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dance dress tips and ideas
Topic Started: May 25 2007, 11:14 PM (5,944 Views)
HelenaZF
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"more is more"

Many of us involved in dance ministry find ourselves designing and making our own garments. I thought it would be interesting and possibly helpful to make a topic where we could list things we've learned, shortcuts and tips...and maybe even design ideas. So here are a couple of mine....


You know how difficult it is to get an even hem on a volumnous dance skirt? I learned this tip from Kim Beveridge, a dance leader and exquisite seamstress from Ohio. Once your have made your dress, pin it to a hanger so that the shoulder seams are aligned at the top. Then hang the dress in front of a door, place a yardstick against the fabric and just cut the bottom off until it is straight. You'll get a beautifully straight hem every time. I can't tell you how much aggravation this has saved me!

Many teams use a circle skirt, but I find that a single circle skirt will just fly up and become the rings of Saturn around your waist. A double circle is much better for modesty, and can also be lifted and used as "wings" in choreographies.

A triple circle skirt gives a wonderful "corkscrew" effect when twirling...but be careful to use only the lightest weight fabrics or you'll wear your dancers out from the weight of them. :)

OK...your turn. :)
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sknoerr
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Yes, circle skirts do tend to fly up - but they are so pretty when the dancer twirls. We use Valery Henry's culotte pattern to make culottes for underneath our skirts - then we can twirl to our heart's content without worrying about being immodest. We have also taken her pattern for the full circle skirt and modified it into a nine panel skirt with an elastic waistband. The panels create less bias stretch, and the elastic waistband is more versatile than a regular waistband.

Our basic garments consist of culottes, skirt and blouse and then we use a variety of different ephods to add interest to the garments. We modified a vintage apron pattern to become our ephod patterns and have created three different styles using that one pattern.

As for a double or triple circle skirt - silkessence material would work very well.

Sandy Knoerr
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HelenaZF
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Yes, cullottes are such a given, that I often forget to mention them!

Valerie's cullotte pattern has become the standard for most dance ministry garments, but even so, they are wide enough that they sometimes fly up a bit as well, so you still need to take attention to the design of the skirt.

One idea I had that I've not yet tried is to join the side seams of the cullot with the dance dress (the one we use has a full cullotte slip sewn in.) I'm wondering if that would help keep things even more under control. I'm just not sure if the benefit would outweigh the change it would make in the way the skirt moves.
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HelenaZF
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Sometimes even a cullotte doesn't give enough coverage, for instance if you are using moves that are very athletic or gymnastic. For those times, palazzo pants can be an appropriate garment. (Palazzo pants are wide-legged pants that drop to the floor with the same width as the hip or can even have a slight flare. They are often called elephant-leg pants.)

You can use your culotte pattern by lengthening and straightening the side and inseams from the hip down. I've notice that these can be purchased through various mail order sources in a lightweight knit for aroud $15, if you are not a sewing person.

Palazzo pants can be teamed with a tunic, vest, or ephod type overlay.
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DPWT
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HelenaZF
Oct 26 2007, 12:22 PM
Sometimes even a cullotte doesn't give enough coverage, for instance if you are using moves that are very athletic or gymnastic.  For those times, palazzo pants can be an appropriate garment.  (Palazzo pants are wide-legged pants that drop to the floor with the same width as the hip or can even have a slight flare. They are often called elephant-leg pants.) 

You can use your culotte pattern by lengthening and straightening the side and inseams  from the hip down.  I've notice that these can be purchased through various mail order sources in a lightweight knit for aroud $15, if you are not a sewing person. 

Palazzo pants can be teamed with a tunic, vest,  or ephod type overlay.

Your Right the Palazzo Pant is a great addition for any dancer. I wear them always being a bit plumper these days. I like to contrast the colors.

Thank YOU! for being apart of what GOD is doing in my LIFE for HIM!
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HelenaZF
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I made ten pairs of palazzos to take for the event we just did, and thought I'd pass on a fitting tip. Of course, elastic waist bands that can be adjusted are a must on garments that have to fit many different people, but the hem is another issue altogether.

What we did to customize the leg length of the palazzos to the dancers wearing them, was to use double-sided poster tape, available in any department store. You can quickly and temporarily hem your pants that way, and even the ones that have 8 and 9 inch hems (we had some very short dancers!) didn't look odd as they would have with stitching up that high on the leg.

Also the pants, being made from a very fluid single knit fabric, did not need hemming. Just cutting them off straight at the bottom (I used a rotary cutter and mat to get a clean cut) is sufficient.

Oh, and that double-sided tape? Keep some in your repair kit....it's great for attaching kipahs to bald-headed men.
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HelenaZF
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Dr. Leonards has a GREAT deal on palazzo pants right now.... $12.99 a pair and free shipping! Check it out. Choice of black or ivory.

http://apparel.drleonards.com/Apparel/Wome...Pants/50991.cfm

This is great if you have a multi-sized dance group...sizes run from S (6-8) through 2X (22W-24W)
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