Ballroom Dance > Sprucing up my Standard gown - sewing questions!

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by musicbrain, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's how one of my gowns that's actually a professionally made one is made. I never would have thought of it, but it saves a lot of fabric and keeps you from having too much bulk in the hips. I'm actually on the verge of redoing my dress from the blog-along like that. I might have to resurrect that thread to go along with the changes.

    As far as horsehair vs. crinoline vs. soft boning- from what I can tell, they all seem to be various names for the same thing, though "crinoline trim" might be a more appropriate term since crinoline can also refer to a fabric/skirt shaping contraption.

    Good luck!
  2. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    No worries. Soft boning is just that. Picture, years of old corsets and the recent seen trend of bustiers that have the "corset" look of the rib cage "boning". Boning is a stiff yet bendable product...used extensively in wedding dresses for a vintage look. Horsehair "braid" can bend much more than boning and is less stiff with a lighter weight, Crinoline "trim" is a favorite throughout time to not only decorate the bottom of ladies dresses but to give the appearance and movement of "sweeping" as the ladies walk/stroll and can cause a dress to lift if dancing. When you order, if there is a toll free number, ask for a representative to explain the differences, perhaps you can travel to a local sewing shop or store where there are seamstresses available to show you the difference on sample fabric. As my dear mother use to say "you'll never know, if you don't ask".
    BTW "I LOVE crinoline trim".
  3. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Let me see if I have white underskirts or other colors. I've sent stuff to Canada before - not difficult.
  4. musicbrain

    musicbrain Member

    You guys are awesome! Thanks for all your help!:D

    One more question - what width do you recommend for the crinoline? I've seen 1/2", 1", 1.5", 3", 6"...what do you think would work best?
  5. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I like the 3 inch crinoline best, unless you are going to fold it over into a tube, then I'd use 6 inch.
  6. musicbrain

    musicbrain Member

    Thanks, mindputtee!
  7. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    another thought: vertical ruffles
  8. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    (and may I say I really admire how that model's butt looks in that gown!)

    I'm a little concerned about putting crinoline edging on the outer layer of your gown if it is delicate chiffon. Perhaps doing only the underskirt would work better, since you say the fabric is not as thin.
  9. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    slightly different example of vertical ruffles, this time with crin trim.

  10. musicbrain

    musicbrain Member

    Oh, I do like the ruffle idea! Those dresses look gorgeous. Thanks, nikkitta!

    Now, to beg my mother for the use of her serger... :p
  11. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I have a related question, for those of you that have dresses with detachable underskirts. How is the underskirt attached to the body of the dress? Is it actually attached to the dress or is it just another skirt that can be put on underneath the dress? I'm looking at adding a full organza underskirt to one of my dresses and wanted to be able to remove it to wear it for smooth.
  12. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Can you describe the dress? How many underskirts does it currently have?

    Most gowns are fitted below the waist, so adding a full underskirt would likely add unsightly lumpage to that area. Plus many zippers extend below the butt and a simple step-in add-on skirt is not a simple option. It seems the poof these days is still concentrated toward the bottom portion of the skirt. I haven't actually done this, but in my mind if you add a few layers of tulle/crin/organza cut in a circular fashion, I'm guessing about 12-18" wide, to the TOP layer of the bottom-most underskirt, it should poof more. You'd add binding to one edge for attachment purposes (I'm thinking lots of clear snaps), and you may or may not finish off the bottom edges depending on the fabric choice. If the underskirt is delicate fabric, adding snaps may potentially damage it. I recommended putting the poof on the top side of the underskirt to avoid disasters of your heel getting caught in it :eek:.

    I have Frankensteined a skirt layer from another gown to temporarily lengthen a too-short gown. I safety-pinned it to the bodysuit part under the existing skirt, and had to slice it to accommodate the long zipper in the back. The bodice/hip area was heavily stoned lace, so the pin bumps were not noticeable.
  13. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I don't think you would want to add anything to just the top of the skirt area, because that would just push out the area right below the hips. What I would probably do is build in a miniskirt underneath, to which you could fasten an underskirt, using probably snaps. Zippers are no good because they're too stiff.
  14. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    I did something similar...hand-sewed with basting stitches (ergo, easily removable without damaging dress) some organza along the hem of a too-short standard dress. Not a technique that would work for regular removal for smooth.

    I wonder if some clever use of Velcro would work?
  15. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Velcro is really bulky; I would think anything close to the surface would show on the outside.
  16. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    The dress is a single layer of stretch satin right now, looking to add either organza or a couple layers of chiffon. Velcro is itchy and also could come loose if stepped on. I think I'll try the mini skirt with a bound edge with snaps.
  17. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Well, to be objective, snaps could come loose if stepped on too. But less itchy! :)
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    my pro's daughter did what essentially looked like she took a regular narrow dress slip with an elastic waist and then sewed extra layers of ruffles on the bottom of it ....worked beautifully for her
    ocean-daughter likes this.
  19. The idea of using a narrow dress slip works well as long as you make sure the extra layers of ruffles or skirts are no so heavy that they pull the elastic waist band down making the new underskirt a target to be stepped on. Consider making one or two layers of a full circle skirt and attaching it to the inside of your existing skirt where the fullness starts on your dropped waist line. There may be a seam there making the attachment easier.

    Another way to make skirts look fuller is to wire the rolled hem. This is accomplished by getting high test fishing line and using you scroll foot to feed the fishing line inside another layer of rolled hem. You can do this without removing your existing rolled hem. Actually it will be easier if you use the existing rolled hem as one side of the new rolled hem. It makes it easier to feed the the fishing line into the new rolled hem.

    Adding godets is a HUGE amount of work, finding material that blends or contrasts with the color of the dress, matching the texture of the fabric of the skirt, determining how the person that made the dress worked with the grain of the fabric and then inserting them into the skirt is difficult to get the pieces to match seams and hems.

    One part of refurbishing a dress is that if you are careful anything you don't like can be undone.
  20. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF ballroomdressdesigner!

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