How To Order:
Call me (802) 454-8616 EST or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I work from a description, picture, sketch, catalogue clipping, or your music. However, I do not recommend copying outfits if you are a competitive figure skater or dancer looking to make an impact at regionals, be unique!
There is no charge for an estimate of what it would take to make YOUR next costume. So by all means, contact me to consult on your ideas. When necessary I will do sketches and mockups to get you what you want. I will accommodate small teams.
Working from your Music:
Audio clips are very helpful!
After hearing the music I can come up with designs immediately or take some time to research ideas.
I once adapted a costume from an e-mail photo of a Riverdance outfit on Broadway.. We did the costume in a different color with some modifications, including putting nude netting in the top and sleeve for warmth, and adapting a simple design from the Book of Kells for the pattern of crystals on the front, reflecting the colors in the Irish flag.
Does it make a difference having your costume look "professional"? It sure can't hurt! And it is fun to go the distance to make you look like you have done your homework to get a costume that really works with the music. This is especially true if you are testing a freestyle program. Judges have frequently remarked at test sessions on the quality of my costumes. You are not being marked on the quality of the costume. However it can add to the overall professionalism with which you present your program. And judges will respond to that on a subjective level! At Nationals one year a pair skater got a toe pick caught in the partner's costume. A male soloist had his shirt come untucked. Did that help them? Probably not! The time to be concerned about a costume is before the event, not during it.
Measurements and Fit
Measurements needed for girls/women:
Bust /waist/ hips /girth /underarm to wrist. Girth is critical because the length of the body suit is based upon it. Measure from the shoulder (near the neck) down the front between the legs and back up the back to where you started! Stand up straight and have someone else measure. Other measurements may be needed if there is netting above the bust, or for certain designs. For form fitting sleeves I will ask for measurements of the armhole, biceps and wrist. They will be requested by e-mail. For tights: waist, inseam to anklebone and thigh around. For boys: shoulder width, chest, waist, neck, full girth, underarm to wrist, biceps around and wrist around.
When you purchase a garment from a manufacturer you may receive an undersized garment that stretches to fit you. When ordering leotards for teams (in order to add skirts for teams) for example, I have found that girls that need a ladies small find they really need a medium. With custom measurements, this kind of thing doesn't happen. I design TO the measurements. Growing room can be put in the crotch seam or inner side seams to accommodate growth. Even without these special considerations, however, this is going to be a costume that will fit you now and for at least year or two down the line. By the way it is not necessary for costumes to be "skintight" to look good. You are an athlete and need to move in this costume. If you have special wishes for fit, let me know. For skating skirts I need to know if you want it short, average, long or dance length
Fabrics and Decoration
I work in all available materials except fur and feathers. Spandex, stretch velvet, stretch mesh and stretch lace are commonly used. I infrequently use: micro-fleece, organza, stretch satin, silk chiffons or polar fleece. I have many specialty fabrics on hand such as patterned velvets and silk chiffons. I work with numerous suppliers of materials and can send you fabric samples directly. You just would not believe the gorgeous fabrics available for YOUR next costume!
A variety of suppliers are at my disposal for Austrian and other crystal and I have some stock in VT. Often I do the crystal application as well as the costume. Sometimes families do their own decorating. I do not use crystals with pre-applied glue.
In general it is not a good idea to mix too many colors unless there is a specific reason to do so, based upon the music, as in Showcase. Therefore, for example, if there are two colors already in the outfit, it may look better to have the stones or decoration be one of those colors or a coordinating color, rather than another divergent color. Obviously there are exceptions to this.
Similarly, simplicity of design works better than having lots of different "looks" in the outfit. Think about outfits you have seen on TV, in which professionalism has created a nice look: it is usually toward simplicity, except in cases where exotic color and flounce are incorporated for exhibition events. I strive towards making appropriate yet versatile outfits. What works for testing your program may not be the same outfit for exhibition, showcase, or your end of the year extravaganza!!
I have consulted with seamstresses on projects by providing custom patterns and/or sewing instructions for a fee. Don't hesitate to contact me by email if you would like to discuss your costume concerns. There are a myriad ways to alter costumes to make them fit. I also enjoy working with people who are attempting to "make their own" and enjoy chatting about costumes shown on TV.
I use all of the available shipping services: Priority USPS insured, UPS and FedEx.
Shipping charges for a single costume starts at $8 for the small USPS box insured.
If you prefer UPS, need 2nd day air or Overnight services please mention it.