Monday, July 25, 2011

Ballroom Costume- The Beginning

My original purpose in creating this blog was to provide a forum on which to talk about the process as I attempt to make a ballroom dance costume from scratch. If you've never seen Dancing with the Stars or any other ballroom events, you probably have no idea what it is I am getting myself into. Here are some pictures of ballroom dresses to demonstrate:

Stock morenaStock ex redStock s.mintJapan stock

These are just some typical examples, they can vary widely in color, style, and materials. I've been very excited about making this dress for quite a while as some of my dancer friends know as they have been hearing about it for some time. After many weeks of time spent searching online for dresses for inspiration, patterns, and any other helpful information I could glean, I have finally settled on a design.

After coming across this:
design, I knew it was what I wanted.

I want to say now that I am not an experienced seamstress. I've sewn a number of small things, pillows, stuffed animals, some clothes, but nothing on this scale. Everything I have made either came with a clear cut pattern or was simple enough not to need one. Not so for this dress. I will be making the pattern from scratch,  doing my best to interpret the dress. I don't intend to make this exact dress, I don't think it would turn out exactly like that anyway, but I used it for inspiration. My dress will (hopefully, and a big emphasis on that) be something like this:
those are rhinestones rather than sequins like in the gold dress
I haven't decided what to do about floats yet, but those are a ways off.

The first step will be to make a mock up of the base pattern in some cheap muslin so that I can adjust it for fit and shape before using the good stuff (well, before I buy the good stuff even, I need to know how much I will need.) Unfortunately, to do that I need a dress form which I don't have at the moment. I'm going to be making my own using plaster just as soon as the plaster cloth arrives in mail, hopefully it will be soon!


  1. Really appreciate this post...Hope to see more good posts in the future.

  2. Hi, I like your Ballroom Dresses which you have posted in your blog. I am speechless and one thing I will tell you try to post such type of stuffs. Thanks..

  3. Thank this blog post is very readable for sharing it. Ballroom dresses are the very popular in all world. Aidadancewear we proved many type quality service the balloom dresses,Latin dress at the affordable rates.

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  4. How much fabric do you use on average for one dress?

  5. Hi Kathryn! I usually use 1-2 yards of lycra for the bodice, sometimes 1 yard of stretch net as well depending on the design, and assume 5 yards of fabric per layer of skirt, so on average 15 yards of fabric for the skirts (assuming one topskirt and two organza underskirts). Additionally, I use about 20-30 yards of crinoline trim to add fullness and weight to the hem of the skirt, so a total of about 12-18 yards of fabric.

    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate the quick response. And your blog will be so valuable in my first attempt at a ballroom dress!