Thursday, January 2, 2014

Embellishing & Blinging your Dance costume

My last post was a crash course on how to apply rhinestones to a dance competition costume.  This post will talk about other embellishments options.  As you begin your search for bling you will quickly learn that embellishing can go far beyond just rhinestones. 

A good place to start to get ideas is always online.  It's time consuming, however, pictures will spark ideas.  You CAN turn those ideas into a beautiful special and one of a kind costume. I would suggest starting with a color.  It's just as important for your costume to reflect the theme of your song and not against it.  If your costume says Cinderella and the song is The Lion King, well, you're may have issues as the judges will likely deduct points from the final score.  So, don't confuse them!

The second thing to do is go to your local fabric or hobby store such as Micheal's.  Surprisingly, you may even get lucky at Walmart.  All Walmart's have a sewing section and some have a fabric section too.  Often you will be able to find that special something that will give your costume that wow factor that it may lack.  When you can't quite find what you are looking for then be prepared to spend some time on the internet.  There is simply too much out there for a store to have and maintain inventory.
When you begin your online search know what you are looking for.  It is far less time consuming when you have a vision.  Stay focused and keep on track.  Bookmark pages of sites that you have visited.  You may not find that special something this time around, however, that store may be useful in the future. 

There are some online vendors who will go that extra mile.  Just call and let them know what you are looking for.  One particular  gentlemen actually walked over to the supply warehouse and took photos and sent them to me immediately.  He listened, took some pictures and guess what, he nailed it!  That's great customer service.   I would also suggest that you only buy from vendors who provide a telephone number.  Having the ability to actually speak with a representative who can assist you to insure that you get what you want can save you valuable time and money. Buying something that you wait for to arrive only to have it be useless can be frustrating.

A few key things to remember when you are looking for
Stretch floral lace
embellishments.  Stretch is best, always!  I'm a big fan of stretch sequins, stretch lace and fringe. One of my favorite online stores is  They have alot of stuff!  The customer service is great and their choices are numerous.  It's a one stop shop.  Shipping can be pricey, but you are sure to find what you are looking for.

If you are attaching a non stretch embellishment to a costume, which by the way stretch's, you will lose the ability to have 100% movement.  You can however be successful in putting on non-stretch material to a costume.  Always, always, always, double the length of materials that you are going to purchase. Having extra materials is like having an insurance policy.  By doubling the amount that you think you may need will insure that you have enough.  You may also need to repair, at a moment's notice, so always carry that extra stuff along with needle, thread, scissors and glue for any unexpected repair work. 

Applying embellishments

When applying non-stretch and stretchable embellishments you will either have to spot sew or use fabric glue.  This will allow for full movement of the dancer.  Place the costume over a pillow to expand the costume to it's maximum.  Then apply, pinning first, the materials that you are using.  Take the costume off of the pillow and carefully have your dancer try on the costume.  If it looks good and moves good then you
can begin to spot sew and or glue on the embellishment materials. You will notice that when the costume retracts that there will be a puckered effect from the embellished lace or whatever you are putting on the costume.  This is a GOOD thing.  This is how you create the stretch effect with non-stretch materials and it is a MUST!
Spot sewing simply means that you sew from spot to spot rather than all the way around.  This will allow the lace, or whatever embellishment you are using to expand along with the costume.    You can also use fabric glue.  I use both as I want to insure that nothing comes off during a performance or while the child is putting on and taking off a costume.  Fabri-tac or Fabric Fusion glue is the industry standard.  It is permanent!  Be wise and be sure when you are applying your embellishment.  Once the glue drys there's no turning back or taking it off, ever.

Complete the costume.  Whether your child is wearing a headband, ribbons, barrettes or bows, you
Feathers & rhinestone glued onto barette
can embellish them.  Doing so will complete the costume.  Use the extra materials that you have placed on the costume to create your head wear.
Place on head band or barrette

Left over trim with ribbon makes a perfect head piece

Floral pieces glued onto headband
Extra stones glued onto headband

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