Three ways with the Silver-white lace

Finding lace and trimmings for costumes is a never-ending task; EBay, Aliexpress, op-shops, generous gifts all make for a lively versatile inventory. But sometimes you can get stuck. Well here’s how I used white and silver in three different ways – not because I’d run out of ideas but because 3 separate clients all chose similar pretty lace for white lyrical costumes.

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Silver sequin lace from Spotlight (the rhinestones were my addition)

This lace is readily available from Spotlight stores on Australia and New Zealand. It’s quite versatile but is becoming a little overused. So circumstances call for some creativity to reinvent this useful fabric. In the picture above it is overlaid on knitted lace and has a few rhinestones added.

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Stretch lace over lycra

In the first costume the motifs from the lace were blinged up with crystal AB rhinestones and used to decorate the skirt and bodice of the costume.

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close up of lace motif on upper bodice

The sequin lace blends beautifully into the lycra/stretch lace combo.

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back view

The lace motifs are continued around the back of the bodice and onto the lace sleeve. This is a lovely simple costume for a young dancer. The current trend for bare midriff is included but with plenty of coverage elsewhere.

The second costume is a lyrical with a long stretch mesh skirt.

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White Lyrical costume using silver lace

In this case the a corded silver lace covers the seam between the lycra and the white sequin mesh on the upper bodice. I’ve condensed space between the motifs to give a more solid silvery effect.

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close up of back

The Spotlight lace could easily have been used here as well with a similar effect.

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back keyhole

The addition of the corded lace over the seam between the lycra and the white sequin mesh gives the impression of a more complex lace fabric overall.

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Pastel detailing

The final white costume required soft pastel colours so I thought a bit of hand painting might work well. You can see this is the same lace that was used in the first costume.

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just like colouring in

The apliques were placed on the bodice and continued around onto the back of the skirt.

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hand painted motifs added to costume

While the colours look a little bright here, under stage lights they fade to lovely soft shades.

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appliques on nude mesh

The motifs again were placed over the seam between the upper and lower bodice,

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a few rhinestones added some stronger colour points

And below is the finished costume. So you can see there are plenty of options for creating white and silver costumes.

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soft pastels with white and silver

Burgundy Contemporary costume

This costume uses a lovely combination of burgundy and wine red fabrics as well as a dusty rose sequinned lace. I love finding unusual fabrics that sing together beautifully. On the back of the skirt you can see the wine coloured lycra, burgundy skirt and dusty rose lace edge.

back detail

back detail

I used some of the motifs from centre of the lace to decorate the crop top as well as augmenting the lace with burgundy and crystal AB rhinestones.

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front detail

The costume was for a young dancer so a crop top was preferred over a bra top. We made the back a little fancy for her though with a strappy cross-over. The diagonally placed applique continued around the back just a little.

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back detail

 

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completed costume

 

Maleficent

A client came to me a while ago for a tutu and asked if I’d make her a Maleficent costume as well. They wanted wings that could be easily removed in the early part of the choreography. Now before you get too excited, I don’t know ow to make wings and certainly not easily removable ones so I accepted the tutu job but sent them off to a costumier I knew in Bondi that does this sort of thing.

When they cam back for a tutu fitting they said they’d changed their mind about wings and could I make a costume with a removable long floaty cape. Oh yes … now that was right up my alley. Three metres of 6 momme tissue silk and a handful of magnets and here we go!

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The costumier’s friends

Anything that is removed on stage in front of an audience needs to be done deftly and silently. Velcro won’t do it and snaps need serious pull to dislodge. For quick change costumes you best friend is a magnet. I use 12mm x 2mm neodimium magnets. They have a pull of about 600g and with 6 pairs of them I figured it would be enough for 3 metres of beautiful floaty tissue silk.

covered magnets

covered magnets

The magnets had to be placed inside the black mesh of a unitard so I covered them with flesh coloured powernet and sewed them into the costume across the back of the shoulders.

magnet sewn in

magnet sewn in

My aim was to have as little fabric as possible between the north and south poles of the magnets (It’s important to get that right!) so I didn’t sew them over seams.

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magnet sewn in

Now while the magnets can be seen close up, at 5m they disappear and considering the audience is generally at 15 m they are for all intents and purposes invisible. The matching pair of the magnet was in the edge of the cape with just one layer of silk over it.

magnet in cape

magnet in cape

The magnets in the cape and across the back of the costume lined up and gave the look of a firmly fixed cape.

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magnet attachment points

The cape is 1.5 m long and 3m wide gathered and steamed onto a band the width of the back. Small magnets were also inserted into the wrist of the costume to give the impression of wings: Mission accomplished .. and NO WINGS!

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back of cape

When the cape is removed a deep low back is revealed on a black velvet unitard with gold embossing.

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deep back

Maleficent with her evil black silk cape.

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Maleficent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Bride – lyrical costume

My lovely ballet girl Emily is showing her versatility moving away from the peaches and cream tutu I made for her recently to a dramatic lyrical piece featuring a 9 metre black veil. We decided on a great pattern from Jalie. I love Jalie patterns.

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Jalie patterns are fabulous

Emily wanted a black lace underlined with nude lycra and then I found this glorious sequinned black lace from Glitter and Dance.

Jalie patterns are great for solos and troupes as they come in 22 sizes in one pattern. From child’s size 2 up to large adult. The multiple sizing is particularly good for grading between sizes for custom sizing.

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tracing off Emily’s size

And the costume fitted like a glove.

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costume back

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lyrical Emily