I am hoping to make a comprehensive video about all of this for you all but I haven’t gotten all the footage together yet. It is really hard to get the right camera angle, and do the work and explain it verbally at the same time. BUT I will get there I promise! For now, I wanted to give you all a list of some of the basic sewing skills that all dancers need to get by. As much as some of us would like to avoid any kind of sewing for the rest of our lives, it can be a necessary skill for a performer.
– How to sew on a hook or a snap. As much as we’d like to think that safety pins solve everything, over time the amount of holes you’re poking into your costume can cause wear. Also, not all safety pins are created equal and they can pop open or break. I have also seen safety pins used for so long on a costume instead of sewing hooks that the sweat has caused them to rust- not pretty.
– Fabric glue. Fabric glue is great for edges of a veil that may not have been finished off or if you have a loose strand. I have also used it for a quick bead repair if something has gotten loose in between gigs. It is not a permanent solution but it is a great trick to have up your sleeve for those projects that require more sewing time and/or a professional seamstress.
– Padding a top. I know that some like to use remove-able inserts and that’s fine but I have seen them pop out on more than one occasion. If you use them, then please sew or pin them in so that they stay in place. The best method is to open up about 2 inches of the lining of the bottom of your bra and put in padding. I know this is really scary and it scared me the first time I ever did it but it’s not as hard as it seems. It just takes a few snips for the stitches to come loose. Then you can insert the padding with a couple of fingers and try on the bra as you go, to ensure that you get the lift/shape that you want. I prefer to use cotton batting as a stuffing as it is soft and it conforms to your shape with heat. I have seen other types used such as pillow stuffing but try to stay away from materials that are too much like foam, they don’t work as well and are harder to mold to your shape. Once you have stuffed enough in there, sew the lining back. The stitches do not have to be masterful, just enough to close the lining. It can always be removed by you or the next dancer to love that costume.
These are the 3 things that I have learned over the years one must know being a dancer. Please feel free to add your own in the comments section below. I would love to know what other basic sewing skills this dancer needs to pick up!