5 Ways to Add Fabric and Lace to Your Dance Costume

The Top 5 Ways to Add Fabric/Lace to Your Dance Costume Are

  1. Making A Sash For A Dance Costume
  2. Creating a Double Sash For A Dance Costume
  3. Making a Half Skirt with Cut Pieces of Fabric
  4. Adding Fabric and Lace to Straps
  5. Adding Fabric and Lace to a Dance Top

1. Adding a Sash for a Dance Costume

The first way to add fabric is by a simple sash. Among other things, it is a nice way to cover your belly button when you want to still show clean lines.

Create a sash

To create a sash you need to take some fabric and simple dance pieces to create a new costume by making a sash. This perfect if you need to cover up your belly button but you still want to show all your great lines while you are dancing. For this example, we are going to use our dance shorts and our sports bra. Then I’ve taken a strip of our mesh which is stretchy. You don’t have to use mesh. Using lace can create the same effect. But you want to make sure there’s a little give to the lace so that when the dancer moves, it moves with them. The thing I like about mesh is or lace is that you can cut the edge and you do not have to sew it. This technique requires very little sewing skills. It is best to have the dancer wear the dance pieces so you can determine the best placement of the sash.

What we are going to do first is we are going to take the mesh or lace and place the material where you want it at the shoulder. We suggest you use safety pins rather than straight pins to secure the material at the shoulder if the dancer is wearing the costume. Then pull that material down and across the front either covering up the belly button or just lightly covering it up and pull it around the waist a little. Depending on the size of the dancer’s bust, you may need a little extra coverage on the top. You can place the fabric a little higher or lower on the bust depending on your preference. However, you need to make sure the fabric doesn’t droop under the cancer’s bust or end up on top of the bust. You want to make sure there is even coverage. Another thing that you’re going to want to look at is if you have too much fabric at the bust, it will leave lumps. (Once you have the fabric placed at the shoulder where you want it, fold the fabric in front back (1.45-2.13) so that you can sew it to the bra without having stitches on top of the fabric. Stitch through the bra and the material. Since the material stretches, tie a knot every few stitches while attaching the fabric to the top. That way if a stitch breaks, the material is still strongly attached to the top.)

Once you finish sewing the fabric to the top, drape it over the front again making sure that material covers well and is taut so that it does not sag and yet not too tight so the dancer can still move freely. Also, make sure the gathers are placed where you want them. Next, tuck the extra material under the waistband and use safety pins to pin the material In place. Then you can sew the fabric to the bottom garment making sure to sew all the way across the fabric. Sew from the inside so that the stitches do not show in the front of the garment. It is easier to have the dancer remove the garments before you sew the material to the bottom Don’t forget to tie knots randomly as you are sewing it to the waistband so if stitch comes out, the material is still sewn securely to the bottom garment.


1. Top

2. Fabric for sash

3. Thread to match sash

4. Measuring tape

5. Scissors

6. Safety pins

7. Straight pins

2. Adding a Double Sash to Dance Costume

The second way is to add to the dance costume is use two strips of fabric creating a double sash which is great if you want to cover up your love handles and it creates a nice look in the front.fs

Create a Double Sash (.41 trunk video)

Basically, you will do this the same as instructed in the single sash with the same caveats as with the single. In other words, watch the placement of the sashes so that there are no bulges, the gathers are in the fall in the proper location, that the straps are not too loose or too tight. One thing you need to consider when creating a double sash is that both sashes are the same length and when you sew them to the garments, they are the same width both at the waistband and the shoulders.

Once they are placed where you want them, you can stitch the two sashes together in the center leaving a large enough “V” at the neckline. However, you need to make sure the neckline is large enough to easily don the costume and that the drape of the two sashes are symmetrical and have a pleasing look. Leave both sashes pinned to the waistband and do not sew them down at the bottom until the dancer has removed the costume.


8. Top

9. Fabric for sashes

10. Thread to match sashes

11. Measuring tape

12. Scissors

13. Safety pins

14. Straight pins

3. Creating a Half Skirt For a Dance Costume

The next treatment is creating a half skirt to make a dance costume. I have some simple strips of fabric to create a half skirt. This is great if you want a little flow to your costume when you are dancing but you want to keep clean lines.

Creating the Half Skirt (.12 on skirt video)

This section explains how to make a half skirt by just using simple cut pieces of fabric. The strips could be the skirt itself or they could be added on top of a skirt for extra movement during the dance. The strips could be the same length as the skirt or shorts, a little shorter or longer.

The first thing you are going to want to do is think about where you want to place the strips. Do you want them on the right side of the costume or on the left. Think your lines, your legs, which side would be more flattering, which leg you kick with (.25) the most. Do you want the fabric flowing with your kicks or do you want it to be the opposite? This technique can also be used for a full skirt by just placing the strips all the way around the waistband rather than just on one side. Additionally, when cutting the strips you need to think about the shape. Do you want triangular strips, straight strips or strips with wavy edges? You could also shred them up a bit by making little cuts into the sides of the strips. The strips could also be in the shape of a leaf. If you use a leaf shape or another shape where each strip needs to be the same, create a pattern that can be used to ensure they are the exact shape and size. You also need to think about the width and length. The width is another thing that is your preference although if they are too wide, they won’t have as much movement. Usually the strips are the same length as the shorts or the skirt. But, that is your choice. They could be the same length, shorter or longer. It is better for the strips to be longer because you can always to back and cut them short. (4.2) All of those things need to be considered before you start cutting the strips.

The strips could be fabric or they could even be lace. They could also be the same material that the bottom piece is made of or they could be a contrast color if that is your preference. You could also mix them up and have strips in both materials. Again, lycra and lace are best because they do not shred. If you use a different material, check to make sure it does not fray or you will have to turn and sew the fabric on all the edges. .

When pinning the strips at the waistband, either have the bottom piece on the dancer or put it on a pillow. Once you have the strips pinned, then you can sew them down. Don’t forget to knot the thread periodically so that in case the thread breaks, the strips are still securely attached.


15. Shorts or skirt

16. Fabric for strips

17. Thread to match fabric and or dance piece

18. Measuring tape

19. Scissors

20. Safety pins

21. Straight pins

4. Adding Fabric to the Straps of a Dance Costume

The next technique is adding some fabric to the straps on a costume creating braids or you could do it in a twist. One reason you might want to do this is it will create a nice soft look up by the face.

Braiding or twisting material around the straps of a costume is very simple. A couple of reasons for braiding or twisting fabric around the straps of a costume is to create a unique look and because it creates a extra fabric and texture around the face giving the top a softer look.

You need to make sure the fabric you use is stretchy or you will create a problem when the dancer goes to move in the costume. (.19) You can make the strips of the same material as the top, a different material or lace. Also, we often us two different types and colors of material at the same time. You need to think about where you want to start. A lot of the time you put rhinestones on that starting point and it comes out really pretty. (.36) (.54) Using two strips of fabric, tuck the first strip inside the top under on the neck side of the strap a couple of inches below the shoulder and place the second strip under the strap on the armhole side of the strap. At this point, roll each strip a little and then start braiding the strips around the strap until you get to the neckline on the back of the top. (1.26) Then pin the strips in the front and sew the ends in the front of the top securely making sure that the stitches and ends of the strips are hidden. Then go to the back and either tie the strips in a knot around the strap and let them hang loose. To finish it off, you should cut the ends of the strips at an angle. The second choice would be to tuck the ends inside the top like it is in the front, sew the ends down and cut the ends off. Finally, to make sure the braiding does not move around, it is best to tack the braiding down.


1. Straps

2. Fabric for braided material

3. Thread to match fabric

4. Measuring tape

5. Scissors

6. Safety pins

7. Straight pins

5. Adding Fabric or Lace to Dance Tops (.01)

The fifth and last method to enhance a dance costume is to add lace appliqués to a dance top. We will be using a sports bra in this example. You can use this technique on other tops and you can be creative with the placement of the appliqué. It is really simple to do. One reason you might want to do this is it gives the costume a very expensive look and it is very simple to do. Additionally, it draws the look up to your face. (.19)

The first thing you want to do is make sure the top is stretched out as you pin the lace on. Usually, the lace is not stretchable so if you do not stretch the top before applying the lace, the neckline will be stiff and you will not be able to get the top on and off.

Before applying the lace, you need to find the center of the lace appliqué and the front center of the top’s neckline. (.19) Place the center of the lace on top of the center of the top and pin it in place. (.42) Once you have pinned the “V” lace around the neckline in front, then use the lace trim to finish the neckline around the back. Tuck the ends of the “V” lace and the lace trim underneath each other so it looks like one continuous piece. Then start pinning the lace around the edge of the neck stretching the top’s neckline as you go. If you use safety pins, you can put it on the girl and the top will be stretched out properly before the appliqué is pinned and you get the lace properly spaced out. Tack the lace down along the neckline making a knot on the inside with each stitch. This may seem like overkill to add all these knots but should the thread break, the lace will not come off. It is definitely worth the extra work. Once you have gone along the edge of the neckline, don’t forget to tack down the other edge of the lace, too.


1. Top

2. “V” Lace appliqué

3. Matching lace trim*

4. Thread to match lace

5. Measuring tape

6. Scissors

7. Safety pins

8. Straight pins

*If you can’t find “V” lace appliqué and lace trim, then just do the best that you can. It is important, however, to have the width of the trim and the width of the ends of the appliqué be the same so that when they meet they will look one continuous piece .