Ballroom Dance > Tan/Body Colored Elastic?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by chachacharming, May 17, 2006.

  1. chachacharming

    chachacharming New Member

    Hello DF Users!

    A question for the sewers:

    Where do I find the tan/body colored, very stretchy elastic that I see on dresses all the time? Can I buy it online?

    Thank you!

  2. Porfirio Landeros

    Porfirio Landeros New Member

    Laetitia buys white and dyes it with a mixture of RIT, since I think fabric stores usually only sell white or black elastic.
  3. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    I've dyed white elastic with tea bags.
  4. chachacharming

    chachacharming New Member

    Wow... now tea bags are not the answer I expected to hear!

    I may end up resorting to that... but I would like to know where to find the specific "professional" type of elastic that I see on professional costumes... I don't mind paying a bundle for it.
  5. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I've found that really strong raspberry tea is the perfect color. ;)
  6. chachacharming

    chachacharming New Member

    *Runs to Kitchen*
  7. Laetitia

    Laetitia New Member

    Actually, I do dye the elastic, but then I cover them with nude fabric (usually mesh, hence the need to dye the elastic) as well, I don't usually see raw, uncovered elastic on costumes... I make a fabric casing around the elastic and stitch it on with a stretch zig zag stitch, I think this gives it a more finished look.

    I find that the Taupe Rit dye makes a good base color for nude: I usually also mix in some Rose Pink and a tiny bit of Sunshine orange to get the flesh color.
  8. Merrylegs

    Merrylegs Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums, Laetitia!

    You've definitely got a better answer than what Ive seen.

    I've known women who dye their satin dance shoes with tea bags. I don't know the ratio of water to tea or how long, but I'm sure a google search will give you the answer. Actually, I think it exists on this forum somewhere.

    I've also seen elastic covered in a piece of nylon stocking. Obviously this didn't last too long and when it started to come apart look dreadful.

  9. chachacharming

    chachacharming New Member

    I think I will try to cover the elastic I have with some skin-colored stretch fabric I got as a remnant - would using a serger to do this be the best idea?
  10. Whirling Dervish

    Whirling Dervish New Member

    I can get tan elastic at local sewing and craft stores. It's cotton, though. Is that what you were looking for? I like the cotton because it's just more comfy, but it does lose its stretch more quickly.
  11. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    I would not use a serger. I cut the fabric three times as wide as the elastic I am going to cover. I put the elastic on the edge of the fabric and zigzag-stitch. I fold the fabric around the the elastic completely and then do another zigzag. I think I learned this from Laura.

    BTW I got some tan/nude elastics from a internet vendor. They have all different range of tan/nude and width. But I use them only on the places that won't be shown. I agree that they have unfinished look.

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    If you have a JoAnnes fabric by you, just bought some for 45 cents a yard!
  13. Laetitia

    Laetitia New Member

    You can use a serger, I have done it this way before. But, what I usually do is:
    1) Cut a strip of fabric, (on the bias if the fabric does not have 4-way stretch) and your elastic, but cut them a little longer that you think you need to, so you can afford to trim the edges and use it to turn the strap right side out at the end.

    2) Fold the strip in half and sew the edges together with a regular straight stretch stitch at the appropriate distance to make a casing for the elastic (1/2" or a little less, so it's taut, for a 1/2" elastic strap, etc.) If you feel confident in your ability not to get the elastic caught in the stitching, you can actually have the elastic inside the folded casing while you stitch, (this will assist in turning it right side out when you are done, but I'll get to that).

    3) Trim the excess seam allowance off, I usually do this pretty close to the edge, and I also usually stitch the seam twice to reinforce it.

    4) If you have the elastic in the casing already, sew across the width of the casing and the elastic at the very top. This will allow you to grab the free bottom edge of the casing and use the elastic, by pulling, to turn the casing right side out. If you do not have the elastic inserted already, use a safety pin to thread the elastic into the casing. Then sew across the width as described above in this step and turn the casing right side out.

    5) Now you should have a right side out casing which is attached at one end to the elastic. Cut the elastic free right at the seam where they meet, and trim the horizontal seam edge off the casing.

    6) Now you can use a safety pin on the end of the elastic to thread the elastic back through the casing.

    7) You can be done at this stage and attach to the dress, but I usually additionally make sure the casing seam is centered on what will be the back of the strap, and then go over it with a stretch zig zag stitch.

    Voila! A strap!
  14. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Hi All - and welcome to DF Laetitia!

    A related question for you all - what would you gauge to be the standard width of the elastics used currently (for back and shoulder straps etc.) in latin and smooth costumes?

    Also, I've seen quite a few latin dresses that use the dyed the dresses made for pros usually use the covered or dyed elastic?
  15. Laetitia

    Laetitia New Member


    3/8" is what I've typically seen used for a nude strap, though I have seen 1/2" and 3/4" as well. All the pro dresses I've seen have covered straps, I can't think of a dress I've seen with uncovered elastic, but this is just my experience.
  16. DancingJools

    DancingJools Member sells elastic in various widths and colors. You can get the flesh toned elastic there. And yes, you need to cover the elastic with a casing, even if it is flesh tone. It will look very unfinished without it. Really tacky.
  17. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the answers Laetitia and DancingJools!
  18. iluvballroom

    iluvballroom New Member

    Hey Everyone,
    Last year i was on a ballroom team and they couldn't find any nude color elastic so they just rubbed on foundation. You know like the stuff you use on your face. It actually works really well. I was the one that had to color the elastic and all i did was just laid it on the floor and took tissue on and foundation and just evenly rubbed it in! I highly recommend that way! Also you can match it to the color of your skin! Hope this helps everyone!
  19. redhead

    redhead New Member

    huh I tried that and it looked terrible... may be different kind of elastic.
    but that dye JoAnn sells seems to do the trick
  20. chachacharming

    chachacharming New Member

    Thanks for all the responses! I just finished covering the elastic and it looks fab-u-lous. The nude color fabric I used is a little lighter than my skin (I am *really* tan right now from last competition) but I think it will work out fine.

    Thanks again, everyone!

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