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custom designed burgundy Juliet dress made by Tammy Jimenez at Ice Den Chandler in Arizona


What happens when you are a figure skater who is also a huge Shakespeare fan?

You skate to music from Romeo and Juliet, of course.   And no routine is complete without a dress that matches the music!

Sidney, a young skater I met at the Ice Den Chandler in Arizona, fell in love with Romeo and Juliet after reading the play in her English class.  Afterwards, she knew she had found the perfect inspiration for a skating routine.

Together, she and her dressmaker, Tammy Jimenez, had fun designing this custom Juliet dress.


 Designing a dress to fit the routine 

If your skate routine uses music from a movie or musical, you have to dress the part. That allows a lot of room for creativity in the design process!  But it is also difficult to take a classic costume and adapt it for a figure skating dress.

Fortunately, Sidney’s figure skating coach and dressmaker, Tammy Jimenez, enjoys designing unique dresses that are specific to each of her student’s routines.

Lucky are the women Tammy coaches: she never backs down from a dressmaking challenge!  Tammy even made a quick change dress for one of her students, to visually express a huge transformation that during the song “I can hear the  bells.” used for the routine.

quick change ice skating costume designed and made by Tammy Jimenez at Ice Den Chandler in Arizona. Figure skater, Gianna Scalisi performs to Hairspray the musical with Tracy Turnblad singing I can hear the bells


black lace Morticia Addams figure skating dress worn by Gianna Scalisi at Ice Den Chandler, Arizona. Ice skating costume designed and made by Tammy Jimenez.



Tammy is no stranger to making figure skating costumes inspired by movie or musical characters.

In addition to making Sydney’s Juliet dress, she also designed and made a Morticia Addams-inspired figure skating dress for a routine using music from The Addams Family.





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 Designing a custom Juliet dress 

For Sidney's custom Juliet dress, Tammy paid a lot of attention to details that would make the dress feel like a Renaissance-era costume.

closeup of gold appliques and rhinestone design on bodice of Juliet dress

1. Gold appliqués and rhinestones

The gold appliqués are one of Sydney’s favorite things about her Juliet dress.  They are beautifully placed, creating a slimming V shape and eye-catching focal point.

For the rhinestones on Sidney’s Juliet dress, Tammy used a combination of crystal AB and garnet stones.

I especially love the crystals ABs on this figure skating dress, because there is a stark color contrast between the light rhinestones and the burgundy dress.  The color contrast makes the rhinestone belt stand out more, with the large jewel in the center as a finishing touch.

Click here to learn more about creating a contrasting dress design.


2. Off the shoulder sleeves

Sidney’s custom figure skating dress has classic off-the-shoulder mesh sleeves, but with a gold braid that matches the gold appliqués.

Sew Like A Pro™ Dressmaker Tip:

In addition to the decorative gold braid, Tammy put elastic in the top of the mesh sleeve.  Usually, if elastic is installed in a sleeve, it is to help the sleeve hug the arm tighter.  However, in this case, the elastic at the top of the sleeve stiffens the mesh and actually helps it stand away from the arm.  The rhinestones also help stiffen the top of the sleeve, as well as add some more bling to the dress design.

June aqua ice dance dress, Empire waist dress

3. High skirt attachment

Sydney’s skirt attachment is higher than most skate dresses.  For Tammy, the skirt was actually one of the most challenging aspects of the dress, because it is almost as high as an empire waist in the front, but is cut lower in the back. The odd height level, along with the difference between the height of the skirt in the front and in the back, made this a challenging skirt to cut.

The two mesh layers give Sydney’s skate dress a lot of skirt movement, especially because there is a long slit in the top layer.

Check out June's Empire waist ice dance dress for more information about this lovely style of dress. June designed and made this pale blue dress for herself, and wore it at the 2019 U.S. Adult Nationals Figure Skating Championships.


closeup of criss cross rhinestone design on burgundy juliet dress

4. Criss cross back design

While the back of this Juliet dress is one piece of lycra, Tammy overlaid the lycra with mesh on both sides.  This creates a small but interesting contrast, because the center back panel is slightly shiny, while the side panels that are lined with mesh are completely matte.

To make Sydney’s figure skating costume more of a classic Juliet dress, Tammy wanted to create the illusion of a laced corset back.  She cleverly achieved the hint of a corset by using a criss cross rhinestone design, which makes the illusion of criss cross straps without the trouble of actual straps.

Click here to see another dress by Tammy Jimenez that features a sexy criss cross strap back design on bare skin.



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