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

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

  1. scullystwin42

    scullystwin42 Well-Known Member

    This is a great thread - I was actually thinking about sprucing up a dress I got for a showcase to use for smooth, so this really helps.
  2. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    I'm getting to the point where I think my dress really needs a fuller skirt to stand out a bit more.

    I've read the thread, and as it doesn't already have an underskirt, I'm not sure of the best way to go about adding more layers.

    It currently looks like this:


    I'm thinking of adding two or three more, turquoise, and then more black. Probably out of organza.

    Roughly how many metres of fabric would it take for each layer of a full skirt? Will it just be cheaper to buy a new dress?
  3. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I used 5 meters to make a one layer 1.5 circle organza underskirt last time (with ~13 m of crinoline along the edge). You can use a little less fabric if you are making the actual organza part shorter and using the miniskirt attachment method. I would add black underskirts to that, it would help the floats tie in better.
  4. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Yeah the floats I got from someone else...I'm planning to revamp the stoning to add some black as well.

    5 metres is a lot...would I need more than one underskirt?

    Also if I went with the miniskirt attachment method, would I just attach the mini to the bodysuit?
  5. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    I like to use two organza underskirts, I feel it gives it a nice fullness. If you aren't ordering the fabric online, start with 5 and see if it's enough, it also depends how economical you are with your fabric. If you are ordering online, consider how much your shipping too.

    Yep, right to it.
  6. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member


    I may do a turquoise one and then a black one, as the top layers has semi-transparent godets (I think that's the right word...) which I think would look strange straight over the top of black.

    Ordering online is pretty much out, because shipping to Australia, even within Australia, is a little bit ridiculous.
  7. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm after some help.

    My maths has some serious problems, and after measuring and cutting out BOTH layers of underskirt, I realised I've made the waist way too big. If I just pull it tightly, it hangs weirdly. I have two halves of a circle skirt that just make one that's way too large. Maybe not way too large, but there's a good 6" of overlap at the waist.

    How can I fix it? I don't really want it to hang weird, but if it's unfixable, well, such is life.
  8. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    So cut out the overlap!
  9. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    I did that with the chiffon layer, but it's made a bit of a weird circle.

    I was wondering whether there was a more elegant way, but if I did the right thing, then woo!
  10. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    If there's 6" of overlap at the waist, you need to take it out radially, i.e. set the panel out flat and draw a line from the original centre of the circle, out to the edge of the circle, passing through the 6" mark at the waist.
  11. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    I think I understand.

    Attached Files:

  12. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    I have a royal blue gown that I'd like to morph into a standard gown. It has a nice, full skirt, but is a single layer; no underskirts. I have a navy blue 3-layer chiffon full-circle practice skirt that I'd like to use for the underskirts for the standard gown. How do I add stiffening? Will adding 2" wide soft boning/horsehair braid to the hemline of the underskirts give it enough fullness? Or do I just add the braid to the dress itself and call it a day?

  13. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    You're attaching it to a miniskirt right? Just put in some pleats or spaced tucks and it should all be good. I actually do that intentionally so that my bottom circumference can be bigger. If it's full enough it makes it already ruffle a little more on its own.
    Lioness likes this.
  14. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Depending on how much horsehair you want to use, you could add it to all the underskirts or just the very bottom one. I wouldn't add it to just the top layer unless the underskirts are really full because the top layer will then stand away and the chiffon will hang limp, making it more obvious that they are not part of the same dress.
    j_alexandra likes this.
  15. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I have about 50 yards; better to do the underskirts, all 3 of them; do I add the horsehair to the very edge, or have it go below the edge and be visible?

    Also, doing just the top layer meant, to me, that I'd skip the underskirts altogether. Just stiffening on the existing skirt.

    Thx for the help!
  16. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    As my costume construction professor would always say "That's a design choice!". Depends on if you want it to show or not, either is valid, and if you want to add any length to the skirts.
  17. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

  18. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...would it be a bad thing to add a 1.5 circle skirt underneath a 1.0 skirt?

    At the moment, I've got a 1.0 organza with extra waist room, and a 1.0 chiffon that I cut wrong so now it hangs weird and I'm going to have to do some funky cutting/sewing with that.

    I then realised I had some spare chiffon/glitter chiffon left over...should I make that into a 1.5 skirt and have that as an extra layer? Right now I'm thinking chiffon 1.0 at the very center, organza 1.0, glitter chiffon 1.5, then dress. Too heavy? Which of those do I horsehair?
  19. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    That's it.
  20. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    Design idea for new dress: when I first glanced at the photo, I didn't see the float as a float - instead I saw the dress as having two layers of a butterfly-shaped peplum feature, one in the main fabric, and one in dark chiffon. I think this could be a really cool and sophisticated look if the skirt flared out underneath the peplum and had a dark underskirt with horsehair or crinoline treatment at the edge.

    To clarify, I am not suggesting that Lioness modify her dress in this fashion - just thought it might make an interesting design for a gown.

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