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Date Posted: 14:38:33 03/15/01 Thu
I AM INTERESTED IN MAKING SOLO DRESSES AND SELLING THEM FOR A LITTLE PROFIT. I WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE HERE KNEW THE BEST DRESSES TO BEGIN MAKING, AND WHERE WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE TO SELL THEM. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT FEISES ARE A GOOD IDEA. ALSO, WHAT TYPES OF DRESSES ARE POPULAR THESE DAYS? MY SISTER IS 7 AND I MADE HER A VERY SIMPLE DRESS FROM A PATTERN I FOUND IN A CRAFT STORE. WHAT IS A POPULAR SIZE TO MAKE DRESSES FOR? ALSO, WHERE CAN I FIND A PATTERN FOR MAKING MORE INTRICATE DRESSES THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE? I HAVE BEEN TO A FEW FEISES AND HAVE SEEN GIRLS WITH COTTAGES AND HARPS ON THEIR DRESSES THAT DON'T SEEM TO BE STITCHED, BUT RATHER SEWED ON. IS THAT A GOOD IDEA? IS THAT POPULAR? I AM A COMPLETE BEGINNER AT THIS AND THOUGH I HAVE BEEN DANCING I AM IN MY SCHOOL DRESS AND I DON'T WANT TO MAKE MINE WITHOUT A LITTLE PRACTICE FIRST. WHAT IS A FAIR PRICE FOR DRESSES? P.S. DO I HAVE TO SELL THE BLOOMERS WITH THE DRESS?
Before you take the plunge, there is a lot to consider. First you need a pattern. You can contact Irish Threads, find them through Ann's Place. The common sizes I sell are girls 8, 10, 12 and ladies size 12. You also need designs. You can buy the 7 Gates designs through the Ceili Company, also found on Ann's Place. You should look at as many dresses as possible before you begin. They are very, very time consuming and really not something for a beginner sewer. Some of the common things in dresses right now are lots of shiney fabrics to ornament the dress as well as shiney sleeves. Neons were in, but now they are going out. They will probably come back someday. Lace on the sleeves is common, lots of swarovski rhinestones. Too much to go into now.
-Solo dresses are much more difficult to make than it may first appear - at least the kind that have the hefty price tags. You might be able to make simpler "Riverdancy" dresses for adults. Adult dancers usually do not want costumes that are as elaborate as the younger dancers, and they will often opt for something with less stiffening. I know from experience that getting the level of stiffening expected in a championship level solo dress is easier said than done. But even for the simpler dresses, dancers generally want quality. When you speak of designs that are not stitched but "sewn on" I think you must mean applique as contrasted with embroidery. That you are not familiar with these terms makes me think you may be a novice seamstress. It just might be possible for you to find a school that needs a seamstress for their school costume or for beginner costumes (if the school costume is quite elaborate, as many are). Certainly, practice with a dress for yourself or your sister and you'll get an idea what you're up against. Yes, bloomers and crowns are generally included in the "package".
-If you are not a very accomplished seamstress, then I would not encourage you to tackle something like this. Practice as some others have suggested, on a dress for yourself or friends. There is much more involved here than meets the eye. The fabrics and trims are expensive and you can get in over your head quickly if you don't know what you are doing. Working with someone that is already doing your school dresses would be a good idea. This will give you an idea of what you are in for before you dive in and find out you are not cut out for this, or don't have the skills necessary. Then again, you may have and you will have a good "in" with your school, and off you go! Good luck. I love making them, and I waded in the business after doing applique professionally for almost 20 years experience. Look at my site, www.seamssewnice.com and you will see some of what I do. Please write and I'll answer questions you might have if I can.
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