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So, I had the opportunity to do something I don’t normally do: make a boy’s Latin dance costume.

Okay, so Lazar and his partner Nina are too cute! We had a blast filming. The bloopers (and there were a lot) are so fun I had to include at least a little footage. What you don’t see is that Lazar’s two sisters are watching on the sidelines. We were all scurrying around in-between takes.

I also made the costume for Lazar’s partner Nina. Thanks to Lazar & Nina’s coach,  Anya Klimova-Preston, for letting us run amok in her studio space.

Getting down to business though… If you make children’s costumes don’t be surprised if they take as long as making an adult’s.

For example, a boy’s vest, shirt and trousers take less fabric, but the sewing requirements are the same as a man’s. Therefore, the time it takes to make either large or small items is about the same.

With Lazar’s Latin dance costume, I left large seams at the waist and side seams and a hefty 6″ (15cm) hem allowance so the trousers could be let out as he grows. These large seams meant I did some finagling to make it all work and look good, with smooth seams.

Leaving larger-than-normal seams is a great idea to save time and money in the future, but taking those extra steps required more fabric and more time. When making your boy’s Latin dance costume, or any child’s outfit, you might want to consider that when you do fabric calculations as well as the time allowance.


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  • leave big seam allowances at side & center back seams
  • leave extra long hem allowances for the pants, shirt sleeves as well as the length of the vest
  • make decorative accessories easy to put on & easy to remove so they can be changed as he grows or when his partner gets a new dress

FUN TIP #1 : Use a row of leaded curtain weights in the the hem

  • It's easy and economical.
  • Find it in the home decorating section of your local fabric store.
  • Purchase by the yard or the meter.
  • It helps create a flowing pant leg AND because the hem is heavy, there is no need for elastics that go under the shoe or boot.
  • Be sure to try a test run to make sure the weight isn't too heavy or feels "weird" as the hem bounces around the ankle.


FUN TIP #2 : Use Velcro™ (hook & loop tape), instead of buttons, to close the vest

  • Many times amateur dancers do not have much time to change from one style clothing to the other.
  • A Velcro™ closure saves precious minutes when getting in and out of the vest, leaving the child and the parent some extra breathing time before the next dance.

Know your child's dance category.  Know the costume rules for that category.

 Here are links for several countries. Check your country's rules before beginning a project. 






(Download the "2015A Dancesport Rule Book". Dress rules begin on page 23)





Thanks for watching!

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From Teresa Sigmon,
Founder and Designer of Seams Sensational
Creator of the Sew Like A Pro™ training series

Never Miss a Dress or Design Tip

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