Sapphire Blue Figure Skating Dress

Sometime things don’t go as planned. A friend of a former client ordered a figuring skating dress online and when it arrived it didn’t fit.  I received an email asking if I could make something in time for a September competition in Melbourne. Having got my rhinestone mojo happening with my last figure skating dress I said I’d love to help. Cheryll and daughter Chloe chose a beautiful sapphire blue velvet which has been of my most popular colours this year. First step was an elegant ad classic figure skating dress with dropped shoulders and a 2 tone skirt.

basic frame (424x640)

dress shell

The long sleeves have points with an elastic loop attached to keep the sleeves in place. I used some tea-dyed 6mm elastic so that it disappears on her skin.

glue trouble (424x640)

glue dilemma

Now in the world of rhinestones you’re usually a gemtac gal or an E-6000 gal. I normally glue rhinestones onto trim and rarely glue anything directly to a leotard. But this is ice skating and bling is integral to the costume. I used gemtac to glue rhinestones to the lycra of the recent Spanish figure skating dress I made but I was warned that gemtac and stretch velvet are not good friends. Here’s a little experiment with gemtac, gemstone glue and an epoxy that was lurking in the glue draw. While the gemtac was a little runny and did seep into the velvet the rhinestones held. The other glues were complete failures. I didn’t get out the brand new tube of E-6000 because it was too cold to have windows open to get the fumes out of the studio. I found that very gently lowering the rhinestones onto the gemtac was the best technique. Pushing them onto the velvet just forced the glue further into the velvet. However, it wasn’t successful in the acrylic jewels I used or the heavy teardrop shaped crystals so … I hand sewed them on! Lesson learned. E-6000 for the big guys and the pretty but  recalcitrant gems of unknown provenance.

starting out (640x424)

tentative first steps

I kept looking at the bare “canvas” of the dress wondering where to start. Once I got into the idiom there was no stopping me. I’d put the dress aside for the glue to dry and I’d see another spot for another row of rhinestones.

more sparkle (424x640)

more sparkle

We decided to pull the decoration onto the skirt as well. It gives a lovely effect with the glittery tendrils.

sparkle (424x640)

reflected sparkle

It’s so heard to show how beautifully sparkly the Preciosa AB rhinestones are but here is a cute little picture of the reflected sparkle inside my studio.

front (424x640)

front design

The tendrils trail across the front from a dense concentration of rhinestones on the front right. These continue around the back and trail out again in tendrils across the back.

back (424x640) (2)

back design

The whole right side of the dress is encrusted with rhinestones.

rhinestones around the side (640x424) (2)

side design

And the flowery tendrils also twine onto the nude mesh on the top of the bodice …

top of bodice (640x424) (2)

bodice detail

and onto the skirt

skirt detail (640x424) (2)

skirt detail

I definitely have my rhinestone mojo. Now for a ballroom dress!



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