Dancers and skaters don’t always have the time or money to invest in a brand-new dress every time they want one.

If you are familiar with this scenario, consider making a few big alterations on your competition or show dress to create a new look without major expense.

Read on to get the full scoop on how this dress has three looks: a store-bought dress became a Latin dress in 2009 and then was given yet another new look in 2017.

Three looks out of one dress

My long-time client Marlaine dances in several categories. In 2009 she wanted to have two new dresses made at once, but did not want the expense of multiple custom dresses.

To help offset the cost, I created her Latin costume using this Charlotte Russe dress (seen to the left) as the starting point.

While the neckline was seriously boring, the diagonal ruffle and the bodice gathers were too fabulous to leave it hanging in the store!

(I bought three of them in different sizes intending to create three different looks.)

Despite some strong design qualities, the store-bought dress needed a few more key points to turn it into a competition showpiece:


  • You can make a bodysuit out of lycra and attach it to the dress.
  • To save time and money over having me make a body suit from scratch, Marlaine found a ready-made undergarment (look in the women's lingerie section of your clothing store).
  • Marlaine and I agreed we should accentuate the diagonal bodice ruffle by creating a asymmetrical neckline and off-the-shoulder effect.
  • I gathered one shoulder to make it more narrow and sexier looking.
  • The other side became an off-the-shoulder, accent color focal point.
  • Nope. In 2009, Marlaine was comfortable with the sexy mini-skirt look so we kept the original Charlotte Russe skirt.
  • Green was a color Marlaine had not used before. I created a nice mosaic effect by adding Peridot AB, Green Tourmaline, Olivine, Crystal AB to the accent areas and to custom-made bracelets.
  • Jet Hematite stones were sprinkled liberally all over the rest of the dress.

Three looks out of one dress


Fast forward to 2017. Marlaine does less competitions and shows and wants to update the look to be more modest.

My client says she's "geriatric" and needs to dress the part. I tried to correct her and said she's a hottie and an awesome performer no matter what her age. 🙂

After some serious design discussions about how to cover her up more without looking matronly, we agreed two things needed to change.




Any length skirt could have been added.

Since Marlaine's skirt is too long for skaters, consider adding a shorter ruffle skirt.
The Latin or Skate skirt can also be replaced with an American Smooth skirt.

Use your imagination! The sky is the limit in your design choices.



A new look: turn a store bought dress into a competition ballgown, Sew Like a Pro™


WATCH NEXT:  Check out how the same Charlotte Russe dress looks when recreated for a different woman to be a Latin dress and ballgown.


WATCH NEXT: Don't miss Marlaine's Standard gown alterations. We gave it a fresh look with new, detachable floats and a detachable underskirt. Plus, we drastically improved the back design by adding decorative straps to camouflage her scoliosis. a


Never Miss a Dress or Design Tip

We value your privacy and would never spam you

alt text - Three looks out of one Latin, skate dress. Check out the Sew Like A Pro™ video to watch the transformation.

Three looks out of one dress




























Thanks for watching!


What is your favorite part of this dress?

What part of the three looks do you think will look good on your body shape, and why?

Send me an email or leave a comment below!

Leave a comment below - and share this with a friend.

From Teresa Sigmon,
Founder and Designer of Seams Sensational
Creator of the Sew Like A Pro™ training series

Never Miss a Dress or Design Tip

We value your privacy and would never spam you




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.