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This blog is really exciting for me: 1) I get to model an amazing Latin dress with mesh cutouts and a fun ruffle skirt.  2) It was made by Sherri Hansen, one of my sewing school students.

This is my first time modeling a dancesport dress for one of my blogs.  OMG, I loved doing it!  I really enjoy filming these blogs, but being the model kicked it up a notch. How fun!  

Sherri made this dress for herself. However, it fits me rather perfectly except for being too long in the stride, which is expected since she is taller than I am.


In 2016, Sherri was one of the first ten people to enroll in my online sewing school. I am sew proud of her and how much the quality of her work has improved over the last few years.  She made the dress I am wearing as well as the two in the background. 

Teresa Sigmon wears Latin dance dress by Sherri Hansen with mesh cutouts, ruffle skirt, 3 ballroom dance dresses, Booth Dancesport Ballroom Denver


I am a proud Sew Like A Pro™ parent when I say this red Latin dress with mesh cutouts is impeccably made with professional quality construction.


As I was praising the quality of her work, Sherri replied, “It’s good to see that improvement.” 

I’m sure it is!

The better her sewing skills are, the faster the dresses go together with less headaches for her. Plus, her clients are happier with the finished results too. Well done, Sherri!

If you wish to have a custom dress made by Sherri, please contact her directly at: silhouettedancesportattire@gmail.com



Three of my favorite things about this dress (other than how beautifully it is sewn) is:
    1. a striking design by Deannah Strashnikova, one of the instructors at Booth Dancesport.
    2. the figure-flattering mesh cutouts
    3. the uber-swishy, ruffle skirt.


Let’s talk about these items in detail.


Sherri Hansen, dressmaker, Latin dance dress mesh cutouts, ruffle skirt, Booth Dancesport Ballroom Denver, Teresa Sigmon

Striking Design

The clean, dramatic design of this bodice can easily be adapted to any other style of Country, Skate or Ballroom.

The cutouts would be fabulous on any style dress and the boat neck is a classic neckline, again, perfect for any style of dance or skate. Only your imagination is the limit. Add a long skirt for Smooth or Standard. Add a shorter skirt for skating. Wear it like it is for Country Cha or Two-Step.

Overall, it's a highly versatile, beautiful design. Bold yet sophisticated. Elegant yet fun. All these design elements make this dress timeless. It will always look good on the dance or skate floor.

Better yet, when Sherri grows tired of wearing this dress, she can sell it - or change the skirt and wear it for a Smooth competition so it feels like a new dress.





leaf shape mesh cutoutsMesh Cutouts

The mesh cutouts are the most striking design element on this Latin dance dress. There are three leaf-shaped mesh cutouts on the front, plus the entire back is mesh.

The mesh cutouts on this dress are fun and fabulous for several reasons.


1. Asymmetry.

You all know I’m really big on asymmetry because it looks good on many female figures. This Latin dance dress is asymmetrical in both the front and back cutouts which makes it flattering for many body shapes and sizes.

2. Wide silver rhinestone border.

The sparkly silver trim really makes the mesh cutouts stand out. The rhinestones also help camouflage the stitching that holds the mesh to the dress.

Teresa Sigmon wears Latin dance dress mesh cutouts, ruffle skirt, made by her Sew Like A Pro member Sherri Hansen, Booth Dancesport Ballroom Denver3. Diagonal back cutout.

The diagonal design of the back cutout adds height to the dress, making the female form look more long and sleek.

When Sherri began this dress, she cut out and fit a solid red leotard.  She then consulted with Deannah, the designer, about how much red fabric to cut away on the back. Together, they used paper shapes to decide which design they liked best on Sherri's body.  As you can see, they cut away most of the red back.

Sherri was concerned the dress was too exposed and she wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it. After dancing in it for a competition, she said,

“I love the peek-a-boo in the front [at the left hip]. It’s a lot more open in the back [than what I thought I wanted], but because it’s mesh I still feel really covered, which was important to me.”

You can use a diagonal open back design to add height to the dress as well, as SLP™ member Tammy did on her white fringe Latin dress.


DRESSMAKER'S TIP:  During one of the Sew ™ live Q&A video calls last year, we all discussed a dress Sherri was making for a client. During that live call, she mentioned she likes to use lightweight paper templates to help decide accent colors or cut-away shapes on the dresses she makes. 

I think this is a smart, easy, economical idea you can use when making your own dresses. After all, it’s important to know what you want the shapes to look like before you start cutting the dress.

Lastly in this video, Sherri and I talk about the difficulties of adding mesh to the cut-out shapes. 

Replacing the red fabric with flesh color mesh on the leaf shapes at the front neckline is easy because they are small. 

Replacing large areas like the back can be a challenge to get the stretch of the mesh evenly distributed on the body.  That is one of the things I teach in the Advanced Program for Latin, Skate and Gowns.  Click here if you want to know more about my online sewing school.



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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 three special training videos and information about enrolling in the sewing courses. (This series of marketing emails lasts about 3 weeks.) I can unsubscribe from either list at any time.



A Ruffle Skirt With Lots of Movement


Teresa Sigmon wears Latin dance dress, mesh cut outs, ruffle skirt, crinoline hem


Lots of movement is essential in Latin/Rhythm dances. If your body cannot do the movement, make the dress do the work for you.

Since Latin dances are Sherri’s weak area when she competes in the Dancesport circuit, she wanted her skirt to move a lot so it offers the illusion of more hip action than she really has.

Even when I was barely moving, the skirt swished a lot. How fun!

P.S. Notice the red panty showing when the skirt flies up during a fast spin. This is why flesh color leotards are not recommended unless "flesh" is the primary color.

Check out my interview with Dancesport adjudicator, Jenell Maranto, where we discuss ballroom fashions.



Sherri Hansen, dressmaker, red Latin mesh cutouts, ruffle skirt, crinoline hemThree keys elements give Latin dance skirts a lot of movement.

1.  Wide Crinoline.

There is a wide crinoline in the hem, which adds volume and a well-defined hem. Sherri also uses it in her sexy black mesh ballgown

2. Ruffles.

The skirt has a double layer of ruffles, which adds more body and ‘swish’ to the skirt. Fringe also works well to create the illusion of more movement.

3. Asymmetry.

The diagonal cut of the skirt is another design element that draws attention and compliments asymmetry of the mesh cutouts.




What would Sherri like to change about her dress?

Teresa Sigmon wears Latin dance dress mesh cutouts, ruffle skirt, crinoline hem


Currently, she doesn’t like the angle of the skirt. She has two options to fix it. 

Easy option: rip the stitching where the skirt attaches to the leotard. Rotate the skirt to the desired look and sew it back on. Of course, this involves removing and replacing a lot of rhinestones. Click here to see a Latin skirt shorter in the front and long in the back.

More difficult option:  Remove the crinoline in the hem, recut the skirt to the shape she wants and then reinstall the crinoline.  Again, rhinestones need to be removed and replaced,

Either way, these alterations are not going to be fun and they could have been avoided.

Sherri could have saved time and liked the skirt the first time had she taken photos during the fittings, before the skirt was permanently sewn on or before she has added the crinoline hem.

Looking at fitting images of yourself, or your client, is always more accurate than looking only in the mirror. 


DRESSMAKER'S TIP: always, always take pictures after each dress fitting. 

These post-fitting photos should not be pretty poses. They are basic "mug shots" featuring full-length views of  front, back and each side.  I also suggest you take 1/2 body images of any problem areas.

If you're making a dress for a client, taking photos is easy. If you're making a dress for yourself, use the self-timer feature on your camera or ask someone to takes the photos for you. Worse case scenario, use your reflection in a well-lit mirror.

Taking post-fitting "mug shots" will help you be more efficient in deciding what dress elements look best on you or your clients.











Never Miss a Dress or Design Tip! Get the SLP™ newsletter and information about enrollment.

By signing up here, I am aware I will receive the weekly SLP™ newsletter. I am also aware I will receive three special training videos and information about enrolling in the sewing courses. (This series of marketing emails lasts about 3 weeks.) I can unsubscribe from either list at any time.





Thanks to the owners of  Booth Dancesport in Denver, Colorado for allowing us to film in their studio!

If you are interested in having Sherri make you a custom dress, please email her directly at: silhouettedancesportattire@gmail.com


    3 replies to "Latin Dance Dress with Mesh Cutouts and Ruffle Skirt"

    • Wendy Foster

      Beautiful Latin dress. Question: I did not see a zipper, does it pull over the head?

      • Sherri

        There is an invisible zipper on the right side. (the side without the cut out running through it) It starts at the armhole and goes to hip. The shoulder seam, on the same side, has a hook and eye at the seam line so there is no obstacles in the way and one can easily step into the dress.

        • Teresa Sigmon

          Thanks, Sherri! I couldn’t remember how I got into the dress 🙂

          One of the SLP members asked the same thing. I’ll forward your response on to them as well.

          Thanks SEW much for a gorgeous dress! It really was a pleasure wearing it. I hope our paths cross again so I can feature more of your work.

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