My Red Tango Dress

It seems as if I’ve been working on this tango dress forever.   I’ve had a lot of personal distractions and had to put it aside for weeks at a time.   When I make costumes, I don’t normally use a pattern, I drape it and make my own pattern.  I do adjust the design as I go, but I never have the trouble I’m having with this dress.   Maybe it’s part the personal distractions, but mostly I think it’s the fabric that I’m using.  I’m using a 2-way stretch red sequin fabric which is somewhat sheer. 2 way stretch for costumes is not the ideal fabric, but I loved it and thought I could make it work. I cut it and sewed it so that it fit my body perfectly. I also lined it with red 4-way stretch spandex fabric so that it wasn’t sheer and it really made the red sequins pop.

My problem was the neckline, no matter what I did, I didn’t like what it looked like on me. It looked ok on my dress form but it just wasn’t right on me. It was just the neckline. It was bulky and didn’t move right on me. the dress was perfect everyplace other than the neck, even the back was ok.

I tried so many different versions of the neckline and nothing felt right…. then I realized, that between it being sequin fabric and only 2-way stretch, that was the problem. Lining it didn’t help either because it added more bulk. I actually liked everything on the dress form, but the dress form doesn’t move and once I tried them on me, the neck lines just didn’t look or feel right.


Today I realized that it’s the fabric… the 2-way stretch can work  for the dress, but the neckline didn’t have a strong enough elasticity to lay flat and to move with me.   The 4-way stretch lining that I added along with the sequins on the fabric added too much bulk… I tried adding elastic and that added even more bulk, so it just looked terrible.. this may work with a plain 2-way stretch that is not sequins, but this was not working.  Maybe a very experienced seamstress would know what to do with it, but nothing I did was working.

So today I decided to scrap the dress and start over.   I’ll use a 4-way stretch matte red spandex fabric that I have in my fabric stash and will embellish it with sequins.   I put the white stretch fabric pattern that I made for the sequin dress back on my dress form and now I’m redoing the whole thing.   I could keep the back and the bottom of the sequin dress and change the fabric for the neckline something that works, but honestly, I’m just tired of looking at it and I want to start fresh.  I’ll save it and someday maybe pick it back up, but for now, I’m moving on and away from it.

So back to  square one…

Here’s the pinned and marked draping for the new dress..  These are the pieces I will use to cut the new fabric for my dress. I’m using the same pieces I cut for the sequin dress but adding more and cutting in different places.   It may look like piecemeal, but it’s all marked and pieces pinned together and it will work fine for cutting the pattern out of my new fabric.


These are the fabrics, all 4-way stretch.   I have a matte red spandex and a beautiful sequin on 4-way mesh fabric that I will use  for embellishments.   I also have some red sequin  appliqués that I may or may not use.  The sequin mesh fabric will be used either as sheer panels or over the red matte fabric.   I’ll figure that out after I cut the matte red fabric and pin it on the dress form.



This week I’ll start working on it, it should probably be finished in a week or two, depending upon how much time I have to work on it.

Thank you for reading this, I’ll post the updates on it as I go along.


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