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Ballet Talk for Dancers

costume trouble & the show is tomorrow!!

Guest ballet princess

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Guest ballet princess

I have a show tomorrow and we just got our costumes today. Mine is HUGE on the chest area and also on the sleeves. I have no idea what to do but if I dont fix it, I feel like I'm going to fall out of my leotard! The problem is that I cant wear a bra because the back is sheer. I'm going crazy and I'm so upset! My mom cant take it in because the leotard is school property and we arent supposed to make adjustments since they arent ours. The local dance shop doesnt carry them either. I am so confused on what to do! I need help. Please!!!


If it will help to see the leotard, I attached a file.


Please! I really need ideas!




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I'm not great at sewing, but I'd try making temporary alterations - don't cut any fabric, but just make some inner folds of fabric and lightly sew them to fit. If done carefully you should be able to remove the stitching after the show and no one will be the wiser (this will depend on the fabric though - some fabrics leave pretty obvious needle holes).


I'd much rather have to replace the costume leotard afterwards (if the aterations hurt it somehow) than fall out of a costume on stage. You want to dance your best and it will be harder to do that in a really badly fitting costume.


I'm not of the proper age group to post here - moderators please move or delete my post if you feel the need.



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I suggest speaking to your costume mistress, maybe you got someone elses costume. If you don't feel like doing that take the costume in. Try it on and with some one to help make tucks or folds to the wrong side along the seams of those areas that are too big, don't take in too much, leave a little bit extra. Pin carefully and take off very carefully so you don't get scratched or lose pins. Then using a matching polyester sewing thread and a fine hand sewing needle stitch by hand those folds you made. Make the stitches fairly small and close together and put a back stitch in about every ten stitches. Don't pull stitches too tight and leave a little slack in your stitches because you are sewing a stretch fabric. If you sew too tight the stitches will break or tear the material when under tension. Hope this helps. I know I'm the wrong age for this group but as a Mum who sews and has had to deal with costume problems over 15 years I thought I could help :)

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And as jayo suggests " keep mum" and remove sitches after the show. If the costume is damaged replace it. AND I really don't understand how any school can justify making students wear costumes that don't fit and then place an embargo on adjustments. I think there should be some discussion with the schoo's administration. Anyway, chin up, wear a big smile, enjoy yourself.:)

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  • Administrators

If there is no costumer or wardrobe person for this show, then it is the Director's job to make sure that costumes fit properly. Getting the costume one day before the show is ridiculous to begin with, and not being able to adjust it is really ridiculous. It should not be YOUR responsibility. If you did not buy the costume, then it is their job to see that it fits you, and to fix it if it doesn't. This sounds like amateur night in Dixie to me :) Is there a director? Does he/she want to put you out on stage in a costume that might become embarrassing? Excuse me, but you should not be in this situation. However, since there is no time, fix the costume, and then give it back to the school and tell them it's their problem, not yours.

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I don't know if this would work or no, but if you can't take it up enough you could try to get a form bra, or whatever it's called. They just stick on in the front, not in the back where it's sheer.

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Guest BroadwayDiva8

if you're afraid to put stiches in the leotard u could always safety pin it so that it fits you. (safety pins are a dancer's best friend ;) ). they would be easier to take out than stiches...but whatever works best for you!

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Ms. Leigh is right---it is not your fault if the costume doesn't fit. Unless you gave the school the wrong measurements.....


Take it in along the sides--do more than you think you need as it is stretchy. Also take it up at the shoulders. DO NOT CUT the fabric--just fold it--no one is going to notice on stage, esp. if it is black.


Go ahead and do it by hand, with a strong basting stitch, backstitching every now and then. I wouldn't do it on a machine as it is a pain in the neck to rip out.


Sorry I wasn't online before to help you out--very best of luck with your performance:)

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yes, safety pins are great, but just remember they have been known to pop, and you don't want a pin sticking straight into you when you're dancing, and trying to smile!

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Please do not use safety pins! They will snag, rip holes in the leotard and otherwise provide a nasty surprise when someone happens to step on one that has popped off your costume.


NO SAFETY PINS on anything that touches your or possibly someone else's body.

You may use them in a pinch to whack up a hem that is ripped in a long gown.


Wonder why backstage wardrobe staff carry threaded needles? So you all won't be using safety pins.

(*We* may use safety pins, as we don't use them for things like taking in mis-sized costumes.) It takes three seconds to take a tack in something. Do it right or don't waste your time.Please do not use safety pins!

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Guest ballet princess

Thanks for all the replys everyone. :P


I ended up sewing it. :) Everything worked out after I explained my situation to my ballet teacher. In case anyone is wondering, the show went well too.


Ms. Leigh, I understand what you mean however this isnt for my studio in which we do have a costumer/wardrobe person, it was for my school (a performing arts HS). It was not such a big production, just a few Fosse inspired dances. We had ordered costumes in advance, months before, but the company we ordered from called my school 2 days before the show to tell us that they are sorry for the inconvenience, but they are out. And we had ordered it MONTHS before. So we had no choice but to purchase leotards and we had no idea that they ran big.


Hope this clears everything up.

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  • Administrators

Sorry, but whomever was responsible for ordering the costumes "months" ago should have been on the phone with that company at least WEEKS ago screaming about the fact that the costumes had not arrived. Someone dropped the ball here, and that is poor organization.

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