3wishes likes this.
  7. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    ok, well I dug out my manual as it is buried under my current pattern making process. The instructions for creating a circle short skirt (this is their terminology) is on page 49. Then it is just matter of pinning it to your body form and adjusting the ruffles the way you want them to hang. The actual name of the book is Kwik Sew Swim & Action Wear by Kerstin Martensson.
  8. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    DIG IT. I will check out my library to see if they have it, or I shall purchase it. I only sew every once in a while.
  9. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    Sending you a PM Scullystwin42
  10. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    Update! I made the pattern for the circle skirt, got some cranberry mirror organza to match the dress, and cut and pinned the first skirt/flounce thing. Order black horsehair for the trim. EXCITEMENT. Thanks, nikkitta and 3wishes, for all your help! i will post a pic if it doesn't turn out too bad.
    nikkitta likes this.
  11. alexandrahweis

    alexandrahweis Active Member

    I would say add length to the bottom, and scrap the floats. Go for big flowing floats. Those look kind of sad.
  12. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I think you are talking about my dress, there are two dresses being discussed in this thread now :D

    Yes that's the plan. Once I get the dress back I am planning on cutting off those tiny floats. I would need to order more fabric and play around with design ideas, but I am looking at making much larger floats.

    As for the length, I would really like to add length; however, I am not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. So that will sit on the back-burner longer due to money and finding someone within my budget to work on it.
  13. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    Me again on adding a circle ruffle skirt to an old dress. it totally is working, i just need to reposition the skirt a bit and add another circle skirt layer. Two questions, if anyone's interested in answering... I believe i need to at least baste down the gathered skirt before sewing to the dress, just to make it easier on myself, yes? And when i add the second layer, I'm going to make it a bit wider, so it sticks out a bit more underneath - but when i sew it, i sew the layers one on top of each other, right? i don't separate them like skirt...fabric...skirt, correct?
  14. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I would recommend basting first, you'll save yourself some headache in trying to get it to stay how you want it to. As for the other bit, I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Are you asking if you should make a sandwich with the topmost skirt layer, lower skirt layer, then dress fabric? It will really depend on the effect you are looking for. Sewing them all together in one piece will end up with some thickness at the point of attachment which may be undesirable. You may want to consider offsetting them a little bit if you don't want that extra bulk there, particularly if it falls at a point you don't want to look wider. I wouldn't separate them by much though unless you want them to have a very discernable tiered effect.
  15. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Active Member

    That is exactly what i was trying to say. THANK YOU FOR READING MY MIND. I think I will offset it slightly to avoid the bulk. Thanks!
  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Definitely. Seams for skirt layers should be staggered, and should have as little gathering as possible.
  17. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Quick question...

    There's nothing stopping you from glueing hotfix rhinestones, right?

    The colours I want seem to be only in hotfix rather than flatback. Will it still work or will it go weird?
  18. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    I've done it. You should be OK.
  19. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Sweet.

    Next question...making the underskirts for my dress. I've now officially got one chiffon and one organza skirt! I sewed both of them with no dramas.

    So how should I go about attaching them to the underskirt? Organza is going on the inside, chiffon on the outside. I'm assuming that I would turn both skirts inside out, and attach them to the inside out miniskirt? Organza first, then chiffon around it? Should I sew them both at the same time after I've pinned, or one at a time? The miniskirt is stretch...should I use a very fine ballpoint needle? Or a very fine normal needle?

    Thank so much :) You guys are the reason I can actually sew this.
  20. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Topstitch them to the existing underskirt with a zigzag, no folded seam.

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