About Coach Erin

Erin is a 16 year veteran dance team coach in Minnesota. A 3 time MADT coach of the year (2009, 2010, 2014) and winner of 2 state championships in high kick with the Cannon Falls Bomber Dance Team. In high school Erin danced for Winona and Apple Valley high schools. Erin is a nationally known blogger, writing for the Radio City Rockettes and a Hollywood movie among other projects. Erin also teaches on a freelance contractor basis for many MN high school teams and can be contacted for date/time availability at mnhsdanceteam@gmail.com

Guest Article – Costume Trends with Satin Stitches

If you’re like me, the no-contact period around the 4th usually means a great time to relax, but also to do some thinking about music and costuming for next year.  Today we have a little inspiration about whats new and where things are going from Deborah Nelson, the owner of Satin Stitches.  Enjoy!

Fabric and Trim Trends in Minnesota Dance Team Costumes & Uniforms

© Deborah Nelson/Head Designer for Satin Stitches Ltd.

At Satin Stitches, we have already been working with many High School dance teams to create their new, unique, custom team uniforms and costumes. Some styles have been very inexpensive, and some have been more extravagant. But, fabulous, fun costumes and uniforms don’t need to be expensive to be effective. But they do need to be well designed and fit your team, correctly.

Generally the term ‘costume’ is used to describe a team garment that might be used for one season, for a particular theme. The term ‘uniform’ is more commonly used when referring to a team garment that will be used over the course of several seasons.

I’ll be talking about fabrics and trims in this article. Next time…what’s trending in silhouettes, Inspirations, and themes.

This spring and summer, at Satin Stitches, we have been working on both ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive’ options for our clients. We have offered ‘Early Bird’ discounts for those who planned ahead, to help stretch budgets.

With fabrics, for teams that are needing a team uniform to last for many seasons, we recommend the ‘work horses’ of performance fabrics. These fabrics include basic, plain 4-way stretch Spandex in a medium or heavyweight thickness, so that the basic fabric stands up to rigorous wear AND also to laundering. Swarovski rhinestones (a seemingly frivolous decoration) are actually very durable, if ‘Hot Fix’ stones are used, as they can easily be hand-washed, machine-washed or dry-cleaned, when they are properly (and permanently fused by heat or ultra-sonic waves) to the fabrics.

Most of the current, very stylish performance fabrics are NOT recommended for dance team uniforms, unless the teams take meticulous care of them, which may include putzy hand-washing, spot-cleaning and/or treatment with an odor-eliminating spray, such as FRESH AGAIN®.

These fabrics include some wonderful 4-way stretch Spandex prints, sequins, sheer meshes and especially surface-printed fabrics. The VERY popular ‘Mystique’ from one major Spandex supplier offers dozens of color combinations for the under fabric and also the mini-dots that are then printed on top of this base fabric. Holographic surface-printed fabrics are the most difficult to launder, as the holographic effect is a third manufacturing process and can easily be depleted with wear and cleaning.

Another VERY popular performance fabric is a mini-squiggle sequin that is very sparkly without giving the look of armor, as the fully-sequined dresses and jackets of dance teams, past. One major supplier of this fabric calls it ‘Zsa Zsa’. This fabric has also increased in popularity and offers many different color options. The tiny strings of sequins are sewn onto the base fabric, creating an all-over sequin look.

At Satin Stitches, we use sewing techniques that increase the durability of uniforms (and costumes) constructed out of these more-fragile fabrics. We also use similar construction techniques that extend the durability of many other current, trendy fabrics.

As with styles shown on The Runway, all types of stretch lace and stretch mesh are very popular. Glitter and sequins (whether surface-printed on or stitched on) add glitz and glamour to team costumes without the added cost of applied Swarovski rhinestones.

Raw-cut and ripped, distressed looking fabrics also remain on trend. The trend to create ‘texture’ by combining many different fabrics into one unique design, rather than creating a costume out of only one fabric remains very popular. Just be careful to edit your designs, so you don’t overwhelm with too many fabrics/features in one costume.

Sequin trim is still used in certain areas of various designs (including the NEW use of beaded and sequined premade appliques). But the trim of choice is still RHINESTONES! Metallic studs are also being used. Feathers have also crept into the trimming department for accenting necklines, hemlines, or possibly wristlines of costumes, along with headpieces. Special care must be taken so that they are applied, to not shed.

All-in-all, there continues to be so many choices in fabrics to create your team’s perfect look. But choose wisely!


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