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Subject: What makes an ID dress a challenge?

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Date Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 04:22:10pm

I've been asked to make an Irish Dance dress for a friend's pupil. I'm a competent seamstress. I keep reading on messageboards, websites and forums that an Irish Dance dress is a really difficult thing to make.

I'm wondering what makes it so difficult. Is it the embellishment? The construction? SOmething else?

I was planning to let the recipient's family attend to the decoration/embellishment. The dress looks like a jewel necked dress with either darts or princess seams, but with a pleat or pleats/panels.

Is there something secret inside? Is there anyone prepared to spill the beans?

It would be a great new adventure in sewing for me if I could take on this challenge.

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Subject Author Date
There are no beans to spill, just a lot of practise and experience to get the look exactly right. (more inside)Plus develop your own pattern as no decent commercial pattern existsTuesday, May 16, 05:51:45pm

Agree with the above! Unfortunately new parents often don't understand the dress enough to explain to an inexperienced Irish dance dressmaker. You would want to get a look at a high level dress to see what is happening. It also helps to discuss with a champion (or their mom) about what makes a good dress. (NT)lots to learnTuesday, May 16, 10:23:55pm

It might help to start with altering a good used dress. You learn a lot that way. (NT)thoughtTuesday, May 16, 10:26:11pm

Also bear in mind how many people think they can make an ID dress, and then either don't finish it or are horrified at how long it takes them. (NT)And how few ever attempt another dress!Wednesday, May 17, 12:33:31am

As the above poster said, altering dresses would give you an idea how the dress is constructed. mainly, skirt has to sit flat in the front (NT)hard to explainFriday, May 19, 07:21:59am

What makes an ID dress a challenge? All of the above. Embellishment - yes. Construction - yes. Something else - yes, many things. If you have never seen one before and are not EXTREMELY familiar with what they should look like, I would say it would be impossible to make one that looks right.Not for the faint of heart.Monday, May 22, 08:44:30am

YOU MUST PUT A FRAME UNDER THE SKIRT! the dress sticks out on the sides but is flat in front and in back, as if the dancer is in a tutu but was pressed between two panes of glass! If you can get the underskirt stiffened frame right, the rest of your seamstress expertise will work out just fine. (NT)ExperienceSaturday, May 27, 03:29:20pm

As stated above, there is no true pattern for an Irish dance dress. You have to find a pattern that best fits a dancer and then alter it to accommodate the dancers body type and to accommodate the type of skirt that she wants. Due to the different weights of fabric, different combinations of stabilizers will be needed to maintain the proper shape. I do not always use the same combination of stabilizers. When attaching the skirt...good luck!Monday, June 05, 12:49:05pm

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