Liesl, the model for the Complete Ballgown Program in the Sew Like A Pro™ online sewing school, needs several weight loss alterations to her new ballgown. Why? Liesl made a lot of dietary improvements and has shed pounds and inches since I made this ballroom dance costume for her only sixteen months ago.
In today’s video I walk you through her weight loss alterations – both optional and necessary – that can be done so her Dancesport ballgown fits her new body shape and size.
When doing alterations on any type of women’s dance or skate costume, it’s common for time or money restrictions to play a part in how much work you do on a dress.
Pick and choose your sewing battles as needed.
Here is a list that may help with your next weight loss alterations.
P.S. The original post was made in 2015. This post was revised with new photo additions and updated text in January, 2023.
NECESSARY ALTERATIONS for this ballroom dance costume
#1 CHANGE THE BRA OR BRA CUPS
- Since many women lose fat in our breasts before loosing it other places, you may need to change the size or shape of the bra cups so they fit better. (Good grief! Isn’t this the last place most of us want to lose it?)
- Another option is to add padding to the existing bra instead of replacing it.
- difficulty level = EASY!
#2 TIGHTEN BRA STRAPS, SHOULDER ELASTICS or SHOULDER SEAMS
- Do this step if the dress feels like it sags or is too low in front so you want to keep pulling it up.
- TIP: Don’t forget to put tanning mousse or inexpensive face makeup on the straps so they match your skin tone.
- difficulty level = EASY!
#3 SHORTEN STRIDE
- Often with weight loss, the dress/leotard is so loose it hangs on the body instead of cuddling the body. When this happens, you may need to shorten the stride in addition to tightening at the shoulder area.
- Next, if you have to shorten the stride, it is likely you will need to reshape the legs as well, which means removing the elastic.
- TIP: If you are removing all the old elastic, I recommend using new elastic. Stitching again and again on the same elastic wears it out so it doesn’t hold its shape.
- difficulty level = EASY to MODERATE
#4 SHORTEN THE SKIRT
- With significant weight loss, ballroom dance dresses (whether short Latin skirts or ballgowns) get longer because the hips and rear-end don’t fill it out. You may need to shorten the skirt to look better and be an appropriate, safe length.
- However, shortening a skirt is seldom a pleasant venture for ballgowns because of all the boning, fishing line and crinoline in the hem.
- Latin, Country and Skate skirts with a lot of stones bordering the hem are also problematic. (Check out this video to watch about why and how we shortened a Latin skirt.)
- difficulty level = MODERATE to DIFFICULT (it can be very time-consuming.)
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This dress is for sale. If you are interested in possibly buying it, please contact Teresa directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
OPTIONAL WEIGHT LOSS ALTERATIONS for this dress:
1) TAKE IN THE SIDE, CENTER BACK or PRINCESS SEAMS
Often, this entails removing lace and stones which makes it difficult and time-consuming.
If you want to see how princess seams can make a dress fit better, check out my blog on June, who sews her own competition dresses.
2) TAKE IN UNDER ARM AREA
Since Liesl's dress is completely finished with a lot of lace and rhinestones, taking in the excess fabric in the underarm can be time-consuming with many steps.
Generally, it should only be done if you’re an experienced sewer - or game for a challenge.
Are you ready to learn how to turn your skate or ballroom dance costume into a figure-flattering, beautifully fitted performance dress?
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