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Hello from Arizona, where I spent the day filming training material and blogs with three of my Sew Like a Pro™ members!

fringe velvet ballroom Dancesport fashion, Teresa Sigmon model, dressmaker, Tammy Arriola, is one of the Sew Like A Pro™ members

 

The stretch velvet Dancesport fashion I’m wearing was made by Sew Like A Pro™ member, Tammy Arriola.

 

The two main topics we’ll talk about today are:

  1. why the long design lines make me look way taller than I am
  2. how to choose which direction the nap of the velvet should go when making a dress.

 

 

 

 

Sadly, I could not convince Tammy to be on camera so you all could meet her too.

Since I can’t introduce the dressmaker to you, let me show you some of the amazing dresses she made since enrolling in my Sew Like A Pro™ courses in 2016.

 

ballroom Dancesport fashion, Teresa Sigmon model, dressmaker, Tammy Arriola, is one of the Sew Like A Pro™ members

 

 

I cannot take all the credit for Tammy’s work.

She was an experienced seamstress when she enrolled in my online sewing school.  She had made several Latin dance costumes for her teenage daughter before enrolling in Sew Like a Pro™.  However, she now has

    1. improved dressmaking skills,
    2. faster speed,
    3. more confidence

so that she finally feels comfortable making dresses for professionals at her daughter’s ballroom dance studio. 

The purple fringe and velvet dancesport fashion I’m modeling for this blog is one of her earlier dresses. However, it still contains a lot of great design elements to talk about.

 

 

My favorite this about this velvet dancesport fashion is that it makes me look taller than I am.

 

fringe velvet ballroom Dancesport fashion, Teresa Sigmon model, dressmaker is one of the Sew Like A Pro™ members, Tammy Arriola

I am not exactly tall.  I round up to 5’1″ or 1.55 meters.  There are three design elements on this Latin Dancesport costume that help me look taller and slimmer.

1. High neck

2. Fringe that is shorter at the sides than the front and back.

3. The long V neckline.

 

Why do these three design elements create long lines?

The high neck and low fringe skirt work together to create an extra long distance from the top of the dress to the bottom. The very long V down the front of the dress adds to the heightening effect.

The V is especially effective because of the rhinestoned border, which automatically draws the viewer’s eye to a long line.

 

 

 

 

For more ideas on how to look tall and slim using fringe, check out this Latin dress with long, lean lines.  featuring a petite powerhouse wearing black and white.

 

 

Watch this blog post for a fabulous, sexy Smooth ballroom dancing gown that uses a plunging V to help create visual height.

(P.S. this dress was also made by one of my Sew Like A Pro™ members.)

 

 

 


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Let’s talk about the velvet.

Tammy used a lightweight, matte stretch velvet to make this Dancesport fashion.

Velvets of all kinds (stretch and non-stretch, matte and crushed) are interesting because they have what is called a ‘nap’. 

This basically means the fabric has a textured surface that looks different depending on which way you rub it and look at it.  If you rub the velvet one direction, the fabric feels smooth and looks shiny. If you rub it the other direction, the fibers feel rough and the fabric looks darker.  In case that doesn't make sense for you, check out this YouTube video from EHow Style for a different explanation about velvet nap.

While there is no wrong way to use velvet nap on a costume, generally you want the nap to go the same direction over the entire dress so all of the panels have the same amount of shine and texture. 

 

 

When I make velvet Dancesport fashions, I like to use a matte, stretch velvet with the rough nap going down. 
  • Stretch so it is comfortable. 
  • Matte (as opposed to crushed) so the color is as monochromatic and slimming as possible. 
  • Rough nap going down so the fabric has the most depth and texture.  (When I run my hands down the dress I want to push against the direction of the fibers so it feels rough.)

 

In my opinion, crushed velvets often make women look larger because of all the shine.  I also believe the depth of matte velvets are more sophisticated than the look of crushed velvets.... just my opinion, of course.  You can wear crushed velvet if you want.

 

You can get more ideas about crushed velvet on Pinterest.

While you're there, be sure to follow some or all of the Sew Like A Pro™ boards!

 

Look at the dark royal, matte, stretch velvet Latin dress above.  I made this dress for one of my Portland, Oregon clients.  Even though the velvet is dark and rich, you can see small areas of lighter blue on the body curves.  All velvets have some shine depending on how the light hits the fabrics.

fringe velvet ballroom Dancesport fashion, Teresa Sigmon model, dressmaker, Tammy Arriola, is one of the Sew Like A Pro™ members

 

You can see the same light-dark contrast in Tammy's purple stretch velvet.

Look at this photo of Tammy's purple velvet Dancesport fashion.  Both back panels were cut with the rough nap going down. However, when light shines on body curves such as my right hip, the fabric looks lighter and shiny.

 

SEW LIKE A PRO™ DRESSMAKER’S TIP #1: 

I have noticed over the decades that the lighter weight the stretch velvet, the shinier it is.  The thicker velvets (which usually means the fibers are longer), tend to have less shine.

 

Tammy dresses are beautifully made.  I was shocked to see the center front panel was cut with the nap going the opposite direction of the rest of the dress.  This is not normally done - on purpose anyway.  It's a mistake beginner's often make, or advanced dressmakers do when they get tired and in a hurry.

In Tammy's case, it was neither. When I asked her why she cut the velvet nap going differently on the center front, she said, "I didn't have enough fabric to cut it going the way it supposed to go."

fringe velvet ballroom Dancesport fashion 3Well okay then.  That's a good reason to cut the fabric the wrong way!

On the bright side, the contrasting center front panel creates yet another long line that that helps me look taller and slimmer.  You can use this concept to your advantage by working it into the original design.

 

SEW LIKE A PRO™ DRESSMAKER’S TIP #2:  If you have a straight waist, or wide hips, do what Tammy did in this velvet Latin dress and make the front skirt panel shiny and the sides rough.

However, instead of making straight panels, make the side panels cut in at the waist then curve back out.  This will help make the waist appear smaller.

 

 


 

 

What is your favorite design element on this stretch velvet Dancesport fashion?

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.

 

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