The Dress Project

For those waiting patiently to hear the story behind the new dress I sported for American Smooth at Beach Bash, here it is! For everyone else who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, keep reading anyways. It’s a good story.

Way back at the end of January, I posted about the start of my training in Standard and my intention to compete in both American Smooth and Standard in 2018. I mentioned I was going to need a new dress because my pink dress wouldn’t pass for Standard. Teacher had also been not-so-subtly hinting that it may be time for a new look for Smooth as well. In true fashion of the people who follow and support me (you’re all awesome), one of my lovely readers messaged me on Facebook with a proposition.

She had a dress that she had purchased a few years ago, but never had a chance to wear because she suffered an injury shortly after. It never fit her quite right and now it didn’t fit the direction she wanted to go anyway. SO she very generously offered to gift it to me. If I could make it work, it was mine to keep!

Dress project1

The original dress

I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the amazing and kind gestures my audience has shown me over the years. You guys really are incredible and I work hard every day to stay worthy of your support and generosity.

She shipped the dress to me and I contacted one of Teacher’s other students who is also a dressmaker. I knew ahead of time the dress would at least need to be taken in a bit, and I would want to open up the back more so my tattoo would show clearly. Let the alterations begin!

The first thing we did was remove the blue material from the chest area. It just had to go. We weren’t sure how to further alter the front though so it wasn’t so completely covering me. The larger size and near-total coverage made me look older. What to do?

Half jokingly, my friend the dressmaker suggested I flip the dress around and try it on backwards! The cut in the back with the straps looked like it might make for a flattering front. Why not?

Dress project2

Sometimes you just need a different perspective.

This dress looked better on me backwards! After that, things came together quickly. We cut out the back (which used to be the front) and added some cups and additional straps in the front (which used to be the back). I learned how fun it is to pull rhinestones off a costume.

Dress project3

The nearly finished product

We ended up adding a couple straps to the back to tighten up the fit of the top, and my dear mother restoned the lower back while I was away at the conference in Arizona right before Beach Bash. Then it made its debut on Smooth day!

I’m waiting on action photos from that day of the competition, so I’ll be sure to post some once they come in. After dancing a day in it, I had a couple additional tweaks to ask of my friend the dressmaker. One potentially embarrassing mishap was the hook at the back of my neck came undone twice on the dance floor!  Luckily, nothing else came undone, but it was disturbing to feel my dress suddenly become looser while I was dancing!

So it’s not perfect, but I love that I have a second Smooth dress now with a fun story behind it! It’s going to be hard moving forward to just buy a dress when the need arises without some kind of story attached to it.

Anyone else have a fun story of getting creative with their ballroom costume?


4 thoughts on “The Dress Project

  1. BCBallroomdancer says:

    The stories behind my current dresses are well documented on my blog, but the one thing I will say is that experimenting with ballroom dresses is the closest I come to caring about fashion!!

    I am already tossing around in my head if I should do new dresses for competing this fall….oh the design ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

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