Sprucing up my Standard gown - sewing questions!

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
Anything from the bottom to the top of the ankle is "traditional". For me that means 8-12cm WOS, but everyone's different. Tea-length or mid-calf is around lately too, usually in a less full or tulle skirt. I find that it generally suits younger dancers, or adults with exceedingly good footwork (and legs).

On design - the top layer can be shorter, I have a dress like that so that the underskirts "peek" out (they're a different colour than the top layer). On horsehair colours - try Hats by Leko or another millinery supplier. In my experience, their colour selection is much better than dress fabric places, and while there's usually a minimum order, 2 rolls of horsehair get you there (which is enough for 2 4-layer dresses).
 
After taking international standard for a year, I recently started dancing smooth. I'm looking at fabrics and thinking of designs etc. and i was wondering what the basic differences are in dress between the two styles. Is it just fewer underskirts and no floats?
 
Hi Datitmarsh!
I don’t dance smooth so I am by no means qualified to answer your question but my general understanding is that the skirts on smooth dresses tend to be designed to have super swirl factor when in (?) open holds? Therefore tend to have less layers, be of a heavier fabric and have splits etc really allowing the beauty of the fabric to be maximised!
 
differences are in dress between the two styles.
Yes I think that is the biggest difference, no (or less) underskirt and no floats. I only do standard, but when I think of standard gown design part of my consideration is to distinguish it from a smooth gown. So have viewed photos to clarify for myself the difference in style.

Print fabric is more commonly used in smooth gowns than standard. Occasionally I've seen a slitted skirt in smooth, never in standard. And sometimes the gentleman wears a tie and pocket square to match the lady's gown color. So set aside some remnants. :)
 
Yes I think that is the biggest difference, no (or less) underskirt and no floats. I only do standard, but when I think of standard gown design part of my consideration is to distinguish it from a smooth gown. So have viewed photos to clarify for myself the difference in style.

Print fabric is more commonly used in smooth gowns than standard. Occasionally I've seen a slitted skirt in smooth, never in standard. And sometimes the gentleman wears a tie and pocket square to match the lady's gown color. So set aside some remnants. :)
Right. I thought it was something like that. Good idea to save some remnants too. Thanks
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
I also wonder if the smooth dresses tend NOT to have horsehair/crinoline on the bottom, so the skirt has a slimmer profile? It would make the changes in holds better I would think, as the skirt wouldn't get in the way so much.... again, I don't dance Smooth, it is just what I have observed. Maybe watch some Smooth on youtube and have a look? Can't wait to see what you come up with!!
And I have seen a slit skirt in a Standard comp, but I agree it is not common. See 3.06:

 
I also wonder if the smooth dresses tend NOT to have horsehair/crinoline on the bottom, so the skirt has a slimmer profile? It would make the changes in holds better I would think, as the skirt wouldn't get in the way so much.... again, I don't dance Smooth, it is just what I have observed. Maybe watch some Smooth on youtube and have a look? Can't wait to see what you come up with!!
And I have seen a slit skirt in a Standard comp, but I agree it is not common. See 3.06:

Yes I think I will watch some videos. I can tell from last few lessons that it's wise not to have any loose drapey bits with all the twirling and changes in hold. Don't want to get all tangled up!
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
I've also noticed that the Smooth dresses look great/Interesting no matter what angle it is seen from. A bit more like a Latin dress does, but with a longer skirt..... I guess the focus points on standard dresses are where they are because of the closed hold, whereas the others are designed to be beautiful because of the more open movement....so pretty!
 

Sania

Well-Known Member
That reminds me, I've been wondering if anyone has had success dying crinoline because it seems like it could not tolerate the hot water dye.

About the length, I would watch some YouTube, see what ladies are wearing in your type of event. I've seen some really short skirts in WDSF videos. Not in senior events, but the WDSF pro ladies seem to go mid-calf now. Looks short to me. But that's a whole lot less drapery to haul across the floor.

And then, not seriously, but just for fun,.... feathers! So sad I missed the era of feathers.
Meh - Those dresses were super heavy, and had mega shoulder drapes in addition to the feathers - they tended to overwhelm the dancer inside Not that you couldn’t have a much lighter more attractive gown with feathers on it nowadays…
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
Has anyone got or seen a standard dress with short sleeves? I have put them on my latest dress and am unsure how to do the edges. 6mm elastic, like on the other edges? Or a wider 25mm to make it flatter, so I don't get "muffin" arms? Or leave the elastic off and hem the edge?

Thanks for your help!
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
Has anyone got or seen a standard dress with short sleeves? I have put them on my latest dress and am unsure how to do the edges.....
So I ended up doing this:
Pinning the sleeve edge under at the width for the required elastic
using my walking foot and the longest stitch to put in a basting line at that width to hold it in place without it twisting (the serger seems to pull it twisted if I blind hem without the basting)
flipping it inside out and using the serger to run a blind hem
pulling out the basting line
threading the elastic with a 20mm overlap but not fixing the ends together

This last step - will be interesting to see if it works. Elastic is usually used to gather the material, but in this case, I want to allow the material to stretch lightly around my arm, and the elastic to follow it to define the sleeve edge. This means in resting position the elastic is bigger than the material, but when I put it on, it all expands to hug my upper arms but without creating any muffin bumps. (Reason for this experimentation is I have slight lymphodema from the cancer surgery and don't like tight stuff around my arms).

Here it is but before the sleeves were done:
S1640001.JPG S1640002.JPG S1640003.JPG

Now I am thinking about stoning the sleeve and neck edges, and maybe some kind of belt stoned in the same colours? I'm not much good at zippers so the back is a little loose. Plus the belt would give the eye a break from the busyness of the ruching and skirt pattern
 
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The ruching at the hip nicely echoes the swirly pattern of the blue/green. Will the stoning be blue? If a belt, I will suggest not completely horizontal. Perhaps the belt could have a curved-v shape dipping in front? I love that fabric combination.
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
....If a belt, I will suggest not completely horizontal. Perhaps the belt could have a curved-v shape dipping in front?
Ooooohhh what a neat idea, to have a v belt! Thanks! Would it be better if the V was at the back, since it's mostly the back we see in standard? Guess I could design it to wear either way. I'll have a go right now:)

I have a few samples of the following stones coming to see which ones look best - all Swarovski Non-Hotfix Art 2088:

Blue Zircon Shimmer ss20
Crystal Heliotrope ss20
Crystal Paradise Shine ss20
Peridot AB
Purple Velvet ss20
Scarabaeus Green ss20
Tanzanite ss20
 

jiwinco

Active Member
Completely love paradise shine! Photos don't do this crystal justice, it picks up so many colors. Lot's of pretty purples in your samples. Heliotrope is also a rich color, changes depending on the light
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
FWIW, spending the money to order the Swarovski and Precosia colour charts was completely worth it. (I haven't ponied-up the $$ for the 'special effects' one from Swarovski, largely because I tend to only use those as accents due to the additional cost.)
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
Yes, I was thinking I should, ta for the reminder. What I really would like though, is a design programme where I can "pick" the exact sizes and shapes of the various crystals and shift them around to make a pattern, and to then click on "colour" and try various shadings.......... either that or a shop that I can play in! I ALWAYS seem to have ideas far beyond my stashes of stuff. Sigh.
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
Has anyone ever tried out the various scanner/cutter machines to make rhinestone templates? I am looking at the brother scan n cut. Wondering if using hot fix rhinestones could be faster if I could activate the hot glue in clumps ie as a transfer. I'm thinking of small repeats like a border around the sleeve, belt and neckline.


Or, if cutting a template from a silicon cookie sheet and gluing with the mat as a guide for the glue dots would make my gluing a bit more accurate..... or using say a vinyl template with the backing still on and putting dots through with fabric paint as a gluing guide .....I'm OK gluing if I'm doing something free form like a necklace, or those big flowers, but gluing an exact border around a sleeve edge, uhhhhmmmmmmm nope.

So, how do you get your rhinestone ideas from your head onto your dress?!
 

bia

Well-Known Member
I'm hardly an expert, but the one time I stoned a dress with a specific design and no lace appliques to follow, I made a template from cardboard/paperboard with a slit wide enough for the stones and pinned it to the dress while I glued on the stones. It worked well, though next time I think I would mark it instead, which would also allow a good preview.

In other related news, I've just finished remaking the necklace that came with my newest (used) dress. It had a number of lace appliques attached to a choker, and I felt that it shortened the look of my neck, but I didn't want to just not wear it, because sparkly. So I took the appliques off and built a new base for them of dress-colored ribbon that sits on the shoulder where it meets the neck and makes a V front and back. It took some trial and error (good to have gotten a full roll of ribbon!), but it ultimately turned out really well. Very satisfying!
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
When I'm not using lace or other appliques, I use chalk. I literally draw the pattern on the dress, then go to town with the stoning. I usually do it free-hand as I favour asymmetrical designs, but have been known to use my dressmaker's ruler for a precise, matching curve.
 

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