Today we’re going behind the scenes at Satin Stitches, Minnesota’s custom costume home. Talk about sparkle overload – if you ever get a chance to stop in the Coon Rapids showroom, you’ll be amazed by the sheer number of sample costume creations they’ve done in recent months. Satin Stitches regularly has booths at popular competitions – be sure to stop by and check out the photo albums of years and years of custom dance team costumes they’ve done. Truly amazing. This time, I’m talking with the owner of Satin Stitches, Deb Nelson, about costume trends for this year and what we might be seeing hit the competition floor come November an on.
Erin: So what kinds of things are popular this year? Anything to pay special attention to?
Deb: This year we’re seeing lots of texture combinations. Myst with velvet, zsa zsa, sequins, lace and mesh all being used together. Many times the color family is similar, with texture being layered and used together. We’re also seeing lots of ruffles in collars and skirts, bright neons, tendril pieces, real sequins over zsa zsa sequins, and draped fabrics on jazz biketards and dresses.
Erin: Tell me about using zsa zsa fabric – that is relatively new, but beautiful!
Deb: Zsa zsa is a tiny flat sequin sewn on the fabric in a random squiggle pattern. The trick is that you need to line or at the very least, bind, the fabric so that the underside doesn’t snag and drop sequins all over the floor. This ads to the time, cost, fabric, and weight. Something to consider when using it in design.
Erin: Design. That can be a tricky area for those of us with no mind for it. What do you do if you don’t have an idea when you’re ready to order new costumes for the year?
Deb: We’re visual people around here so bring in examples of what you like, don’t like, and concepts you’d perhaps want to incorporate. If we know what your general tastes are and a basic silhouette, we can get you started.
Erin: You have some great design software to see things prior to cutting and sewing. Tell me about that.
Deb: Our new design software lets you see costumes in various colors, textures of fabrics, and even womens, mens, or child size bodies. We can even place all the rhinestones on the drawing so you can see the completed look.
Erin: Lets talk about sizing. I hate the guessing game of what size to order and how many extras (if any) you should get. Any tips?
Deb: Use our full range of sample sizes of the basic silhouette you ordered to try on and be sure. We have extra lengths or extra short cuts for torso, sleeve, and inseam. There isn’t anyone we can’t fit. We also carry the only Medium/Large in-between size for better fit on each dancer. For sizing that will fit year after year, consider using a V cut sleeve with a band around one finger- this keeps the sleeve down and in place while moving or if the size isn’t quite right. For extra sizes, if you order some, think about what girls you have on JV that might be moving up at some point – what do they look like? Any special sizes there? Otherwise think about what your girls might look like next year and anticipate any height and weight changes.
Erin: Satin Stitches has some unique policies like your guaranteed delivery schedule. What kind of time-frames are we looking at if we haven’t ordered anything yet?
Deb: We’re at the 13 week guaranteed delivery schedule this time of year. That might seem like a long time to wait, but we are the only company to guarantee delivery at any time. This leaves you knowing that even if you’re not ready for the first meet with a costume, you will know exactly how long you need to have a plan B in place. If you’re thinking you may order, come in and get started on designs, even if it’s just for one style that you know you have an idea for. Waiting until you have everything ready with music and tryouts can make the process take longer than it needs to.
Season starts in 6 weeks! Its not too late to get some amazing designs put together, thanks to Satin Stitches for letting us behind the scenes.