The last of the dancewear – Jalie Patterns to the rescue

I know that most are not particularly interested in dancewear. However as it’s a blog about my sewing, I’m blogging about it as it was a sewing tangent I decided to disappear down for a while for my daughter.

This will be the last of the dancewear posts for a long time – I am burnt out from sewing dancewear and attending about 48 hours of dance eisteddfod in two weeks… this is in addition to my full-time job. Most of her dancing was at night and on weekends, convenient yes, exhausting most certainly.

Sewing the tutu made me realise I needed to have more confidence and that I perhaps could sew my daughter’s eisteddfod (competition) costumes. I’ve always lacked the confidence (and interest) to give it a go before!

So I took a deep breath and away I went.

None of these were particularly difficult but thank goodness I have an overlocker!

The Jazz Oufit

This outfit has based around the rather sparkly and floral lycra that we found together on a Cabramatta shopping trip with Susan of Measure Twice, Cut Once (thanks Susan!).

Just warm-up photos of this.

Just warm-up photos of this.

While it looks quite complex, in reality it wasn’t. The most fiddly past being the attachment of the v-neck band and the chevron seams on the sleeves. The pattern is a Jalie pattern – a cheerleading one – called Anne (No. 3466).

Just warm-up photos of this.

Just warm-up photos of this.

The silver stripes are first appliqued onto one of the main fabric pieces and then the other edge is captured in the garment seam. Jalie has you simply stitch it down with a raw edge. I thought it would look rather shoddy. So I added a 1/4 seam allowance, turned this under with Wonder Tape and then used honeycomb stitch to applique it to the edge – I got this idea from a sewing lunch – sitting next to Sue (who was wearing a Jalie cardigan from memory) and admiring and discussing her honeycomb hem stitch choice!

It was fun to sew. And age appropriate. Some of the things people let their children wear on stage is just frightening.

The Contemporary Outfit

This was a mutual design job between Zoe and myself, she showed me some outfits she liked and away we went. She wanted a vivid blue and chose electric blue stretch velvet. We were fortunate to find a matching corded blue lace on sale. I bought 1.5m for about $15 – usually would have cost over $50!

Zoe in Jalie 3247, modified to include a hankerchief lace circle skirt

Zoe in Jalie 3247, modified to include a hankerchief lace circle skirt

We used Jalie Gym Shorts & Crop Tops pattern No. 3247.

I underlined the front of the top with plain blue lycra. I added a seam allowance to the neckline and arm holes as I didn’t like the fold-over elastic finish. I simply used elastic and a zigzag stitch. Worked perfectly. I also added a fabric band to the bottom of the crop top to lengthen it a little.

The neckline embellishment is simply a ‘bling’ necklace from my collection of accessories. It originally cost me $5 – it’s no great loss and works perfectly here! I simply sewed it to the neckline and it really gave the outfit a lift on stage

Zoe in Jalie 3247, modified to include a hankerchief lace circle skirt

Zoe in Jalie 3247, modified to include a handkerchief lace circle skirt

The lace skirt was 1.5m square so I simply cut a circle in the centre, larger than her waist and gather it into the waistband seam of the shorts. I left it square to achieve the ‘handkerchief’ hem effect.

Due to the weight of the lace, I threaded some thick elastic through the waistband so there were no ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ on stage.

Third place

Third place

She wore this for her ‘own choreography’ item in the ‘open’ section and she came third!

The Demi Character Outfit

This one I love. Incredibly simple yet she looks so striking on stage. She needed a ‘jewel thief’ outfit so this is what we came up with.

Zoe dressed as a 'Jewel Thief' in a Jalie Ballet Unitard with stretch lace sleeves.

Zoe dressed as a ‘Jewel Thief’ in a Jalie Ballet Unitard with stretch lace sleeves. Yes, she needs new shoes! No time to break a new pair in before this event unfortunately!

The ballet unitard pattern from (you guessed it) Jalie, No. 2105. Sewn in plain black shiny lycra with stretch lace sleeves. The front is lined to the waist with the same black lycra. The neckline is turned under with black elastic and stitched with my coverstitch machine.

The lace mask came from a local sewing dancewear fabric shops that stocks costumes. It cost $5.

Thoughts

And there you have it. From no dancewear to a tutu and three dancing outfits! It can be done! Jalie patterns have a huge range on offer and can be easily modified. You are just limited by your imagination.

Everyone asks – does she want to be a ‘dancer’. No not really. She’s quite ambitious and wants more than to dance from life. However, she LOVES to dance. So I support her – some kids play hockey, soccer, netball or football… my daughter dances. It’s no different and this has been a lovely project to work on together (although sometimes stressful for me!).

She danced well… she danced a lot… she got some places and some highly commended ribbons. A big achievement considering she is dancing in ‘open’ when she should be in ‘novice’ – her teacher convinced her to dance up at a higher level. It was much tougher but she was a trouper and pleased with her achievements. For her, she simply likes to dance as well as she can. Places are nice but not necessary.

One of the backstage volunteers commended her on her friendliness and manners towards other competitors – it can be unpleasant or unwelcoming backstage at times as some of the competitors can be fierce. I guess everyone deals with these things in different ways. I am proud of how Zoe deals with it. With a smile.

No more dancewear for a long time I promise – back to selfish sewing!

Thanks for bearing with me through this little sewing tangent.

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