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Working With Appliques

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Wed, Jan 02, 2019 @ 13:01 PM

Using appliques for decorating ballroom dance costumes has always been a major design option. And currently, appliques are also being used on all other types of dance costumes and evening apparel. Appliques are very much on trend, and should be for years, as all trimming trends last until the next trimming trend comes along!

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine, Custom Performance Costumes

“Holly Dazzle” Your Clothing and Costumes for the Holidays!

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Wed, Dec 05, 2018 @ 06:12 AM

With all the showcase events around town, and with many of our social dancers on a limited budget, how about advice about how to enhance evening wear to “glam” it up for a ballroom showcase performance?  Ideas such as putting rhinestones on belts, or adding fur or feathers to sleeve or dress hems come to mind.

‘Tis the season for attending holiday parties and presenting holiday dance performances. And unless you plan on purchasing entirely new outfits for these upcoming, festive events, you can bedazzle and be-deck your current clothing and costumes with holiday cheer and save some cash!

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine, Costume Budgeting Tips

The Overuse of Nude Straps on Skimpy Dance Costumes

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Mon, Nov 05, 2018 @ 13:11 PM


What is one of my most often mentioned pet peeves when I critique “Dancing with the Stars” costumes? …It is the overuse of “nude” elastic straps on dance costumes.

Why do I dislike “nude” elastic straps? Because, to be frank, they are a lazy way to deal with the physics of creating wearable women’s dance costumes. It shows a lack of well thought-out, strategic designs and, often, they aren’t as “nude” as they should be. Just as mismatched or poorly crafted straps can destroy the look of a classy costume, straps made of thin elastic strips that supposedly “match” the dancer’s skin can have the same negative effect. And the clear plastic elastic isn’t any better, as these straps are extremely shiny, and are very noticeable. They are not ‘invisible’.

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine, Costume Fit & Size Tips

Proportionally Fitting Costumes

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Mon, Oct 01, 2018 @ 15:10 PM

Costuming for any type of group: you want everyone proportionally looking the same. Group costuming is easy when all your dancers are very similar in size and shape. It can get trickier when you have a wide range of sizes and shapes. Specific design details, such as an appliqué, or even the lengths of a skirt can be problematic, if you get these details wrong. If all performers have been successfully dressed in correctly proportioned costumes, you will not zero in on any one person, but you will see the group as a whole, no matter the diversity of their sizes or shapes. This is the look you are striving for!

When working with your desired costume professional, an important question to ask: Is this professional proficient with a wide range of sizes? If you have a diverse size range, you need to consider the answer to this question.

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine, Custom Performance Costumes, Costume Fit & Size Tips

Take Care with Laundering Your Team's Costumes

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Thu, Sep 06, 2018 @ 14:09 PM

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Tags: Costume Design Tips, Minnesota Dancer Magazine

What Determines Costs for Custom Ballroom Gowns and Costumes?

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Tue, Sep 04, 2018 @ 16:09 PM

I enjoy writing and blogging about different design aspects of fashion and costume design to help enlighten you about what are the best choices for creating or purchasing your ballroom costume or gown. I haven’t discussed how any of your choices reflect on the price that you will pay for a costume or gown. That’s this month’s topic!
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Tags: Costume Design Tips, Minnesota Dancer Magazine

Life as a professional dance costume designer for 40+ years

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Fri, Jul 06, 2018 @ 11:07 AM

If you know me, or my company Satin Stitches Ltd, you are probably aware that I have had a 40 year journey as the founder and head designer of Satin Stitches. I wear many hats for a niche business that has been creating custom-designed dance (and performance) costumes for 40 years. Recently I posted a new ‘Fun Fact’ with an old photo from those 40 years, every day, during my ‘Anniversary Month’.

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine

Critiquing my ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Costume Critiques!

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Thu, Jun 07, 2018 @ 13:06 PM

Why do I post my costume critiques from ‘Dancing with the Stars’? Well…I love watching dance performances, especially when the performers are all decked out in fabulous, custom designed costumes! Don’t you?

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine

Rhinestoning 102

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Thu, May 03, 2018 @ 13:05 PM

My rhinestone tips blog posted many years ago. “Rhinestoning 101” is still a very comprehensive guide to what you should consider, when considering adding rhinestones to your dance costume. I answer all these questions:

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine, Rhinestone Embellishment

Tips for Men’s Ballroom Costumes

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Mon, Apr 02, 2018 @ 12:04 PM

 In ballroom dance, some might think that what the man wears is inconsequential to what the lady is wearing. How do you feel about this statement?

I disagree! Generally, the man’s attire shouldn’t outshine the lady’s apparel, but it should coordinate and sometimes ‘match’. A ballroom couple is a complete entity. The dancers should coordinate their movements, dance styling, and their apparel. As with everything for their performance, they should be looked upon as ‘one’, not as two totally separate individuals.

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Tags: Minnesota Dancer Magazine


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