The new (again) trend of adding lace or beaded/sequined appliques to your dance team costumes needs your special attention. Care needs to be taken when incorporating these appliques into your dance team costume designs.
- Are your appliques enhancing your dance costume design? (Or will they look ‘stuck on’, and not part of a cohesive design?)
- Will your appliques seem proportional for all your team’s sizes? (Appliques do not come in different sizes – will the applique look OK on a size XS AND an XL?)
- Will the placement of your appliques hinder the stretch and movement needed for your dance performance? (Make sure there is enough area NOT covered by the appliques that WILL allow for stretch and movement.)
- Realize if you will need pairs (mirror image) of appliques, or if you need all the same asymmetrical shape. (Can you get either of these options?)
- Can you sew the appliques on, allowing for the stretch of the fabric under the appliques? (Place them either when the costume is on the dancer or on a dress form – and stretched, not flat and unstretched.)
- Some appliques can be very fragile. If your beaded or sequined applique is fragile, hand sew (‘tack’) them in place in a sturdy area of the applique, NOT the edge that might rip out, if there is any stress on it.
- Develop a plan where you sew the appliques on well enough so that they won’t come unstitched during your dance performance. (We use sturdy thread that is doubled and secured with very secure knots.
- Consider if you are going to need to launder your costumes – and know ahead of time if the appliques will need to be removed, or if they will withstand the type of laundering you will wish to use.
- Realize that beaded and/or sequined appliques could snag other fabrics – be able to deal with that – wisely consider their position.
- Make sure you order all the appliques that you will need for your costumes at once, as generally ALL appliques are manufactured overseas and if your supplier runs out, it could be a long wait to have more shipped in.
(Guest Blog as Submitted to Minnesota Association of Dance Teams)
© Deborah J. Nelson/Satin Stitches Ltd.