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Has your body shape or size changed since you first made or purchased your dress? Do you have one hip or one shoulder higher than the other? Do you have scoliosis?

Watch this video to learn how to design or alter your Dancesport, Country or skater dress to create a more balanced look and flattering backline. As a surprise bonus, learn additional style options that you can use with an accent underskirt and detachable floats!

The model is Marlaine, one of my Portland customers for whom I have made several dresses.  I had made this American gown for a Phoenix customer who worn it once and sold it to Marlaine. After she purchased it , I changed it into a Standard gown by adding an underskirt and small floats on one side with a larger graceful float on the opposite side.

In this video, we once again recreate this classic black and white gown for a new look as well as to accommodate her dance styles and body changes. 


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  • The dress is in excellent condition.
  • Although this gown was not originally made for Marlaine, it fits her very well.
  • The asymmetric design of organza lace camouflages her uneven hips which have shifted due to scoliosis.
  • The classic black and white always looks good on the dance floor.
  • The sides and arm area fit well and show off Marlaine’s beautiful arms.


  • The front neckline is a good shape, but Marlaine would like to cover or camouflage the low-cut opening. This can be remedied by adding flesh-color mesh and decorative criss cross straps.
  • On the back neckline, the right side of the dress gapes due to Marlaine's scoliosis.
  • The back neckline also makes too wide of V shape for the amount of skin Marlaine prefers to show. We'll remedy this by adding decorative straps to camouflage the skin creases that show on the right as well as flesh-color mesh on the right side only.
  • On a design note: This black & white ballgown was not originally made for Marlaine. If it had been (and if her scoliosis had been as pronounced as it is in this video,) I would have reversed the black accents so the lower black lace was on the opposite hip to make it look less curvy.



1) If neckline is too low, you can fill it with flesh color fabric or a matching color.  Placing rhinestones over the insert disguises the correction.  If you don’t have any scraps of the original dress fabric, you can steal a little bit from the underside of a multi-layered skirt.

2) An alternative correction (instead of the straps we added to Marlaine’s dress) is to add fabric to make the back V to cover more skin by making the V less wide. This is considerably more labor intensive than adding straps. but it is a sound solution. Remember: if you have a multi-layered skirt you can steal some of the original fabric from the underneath layer.

3) For an easy, economical new look, consider adding a detachable skirt and float options!

Thanks for watching! I look forward to hearing what body changes YOU have undergone and how this video helped you see new possibilities for an old dress.
Please leave a comment below.
From Teresa Sigmon,
Founder and Designer of Seams Sensational
Creator of the Sew Like A Pro™ training series

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