Latin Dress: Pippa

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So since I have started to dance Latin again and at an Intermediate level! (what was I thinking) I decided that I wanted a dress and since I am dancing as a girl-girl couple that means two dresses… If you have been following this blog you will probably have seen that I have made these dresses ad they have had a few outings already. Here is a short round-up of the planning process for the dresses.

In order to get them made in time for the next competition, it had to be quite a simple design using colour and shape to make an impact. The design had some stoning on it but will probably get more stoning added before the design is finalised.

So I took to Pinterest/google for inspiration. I actually find Pinterest really bad for inspiration for ballroom/latin dresses as it lumps all forms of dancesport in together despite the fact that they are so very different. Oh well, mini rant over…

I found some inspiration, I’m pretty sure I have almost pinned the black and pink dress half a dozen times. I’m not usually a pink person but that combo in latin outfits always looks good in my mind.

I liked the idea of a coloured dress with a black skirt, having the dress as bright as possible. We only had two rules going into this colourwise, not team colours (my rule, Turquoise fyi) and not red (Cheyenne’s rule). I also found the idea of having a second underskirt in a different colour interesting.

The back of the leopard print dress is not suitable as these dresses really need to be bra friendly. The one shoulder-ness of the other two is possible if a strap is added to the other shoulder, which could be stoned to an interest as well as being functional.

Not that we spend too much money at Tia Knight but the plan is to use their 4 Way Stretch Fabric Matt Lycra (Q56) as this comes in a wonderful selection of colours and we have a vast array of them as samples.

Esmeral Blue
Parrot Green
Flou Orange
Light Aubergine

The bottoms of the skirts will be finished with Crinoline. Recently I have been working with fishing line on the bottom of the skirts of the team dresses as this is actually somewhat quicker to install and much cheaper. But since these dresses have such a focus on the skirt I think that crinoline is needed. We normally get it from Trim-it for a cost of about £40 for 30m.

The dresses will be constructed with a leotard inside a dress outer. The top of the dress is the same pattern as the leotard but will stop at the hip/waist where two circle skirts will be added, this line runs approximately from top of the hip on one side to about level with the bottom of the crotch on the leotard pattern, on the other hip.

I bought 4m of the Esmerale Lycra and set about making a dress for myself to check that the pattern worked and to use it as a start for the dress for Cheyenne. We are similar sizes but very different body shapes.

The fabric was ordered on the 16th of Nov but I wasn’t able to cut into the fabric until the Sunday (19th) but managed to sew up the whole of my dress that day (minus the crinoline as we had to wait for this to arrive.) Thankfully it arrived on the Wednesday in time for me to sew it onto the two skirts and take the dress with me to our Wednesday dance lesson for Cheyenne to try on.

Esmerale Dresses

You can see how I modified the top of the leotard pattern to be one-shouldered, apologies for the upside down pattern pieces. Left to right Leotard front, Leotard Right-Back, Leotard Left-Back, Dress front from a previous dress (drop waist team dress) which I used to work out the skirt placement in conjunction with the leotard front.

Esmerale Dresses
Esmerale Dress

One dress, with no embellishment compleated by Weds evening. Just a second dress and embellishment for both of them ready to dance on the Saturday…


2 thoughts on “Latin Dress: Pippa

  1. sewchet

    Oh, thank you for taking the trouble to write about your process – I was dying to know how you approached dress designing. I’ve never worked with crinoline (or fishing line!) so will be fascinated to see how that works.

  2. Pingback: Latin Dresses: Pippa – Part II – Beads and Barnacles

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