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This gorgeous white fringe costume with handmade blue fabric flowers was made by one of my Sew Like a Pro™ members, Tammy Arriola.  I got to model since her daughter, for whom it was made, was not available. 🙂

 

white fringe blue fabric flowers, Tammy Arriola

 

Tammy originally  enrolled in my Sew Like A Pro™ courses  in 2016 so she could make better quality ballroom dance costumes for her daughter, who competed a lot. 

Three years later, Tammy is a very experienced dressmaker who has made some fabulous dresses!  She definitely has the skills, and the growing confidence, to make dresses for instructors at her daughter’s dance studio.

Don’t miss her  purple stretch velvet Latin dress  which I model in another blog.

 

latin dance costumes by Tammy Arriola, chainette fringe

 

I am very excited to share Tammy’s work with you all, because this fringe Latin dress has a lot of great design elements, including long lines and fantastic fabric flowers.

 

 

Blue Fabric Flowers

Have you noticed how popular 3-D flowers made of fabric are on everything from t-shirts to wedding gowns to ballroom dance costumes? 

These super cool accents add flare and a strong focal point that can help a dress stand out on the floor or on the ice.  (You can see more 3-D decorations on my Sew Like Pro™ Pinterest board called “decorations and focal points for dance and skate costumes”.

 

blue fabric flower, Tammy Arriola white fringe Latin dance dress

 

Blue fabric flowers are the focal point of Tammy’s fringe dress.

She handmade all of these fabric flowers: curling the edges with a rolled edge hem and rhinestoning them to camouflage where they are stitched to the dress.

The result is a splash of color that stands out beautifully against the white fabric and white chainette fringe.

Fabric flowers like these are a solid choice for dance or skate dresses of any style because they look great and, when sewn on well, are secure enough you never have to worry about them falling off and becoming a hazard on the floor or the ice.

Since Tammy’s dress is a neutral white, she has the option of changing the color of the flowers and rhinestone clusters.  Many colors show up well against white, and on black too for that matter.

If Tammy’s daughter ever gets tired of the blue fabric flowers, or if Tammy wants to give the dress a new look so she can sell it, she can remove the blue flowers and switch them out with fabric flowers of another color, shape, size…the possibilities are endless.

 

blue fabric flowers in many colors, chainette fringe

 


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White Chainette Fringe

Fringe is always fun!  

Even better though, it’s economical, lightweight and safe to use for all styles of dance and skate dresses. Plus, it creates a lot of movement.

Skaters don’t necessarily need the extra skirt movement because they create their own skirt movement by gliding across the ice at high speeds.  However, the cool look and safety feature of fringe is highly desirable.  Personally, I love that fringe is being used on a lot of skate skirts these days.

On ballroom Latin dancing and Country dancing, fringe is forever a staple.  Since dancers move at a slower pace than skaters, the extra skirt movement fringe provides is a big bonus.  For that reason alone, fringe is possibly the most popular skirt materials for competition ballroom and Country skirts.

chainette fringe skirts, ice skating, ballroom dancing

 

Fringe does kind of tickle on your bare legs, which can be a drawback if you’re are ticklish.  Click here to read about more pros and cons of chainette fringe.

Chainette fringe is woven much like a fabric. 

It is usually made of rayon or nylon and gets very staticky when humidity levels are low, or when the fringe rubs against hose, nylons or tights. 

Since Arizona (where we filmed today’s video) is very dry with only about 12% humidity the day we filmed, the fringe on this dress was sticking straight out. I wish I had taken a photo of it for you!

Before filming, I lightly rubbed a dryer sheet over the fringe to remove the static and help the fringe hang straight down as it should.  You can also spray fringe with Static Guard or any other anti-static spray.  The same anti-static sprays work wonders on long ballgown skirts and on short ruffle skirts used for ice dance as well as Country and Dancesport.

 

How to Create a Slimming Design That Adds Height

If you watched some of my other blogs, you probably noticed that I am not very tall.  I round up to 5’1” or about 1.55 m.  However, this white fringe Latin dance dress makes me look taller than I really am. 

How did Tammy design this revealing costume to be both slimming and add visual height? 

1. Diagonal lines.

Horizontal lines have the tendency to make the body look short. Conversely, vertical and diagonal lines tend to maker the woman look taller. 

Tammy perfectly designed this white dress to have repeating diagonal lines at the similar angle: the line of blue fabric flowers, the fringe attachment line, and the bottom of the skirt. These diagonal lines tie the dress together and help me look taller than I really am.

2. Open sides and back.

The opening on the right side of the dress create dramatic lines that are very slimming.  The criss cross straps look great, but also hold the dress together.  Who says function can’t be fashionable?

Similarly, the open back creates a long visual line because it curves from wide at the shoulders to narrow at the waist.  Wide top with a narrow waist is the way to go to make a woman’s waist line look smaller.

 

white chainette fringe, blue fabric flowers, Tammy Arriola

 

SEW LIKE A PRO™ DRESSMAKER TIP:  If you look closely at Tammy’s dress, the diagonal lines in the front are repeated in a slightly different way in the back.  The similarity add a cohesiveness to the dress.  The slight variances in the angles keeps things interesting.

Horizontal back straps can ruin a beautiful open back such as Tammy’s.  Diagonal or criss cross back straps always look better and are more slimming than horizontal back straps.

white fringe blue fabric flowers, Tammy Arriola, back bra strap

Knowing this, Tammy avoided using a classic, horizontal bra strap look to hold the dress together. 

Instead, she continued the diagonal lines with not one, but two “bra straps” that are angled.  Two angled straps create more bust support than only one horizontal line and it looks a bazillion times better than the ugly horizontal bra strap!

 

All in all, this is an impeccably designed and well made dress.   Way to go, Tammy!  It's an honor to see your beautiful work.

 

P.S.  All Tammy's dress are for sale.  If you are interested in purchasing them, or in having her make you a custom dress, please email me.

 


Have you used 3-D fabric flowers on your dance or skate dress?   If not, is it something you want to try in the future?   If yes, do you have any tips for a unique look?

Leave a comment below after you watch the video.

 

As always, please share this post with all your dancing, skating, sewing friends!

 

 


Get the SLP™ newsletter and information about sewing school enrollment.

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By signing up here, I am aware I will receive the weekly SLP™ newsletter. I am also aware I will receive two special training videos and information about enrolling in the sewing courses. (This series of marketing emails lasts about 2 weeks.) I can unsubscribe from either list at any time.


 

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

 

RECOMMENDED VIEWING:

Sherri Hansen, dressmaker, Latin dance dress mesh cutouts, ruffle skirt,

 

Do you want the look of an open back without skin showing or with the decorative straps?  Consider a full back mesh cutout, like the one another SLP™ member, Sherri Hansen, made.

 

decorative back straps create beautiful bust support

 

Do you want more design ideas to create pretty, effective bust support?  Don't miss this Dress Breakdown which demonstrates multiple ways to use straps and why some are better than others for particular body shapes.

 

 

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