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Topic: help! what to do with an old ballet costume  (Read 878 times)
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Adagia
« on: June 25, 2008 10:18:46 PM »

I have this old ballet costume I wore years ago (I think from high school, and now I'm in college! heh), and I think it's really pretty.







I would like to be able to wear this dress as formal attire. I'm concerned, however, that it looks too costume-y at this point, or maybe even a little like lingerie. That might not be a bad thing, but I'm afraid that it detracts from the look if I want to wear it as a normal/formal dress.

I'm also concerned that the dress just doesn't look right on my body... I'm not sure if it's the pregnant effect that empire waist-lines tend to have on me... Or maybe the bodice is too low-cut/tight since I'm no longer quite as small as I was in high school? or maybe the color scheme? Or the structure?  Huh

I'm also not sure if the sequins are a good thing..

There is also a leotard built into the inside of the dress... I was thinking I would just cut it off, but I'm not sure if that would alter the structure of the dress at all.

Additionally, the skirt is actually really see-through - I was wearing a slip underneath in the photos. I guess I would have to add lining.. I can't see myself wearing a slip all the time underneath, because of how high the bodice ends.

I'm not sure what material the whole dress is made out of - I cut the tag when I first got the costume. The black part feels sort of like velvet - I would guess some kind of synthetic alternative to velvet. The skirt feels really smooth and slippery - not quite silk, but maybe some kind of polyester/jersey mix?

So what do you guys think? Please leave suggestions! Smiley
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008 10:21:46 PM by Adagia » THIS ROCKS   Logged
ScotSkipper402
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2008 10:40:59 PM »

... I think it's really pretty.


1. The dress looks FABULOUS. I think the empire waist looks good on you, and the skirt is cut with some shape to it, rather than a preggy sack. Congratulations on staying so slim! (not that there's anything wrong with getting zaftig: my choice. Just saying.)

2. The sequins have to go. Too costume-y. Replace with a double-sided satin ribbon. In black. Or hot pink? Apple green? Plaid? Stripes? (or get a bunch of ribbons and switch 'em out.)

3. Color scheme is a classic.

4. Don't cut the leotard. That's probably one reason the dress still fits. It will ride up or get strange without the leotard, IMHO. It WOULD alter the structure of the dress.

5. The whole dress is almost certainly made of various polyesters. The skirt's  prolly jersey tricot. 

6. Can you wear a black slip underneath, if that's the same color as the leotard? Or you could add a drapey stretch lace overskirt, tacked to the bodice. (cut to echo the skirt gores) Maybe in black?  Maybe black knee-length SPANX pants, just peeping below the hem? Maybe a drapey stretch lace slip?

My thoughts. Thanks for helping with my insomnia!
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008 10:41:28 PM by ScotSkipper402 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"For what do we exist, but to laugh at our neighbors and be laughed at in our turn?"

My stash of supplies is now Beyond Life Expectancy. I love personal swaps! http://www.wists.com/redmennis
Adagia
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2008 11:31:49 PM »

THANKS!! It's really great to get other opinions on this sort of thing. Thanks, I'm roughly the same size and even weight I was in high school, but I did get curvier. Tongue I too love the colors - it's so classic and simple. The best part (besides the cut and look, even) - you would not believe how beautiful the garment FEELS - when I wear it, I feel as if I'm walking through water or clouds, it feels so light and soft and smooth.

I think the reason why I have so many dresses in my closet with uneven hemlines like this one is because this was one of the first really beautiful dresses I ever got. It's too bad I only learned about garment reconstruction now!

Replace with a double-sided satin ribbon. In black. Or hot pink? Apple green? Plaid? Stripes? (or get a bunch of ribbons and switch 'em out.(

Sorry if this sounds dumb, but what is double-sided ribbon? I get the idea of using ribbon, maybe like a black satin ribbon, but I didn't know there were major differences in the kinds I could get..

I just looked closer at the sequins, and it looks like they're sewn on with I swear fishing line. Good news is that the sequins are part of a whole band, so they should all come off together if I cut the fishing line off. Maybe I'll just add ribbon on top of it? I'm afraid of cutting the sequins off and leaving behind big holes (though I suppose they'd be covered up, at least, with ribbon) or something.

4. Don't cut the leotard. That's probably one reason the dress still fits. It will ride up or get strange without the leotard, IMHO. It WOULD alter the structure of the dress.

6. Can you wear a black slip underneath, if that's the same color as the leotard? Or you could add a drapey stretch lace overskirt, tacked to the bodice. (cut to echo the skirt gores) Maybe in black?  Maybe black knee-length SPANX pants, just peeping below the hem? Maybe a drapey stretch lace slip?

Aww. The leotard bugs me, it's kind of tight. You're probably right, though. The leotard is white, the same color and material as the skirt. I don't really want to find a slip because slips usually fall at the waist/hip level, and the skirt begins closer to my bust. I might be able to get away with black tights on top of the leotard bottom.


In this photo, the leotard is inside-out. The skirt is actually coming out of one of the leg holes because it is sewn on to the outside of the leotard.


In this photo, you see the leotard now right-side out and the skirt wrong-side out. The black leotard bust is just barely visible, now inside of the skirt.

It looks like the dress is basically a leotard (black bust, white bottom torso) with a billowy white skirt attached over the leotard bottom and everything attached to the bust. (And the sequins sewn on top of this.)

My thoughts. Thanks for helping with my insomnia!

No problem! Thanks for helping with mine!  Grin


« Last Edit: June 25, 2008 11:41:21 PM by Adagia » THIS ROCKS   Logged
aladine
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2008 11:39:38 PM »

Hey, you dont look preggers at all, it looks great on you..
i agree with ScotSkipper402, the sequins are the main problem, id go with a big bow at the back,... if you want to bring the 2 colors together id applique something black on the bottom part or add some sort of black frill...and keep the leotard, its gonna get all wonky if you cut it out.
but you could sort of extend the crotch of the leotard to make it less tight: just cut in the middle and add a bit of stretchy fabric to make it longer... or you can cut both the shoulders and add ribbons  to tie...
hope that helped Smiley
be sure to show us what you did with it
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etsy: stuff i make 


I have 2 vintage dirndl skirts (floral) for oktoberfest  (US sizes 6-ish and 8-10) I would love to swap! anybody interested?
Adagia
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008 11:56:55 PM »

Now.. the question is... if I can buy black satin ribbon in time, do I wear this to a wedding this Saturday? Or will too much white upstage the bride?  Lips sealed
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ScotSkipper402
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2008 12:43:41 AM »

Now.. the question is... if I can buy black satin ribbon in time, do I wear this to a wedding this Saturday? Or will too much white upstage the bride?  Lips sealed

ALL white would upstage the bride. But B&W would be fine. Also, I'm a ribbon snob. you don't REALLY need double sided satin...

Double-sided ribbon is satin ribbon that's shiny on both sides. (the most common kind has an obvious "wrong" side that's duller.

And maybe I'm wrong about the leotard thing.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008 12:44:43 AM by ScotSkipper402 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"For what do we exist, but to laugh at our neighbors and be laughed at in our turn?"

My stash of supplies is now Beyond Life Expectancy. I love personal swaps! http://www.wists.com/redmennis
SkitzoLeezra
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2008 12:58:05 PM »

How's about adding white lace fabric beneath the skirt?  It would give you coverage and pattern.
I vote for removing the sequins and upgrading to a bead trim.
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2008 11:37:09 PM »

I would also suggest putting in some "bodysuit" snaps in the crotch of the leotard... no point in getting completely undressed every time you need the loo! From memory, they go kinda to the front, for comfort, and also so you can see what you're doing down there!
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