The lights are on, the stage is ready, it’s time to dance!
Do you recognize the pattern I used to sew this dance costume? Beneath the sparkle and flash, this is the Ruffled Tankini Swimsuit pattern. I love variations. I love getting more uses from one pattern. I’m passing that love onto you and sharing this bonus pattern to go with the Ruffled Tankini Swimsuit pattern.
I was in the audience at a dance performance a few years ago. As we waited for my niece’s group, we watched groups of all ages and experience, take the stage. They had one thing in common, each group had matching sparkly costumes. I was struck with how the costumes were worked into the performance to carry a theme and add to the experience.
In reworking the Ruffled Tankini Pattern for a dance costume I consulted with my niece about dance costume essentials, lots of sparkle and eye catching accents!
With a few adjustments the transformation from swimsuit to dance costume is pretty amazing.
Dance Costume Essentials
- Main Fabric– Look beyond swimsuit knits. Know what is essential, a 4-way stretch knit fabric and 60% stretch. There are a variety of performance knits that will fall in this category but don’t stop there, search the seasonal fabrics, the formal wear fabrics and ready to wear clothing. Get your hands on the fabric, stretching it, to see if it’s a good match.
- Accent Fabric- Use a knit so the edges won’t fray. The flower accents don’t need to stretch, so the stretch direction and percentage are not critical. Instead go for something bold and eye catching, think color and sparkle.
- Neutral Fabric- Choose a neutral color for the bottoms. Sewn in black or white it will mimic a unitard, commonly worn under the dance costumes. Stretch is important, use a 4-way stretch with 60% stretch.
- Hair Accent- Make a coordinating hair flower or headband. Again color and sparkle will dress up the costume.
Use these ideas to make your own doll dance costume. Follow along with the step by step instructions below. If you want to use the printable Flower Accessory pattern it is included as a bonus to the Ruffled Tankini Swimsuit pattern, available in the shop. If you already purchased the Ruffled Tankini Swimsuit pattern you will recieve an email with a link to the bonus Flower Accessory pattern.
I hope you enjoy the creative possibilities!
- knit fabric that coordinates with your project
- seed beads
- mini hair clip
- Bonus pattern (Includes 3 pattern pieces, the Large Flower, Small Flower and Flower Backing. The printable pattern comes with the purchase of the Ruffled Tankini Swimsuit pattern, available in the shop.)
Flower Accessory Pattern Piece Cutting List
- Large Flower- Cut 2 from a coordinating knit
- Small Flower- Cut 10 from a coordinating knit
- Flower Backing- Cut one from matching felt
Large Flower for a Hair Accessory
Use the Large Flower and Flower Backing pattern pieces.
- Fold in Half– Fold the Large Flower piece in half.
- Fold in Thirds– With the Large Flower already in half, fold it now into thirds. Fold the top third to the left and the bottom third to the right.
- Stitch to Backing– Attach the Large Flower to one edge of the Flower Backing. Thread the needle and tie a knot in the thread ends. Stitch from back to front. Carefully stitch through the layers, taking care to not show the stitches.
- Add Sequin and Seed Bead– Bring the thread up through the fabric from back to front. Thread on a sequin and a seed bead.
- Stitch on Sequin and Bead- To secure the sequin and seed bead, pass the needle back down through the hole in the sequin. Looping through the bead holds the sequin and bead in place. Repeat to add the rest of the sequins and beads.
- Attach to a Hair Clip– Stitch or glue a small hair clip on the felt Flower Backing.
Small Flower for an Outfit Accent
Use the Small Flower pattern piece.
This project has a row of 5 flowers across the front of the bodice. To make 5 flowers you will need to cut 10 Small Flower pieces. Each flower is made of 2 Small Flower pieces. Since we are stitching the flowers to a knit fabric we need to maintain maximum stretch. You can do this by stitching 2 Small Flower pieces, or in other words one full flower, at a time. Tie off and cut the thread between flowers. Follow along above and below as we add the last flower in the line up on the dance costume bodice.
- Fold the Small Flower piece in half. Stitch it down with an X on the edge of the center fold.
- Fold the second Small Flower piece in half. Match up the center folds to complete the flower shape. Stitch the second Small Flower piece with an X on the edge of the center fold.
3. Add a sequin to each half of the Small Flower using the same technique that we used on the Large Flower. Stitch from back to front. Thread on a sequin and a seed bead. Stitch back down through the hole in the sequin. Use a small stitch in the back and tie a knot.
That’s two fun flower accents that will dress up a doll dance costume and more!
Here’s the scoop about today’s post.
- Doll– Grace is American Girl’s GOTY 2015
- Outfit- Dance outfit is sewn using the Ruffled Tankini Swimsuit pattern available in the shop.