Making dance costumes can be costly. With ingenuity and a bit of creativity, here's how to make dance costumes that look great, but don't strain the budget. Depending on the type of dance costumes needed, a variety of fabrics are available to make spectacular costumes. Adding sequins and other theatrical trim glamorize dance costumes. All it takes is a needle and thread and baste stitching. To make dance costumes for jazz, hip hop and other non-traditional dance, all it takes is a good eye for types of fabrics that allow for stretching and limbering or long hours of rehearsal. Dance costumes for performance are designed according to the theme of the dance routine. In the case of ballet, leotards and tights are traditional attire. Some ballet dancers prefer to add leg warmers and short and long skirts in pastel-colored filmy nylon fabrics. For ballet performances, dance costumes are generally provided by the ballet company and styles are determined by the specific ballet.
Look for Dance Costume Fabrics
For all other dance performances where there is no pre-determined style involved, the best way to make dance costumes is to look for the styles of clothing available in fabrics and trims that allow for freedom of movement. For jazz dance costumes, look for shirts, slacks and pants in lycra that are unadorned so that trim may be added. Trim, like sequins, feathers, flowers, beads and fringe can be sewn onto fabrics easily. Sequins for dance costumes are sold by the yard and are available in scalloped designs and narrow strips for easier attachment to costumes. Adding trim to a costume gives it a theatrical look. Choose fabrics and trim in contrasting or matching colors that are bright and catch the eye. Colors for costumes can be deliberately "over the top" to accent a theatrical look. When sewing a specific logo or design onto a dance costume, create a sketch of the design for a guide. Other accessories like canes, hats and long opera length gloves can be found in dance costume shops and catalogues that specialize in dance costuming.
"Renewable" Dance Costumes
When it's time to make a dance costume, don't forget many old costumes can be used as the basis of a new design. This saves time and money for busy dancers. As an example, skirts for square dance performances get a new look by simply changing the color of sashes, ribbons or bows that make the costume "renewable."