Embellishing 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 http://www.trimexpoinline.com  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




How to Apply Rhinestones to a Dance costume

How to properly apply crystal rhinestones to a competition costume.

We are quickly approaching the beginning of the 2014 dance competition season!

Some of you may have already chosen your costume or costumes for the upcoming dance year and some of you may have not.  If you have ordered a costume from a catalog what you see may not be what you saw!  Sometimes a costume looks amazing in a picture or online, kudos to the photographer, they’ve done his/her job well.  However, sometimes you get that costume and it, well, is lacking that wow factor.  For me, I have always added some sort of embellishment to a competition costume.  There are so many options.  Today though I’m just going to talk about crystal rhinestones and how to apply them.

Dance costumes have to serve two functions- be stunning and be easy to dance in!  One of the ways to get to that wow factor is to add your own Bling.  Not to much and not to little! Remember, there can be quite a good amount of distance between your dancer and the judges. Therefore, what you are looking at up close and personal may indeed be barely seen by a judge.

If you need a quick fix you can go to your local fabric store and purchase crystal rhinestones. If you plan in advance you can purchase rhinestones online.  This option will save you money and give you more color options.  Crystals come in various sizes.  I would recommend 10ss or larger.  There are many colors to choose from or you can get AB crystals.  AB crystals catch the light and bounce off what ever color is near, thus giving it a multicolor rainbow effect as opposed to a solid color.  When you go to buy the stones you will see or hear the term “gross.”  Not as in ugly or a ton!  The term “gross” in the world of stones simply means that there are approximately 144 stones, of the same size, in a package.

The second thing that you need to know is how and what tools you will need to properly apply them. The most common stones are ‘Hot Fix’ or ‘Flat Back.’  Hot fix crystals are the most commonly used.  This type of crystal has a hardened glue on the back of them. The glue melts and bonds itself to the material when you apply it with a Hot Fix

According to Swarovski experts, It is recommended to use the flat head tips.

While you’re waiting on the tool to heat up, approximately 10 minutes, this is a good time to start placing the stones in the desired position.  Make sure the backing of the stone is on the fabric, with the colored side of the stone up and facing you.

Now that your tool is heated up, simply press the heated tip onto the top of stone for thirty seconds. Be sure to keep the heated head on the stone as the tool may melt some of the more delicate fabrics.

Let the garment cool and rest for 24 hours, if you can, before use.  The garment can be washed or dry cleaned.  If the stones are properly set they should stay in place through normal laundering.

Flat Back crystals look exactly the same as the Hot Fix stones but they have no glue on the back at all.  This type of crystal is applied with regular craft glue.  Gem-Tac or E6000 are the more commonly used glues.Use a toothpick as the glue applicator, place a small drop of glue on the garment.  Place your stone on this drop of glue, do not put any pressure on it or the glue will run outside the stone and leave a “ring” of glue.Continue placing small drops of glue across the garment and immediately covering them with the stones until all the crystals are in place.  Be careful not to bump or move the crystal until it is completely dry.

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