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Are you one of the many competitive Skaters, Ballroom and Country dancers who look online in hopes of finding an “inspiration dress” to help design your next costume?

Thanks to Pinterest, Instagram and other online sources, images of ballroom, country and skate dresses are everywhere.

(Check out my Pinterest page and Instagram for ideas.)

If you’re like most people, you have somewhere around 150 (or 2,500) inspiration dresses. Talk about overload! First things first; I suggest narrow your choices down to your absolute favorite 12.

But then what?

How do you decipher what’s going on? How do you decide which design elements you want customize to use on your own dress (or on your clients’) ?

Whether you have your dresses custom made, sew your own dresses or make dresses for other people, the inspiration process is the same.

You need to know how to dissect your inspiration photo to choose which one or two design elements you may want to use on your next dress.

Today we take an in-depth look at a stunning red lace number worn by Anna Cappellini, an Italian ice dancer.

Red lace skater dress worn by Anna Cappellini. Dress Breakdown™ by Teresa Sigmon, creator of Sew Like A Pro™


Who coined the phrase and purpose of a “Dress Breakdown?”

I began doing Dress Breakdowns™ last year as part of the supplemental training included with all my Sew Like A Pro™ training courses.

In each Dress Breakdown™ I dissect a dress to:

  • reveal its design elements,
  • decide which design elements are best on which body shapes,
  • how to sew difficult areas,
  • which types of materials are used,
  • and other cool stuff related to that particular dress.

The Sew Like A Pro™ students love these!

Some of them are getting good at doing it by themselves – which is the point. My goal is to train them to make professional dresses just like I make.

With over 50 hours of training videos, hundreds of tutorial photos and pattern making downloads, live support with things such as these Dress Breakdowns, I leave no rhinestone unturned.

Women who have only dreamed of saving money making her own dance or skate dresses learn everything she needs to know in an easy step-by-step format. As long as you know how to sew things like pillow slipcovers or quilts or blouses, you can do it!

Experienced dressmakers get a ton of tips and tricks to help them save time, money and frustration. During the live Q&A calls, we also talk about the business side of making dresses to help keep both client and dressmaker satisfied.

Want to know more about the online sewing school to see if it’s right for your needs? Click here for more information and to watch my absolute favorite special training: Neckline Success.



Special note: please do not ever duplicate someone else’s dress!  

It is not respectful to the original wearer or the dressmaker. Plus, you want a unique dress that looks best on your body shape and size, not a dress that looks good on someone else…. right?

Feel free to use one or two design elements from your inspiration photo.

After that, make it your own design.

Several weeks ago I filmed a comprehensive 20-minute video for the SLP™ members discussing everything about this sassy red lace skater dress. I wanted to share some of it with you today. I hope you enjoy it and take away some tips on how you can dissect your own inspiration dress.




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P.S.  After I released the Dress Breakdown for the SLP™ members, Louise in Florida, USA sent me an additional image of the dress showing the full skirt and a back view of the dress.

Anna Cappellini, red lace skate dress. Dress Breakdown™ by Teresa Sigmon
Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, world class ice dancers

Turns out I was pretty much spot-on with my assessment on the skirt length and angle. Yay!

However, I’m glad I had to figure it out the hard way so I could teach you how to do it too.

Now that I’ve seen the entire dress, I could talk ten more minutes about the details and how beautifully this dress suits her body shape and size. This is a great design on her!




Red lace skater dress worn by Anna Cappellini. Dress Breakdown™ by Teresa Sigmon, creator of Sew Like A Pro™


BONUS TIP:  check out this YouTube video by Damsels in DIY  for a quick tutorial on how to use a soldering iron or hot knife. It is possible one of these clever gizmos was used to finish the neckline and armholes on her perfectly matching flesh mesh. 🙂



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