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Irish - Dressmakers & Costumers
Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits (karma: 7)
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Mon Aug 17, 2009 05:06 AM
Edited by rosalinde (213002) on 2009-08-17 05:07:30 mark-up codes
Edited by rosalinde (213002) on 2009-08-17 05:14:14 Mark-up codes again ...
Made sticky by oz_helen (35388) on 2009-08-19 07:22:54

Patterns for Irish Dance

My mother has always made my solo dresses for me and because they’re for me, I’m usually the one who ends up browsing the net for patterns. So I decided to put my findings together so that, hopefully, others won’t have to spend hours and hours doing the same.

When we’ve tried them, I’ve put a kind of indicator behind them to show how hard they are to use. Obviously, commercial patterns for Riverdance style dresses are always simpler than completely modifying the FeisDress pattern to make a Elevation style dress. Also, all patterns are given stars for the dress the pattern was designed for. So the Irish Threads pattern for example is rated for a normal 3-panel, high-waisted dress, because that’s the basic pattern. What you are able do to a pattern to modify it is not for me to judge of course. Please remember: the opinions given are MY AND MY MOTHER’S OPINIONS ONLY! You may find a pattern harder or easier to use, but it may give you some idea as to the suitability.

Right, let’s go!

Solo dress patterns:
* = simple (does this term exist where solos are concerned?). You’ll be able to use this pattern without needing too much sewing experience.
** = medium. This pattern may require some figuring out, but if you know how to sew, this pattern is fine.
*** = advanced. Don’t try this pattern without prior sewing experience. All patterns are for home-use, so they are absolutely do-able, but know your limits …

Riverdance style dresses:
* = simple. Anyone with basic sewing skills can do this. Pattern is suitable with minimum of adaptations (such as shortening the skirt)
** = medium. Fairly good pattern for its purpose. You may only be able to use part of it or you’ll have to modify it quite a bit.

Accessories and parts:
* = simple
** = medium

# = pattern not tried out by my mother or myself. Maybe others can give an indication?

SOLO DRESSES

Dance World * -- Multi-size patterns, both for children (Dance World 1, ages 3-12) and teens/adults (Dance World 2, sizes 8-18). Very old-fashioned pattern, but super-easy to make. Great for children’s jumpers, beginner dresses and basic school dresses. Box-panel only. Dress has high waist and soft circle skirt with no seams. If you want a more modern dress, don’t bother with this pattern. If you’re not competing and you want something more than a Riverdance dress, but still want a soft and comfy dress, this is your pattern. www.irishdancewear.net and go to ‘accessories’

Irish Threads ** -- One-size pattern. This used to be THE pattern, but it’s a bit behind. Pattern gives several options for the skirt and panels (3 and 4 panel skirt), as well as neck-lines. High-waisted dress, though. My mother found it hard to modify it to drop the waist and we left it after a few dresses. The pattern is easy to understand though, and it gives a good solid solo dress. If the “latest and greatest” doesn’t mean too much to you, or you like a traditional look, you cannot go wrong with this pattern. Pat from Irish Threads is very kind to answer questions by email. www.irishthreads.com . . .

FeisDress *** -- One-size pattern. Currently THE best DIY solo dress pattern on the market. The basic pattern is for a 3-panel and the waist is still fairly high, but my mother was able to drop the waist with this pattern and create a more up-to-date look for me. The construction of the skirt required higher education though, and the side pleat construction was a total mystery to us – we decided to design a side pleat ourselves and discard the FeisDress option. Other than that, it’s a great pattern. Skirt can be adapted for multi-panel skirts, but I’d suggest doing that only after first making a 3-panel mock-up to figure out the pattern. Susan from FeisDress is kind enough to help you with questions (she gave us tips about the side pleat, so the fact that we couldn’t figure it out was not her fault). www.feisdress.com . . .

Custom Dance Wear # -- One-size pattern. We haven’t tried it (we went from Irish Threads to FeisDress and have had no need to look further), but the drawing on the site shows a very old-fashioned dress. Price is about the same as Irish Threads and FeisDress. They do offer a custom pattern service which may be useful to dancers with odd measurements. www.customdancewear.com . . .

Simplicity 9654 # -- Out-of-print Multi-size pattern. What I’ve heard is that it’s basically a Halloween outfit that would require extensive modifications to make it even remotely acceptable for competition wear. Other than that, it looks a lot like the Dance World dresses, and the latter are perfectly fine and still available. Don’t use it.

RIVERDANCE STYLE

Burda 3274 * -- ADULTS. Multi-size pattern. Our super favorite pattern. Waist is in the right place, skirt is wide enough to dance in (though not super wide), option of long or short sleeve. The only thing we do is shorten the skirt by 3-5 inches. Because it has a princess line, you can make the middle section a different colour which always works well. No waist seam, which is flattering but makes lining the skirt difficult, unless you line the whole dress.

Burda 2464 # – ADULTS. Multi-size pattern. We haven’t tried this one, but from the looks of it I’d say it’s Burda 3274 in a Halloween edition. Here the length is good, but the neck-line is perhaps too deep.

Butterick 4377 ** -- ADULTS. Multi-size pattern. Yes, it’s a pattern for a medieval dress, but it’s very flattering and the fit is sublime. You will have to shorten the skirt (side seams are natural waist, measure down to ± 18” or whatever length you want to skirt to be (don’t forget a seam allowance!) to start with, so you don’t waste too much tracing paper) and the neckline is far too low. Use another pattern with a higher neck (such as Burda 3274) to make the neck line higher. The bodice comes down into a point and the skirt, with inserts, is more than a circle, but only flares out below the hips so it gives a lean look. Use a zipper in the back.

Custom Dance Wear # – One-size pattern. This company sells Princess line dresses and jumpers with a full flare or slight flare. A DM I know told me that the full-flare jumper version has a waist that sits too high on the body. www.customdancewear.com . . .

Other suggestions:
- Cheerleader patterns. You can use top-and-skirt versions or dress-like options. Simplicity 3689, Simplicity 4040, McCall’s 2849, McCalls 5727 etc. Just browse pattern sites.
- Ice skating patterns. Lengthen the skirts. Jalie sell beautiful patterns, I particularly like Jalie 2791 and 2913, both very “Jean Butler”. Kwiksew sell ice skating patterns as well and I’m sure other companies do too. Stretch fabrics only! Because they have to be made with lycra fabrics, they may be ‘dangerous’ for not-stick-skinny dancers ...

ACCESSORIES AND PARTS

Circle skirts
I’m just giving a few options, you can get patterns for circle skirts anywhere, almost every brand has them.

Custom Dance Wear # – Looks good, sizes XS – XL, I think this is TEENS/ADULTS. www.customdancewear.com . . .

Burda 2518 * -- ADULTS. Rock ‘n’ Roll. Comes with petticoat. Very simple, with waist band (not elasticated).

Burda 2809 * -- CHILDREN. Same as 2518, but now for children.

Simplicity 5401 * -- CHILDREN. Rock ‘n’ Roll skirt, with waist band. No petticoat. Skirt needs shortening.

Simplicity 5403 * ADULTS. Rock ‘n’ Roll skirt, with waist band. No petticoat. Skirt needs shortening.

Simplicity 3836 * (skirt) -- CHILDREN. Complete 1950s costume, with short-sleeve blouse, petticoat etc. Skirt has a short version as well. I haven’t tried it, but the skirt is still easy. For the blouse I’d say **. Good beginner / first Feis outfit!

Simplicity 3847 * (skirt) -- ADULTS. Complete 1950s costume, with short-sleeve blouse, petticoat etc. Skirt has a short version as well. I haven’t tried it, but the skirt is still easy. For the blouse I’d say **. Good beginner / first Feis outfit!

McCall’s 5681 * -- ADULTS. Rock ‘n’ Roll skirt, with waist band. No petticoat. Skirt needs shortening a lot.


Blouses
I’ve only included blouses that are designed for Irish Dance. If a normal shirt-blouse or peter pan collared blouse is needed, these patterns are sold through all the major brands like Simplicity and McCall’s etc.

Dance World 1 ** -- CHILDREN, ages 3-12. Pattern for solodresses include pattern for jumper with blouse to go with the jumper. Mandarin collar, blouse buttons in the back. Option of slightly flared sleeves or gathered at the wrist. www.irishdancewear.net and go to ‘accessories’

Custom Dance Wear # – They sell patterns for blouses with mandarin collars, either with basic, slightly flared sleeves or puffed sleeve with elastic wrist. Optional attached bloomers which seem practical to me. www.customdancewear.com . . .


Bloomers/spankies/lollies/whatever you call the cover-up-your-undies-and-protect-your-modesty-thingies you wear under your solo! :P

Any cheerleader pattern that includes bloomers will work. Also, pajama bottoms are suitable.


Boys accessories – Waistcoats etc.

Burda 2622 * – CHILDREN. Waistcoat, cummerbund, tie, bow tie. The waistcoat seems to be a good length

Simplicity 4762 # -- CHILDREN & ADULTS. Waistcoat (single and double breasted) and tie.

Kwiksew 3662 # – ADULTS. Waistcoat

Boys accessories – Pants

Jalie 2325 # – ADULTS. Ice skate pants, slim fit, no waist band, with belt loops. This might just be a good pair of pants for Irish Dance!

Jalie 2803 # – CHILDREN & ADULTS. Ice skate pants, slim fit, no waist band, with belt loops. This might just be a good pair of pants for Irish Dance!


PATTERNS FOR ADAPTING OTHER PATTERNS
These are two patterns I’ve found being suggested to make the super dropped waist bodices for modern solo dresses. You’ll need other patterns as well, these are just tools to help you adjust existing Irish Dance solo dress patterns!

Burda 9761 – CHILDREN. Dropped, pointed waist. You may want to drop the waist even more, but this pattern will help you on your way

Vogue 8510 – ADULTS. Waist looks dropped enough for a puffball. If my mother makes me a new dress before I’ve saved up enough for an Elevation, we will definitely try this one.

41 Replies to Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits

re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By KitMcMahon Comments: 20, member since Thu Feb 19, 2009
On Mon Aug 17, 2009 07:39 AM
Thank you so much for putting this together! My mother and I are starting to sew a new solo dress for me, and are planning to do a sweetheart neckline, dropped waist, and three-tiered skirt. We were trying to find a good pattern to fit the bodice, and I really like the Jalie patterns you put up. Have you tried to make a tiered skirt, and if so, do you have any pattern suggestions?
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Mon Aug 17, 2009 08:16 AM
For the tiered skirt (my mom made a 2-tiered skirt) we used the Butterick 4377 and made each of the 4 skirt sections (which are ± 1/6 of a circle each) to be a 1/4 circle so we didn't need the inserts. But a full circle skirt is pretty wide. We started with the bottom tier and then just used the same pattern pieces to make shorter tiers.

Try the dressmakers forum on Voy, they have lots of info! www.voy.com . . .
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By ReelGMUprincessmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 133, member since Tue Aug 12, 2008
On Mon Aug 17, 2009 08:21 AM
Thanks for putting everything all in one place! I've been looking for a plain long sleeved princess seam top!
another pattern to try
By newdancingmom Comments: 176, member since Sun Apr 23, 2006
On Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:21 PM
I've used McCall's M5727. It's a children's costume for "Super Girl, Wonderwoman, Cheerleader". (size 3-12)

It's a very basic dress with bodice darts, bodice lining, circle skirt. I made the sleeves wider and added a skirt lining. If you are adventurous you can add pleats to the skirt. I made this for my beginner dancer (size 5) to match the school dresses which were much too large. It's a very easy pattern and I was able to complete the dress within a week, with 3 kids running around.

I like the bodice, which I will use to make a dress for my older dancer by attaching it to a pre-made skirt and tutu.

I like this thread, could it be made into a sticky?

Thanks.
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By tighnamara Comments: 263, member since Mon May 12, 2008
On Tue Aug 18, 2009 07:03 AM
Definately sticky worthy!!! Great job putting this together! It is really nice to be able to go to one place and find information on patterns and skirts!
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:47 AM



Found another great children's skirt (thanks Voy!):

BURDA 9575 -- It's a pleated skirt with tulle underskirt. Lovely for a simple performance skirt.

Thank you for saying it's sticky-worthy! *coughreporttomodscough* ;)
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By tighnamara Comments: 263, member since Mon May 12, 2008
On Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:48 AM
how do we *coughreporttomodscough*??
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By whatsupcupcakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 478, member since Fri Mar 02, 2007
On Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:21 PM
Awesome post! Should definitely be a sticky!
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By reelgatorstreble Comments: 169, member since Thu Mar 05, 2009
On Wed Aug 19, 2009 02:06 AM
I vote sticky! I lost most of the bookmarks I had that linked to a lot of these sites, and it's wonderful to see them all in one place, with such great information too! Thanks for a wonderful post!
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Wed Aug 19, 2009 02:11 AM
Tighnamara: I've sent you a PM.
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Wed Aug 19, 2009 08:07 AM
Whoo-hoo, I'm 'sticky'!

(no kidding, it's 33oC / 91oF at the moment -- I wasn't made for these temperatures, it's supposed to be 25oC / 77oF or something at this time of year!)
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By tighnamara Comments: 263, member since Mon May 12, 2008
On Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:44 AM
yea you made sticky status!!! Great job!
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By newdancingmom Comments: 176, member since Sun Apr 23, 2006
On Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:47 AM
Edited by newdancingmom (157157) on 2009-10-13 11:55:06 sorry trying to post photo - please check my profile thx



Here's a photo of my middle dd in her new dress that I made.

It's McCalls pattern M5727. I'm sure pleats could easily be added for those who have more advanced sewing skills than I.

I like the bodice, especially as the pattern includes a lining. I did make the sleeves wider.

This would make a good dress for a beginner (sewer and dancer).


Thanks, Linda

Comment #8588641 deleted
Edited by newdancingmom (157157) on 2009-10-13 11:51:31 sorry trying to get photo to work
Removed by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2009-10-13 12:00:51 double post. sometimes pictures can take up to 5 minutes to upload at peak times. :-)

re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Wed Oct 28, 2009 01:13 AM
One more tip about VOGUE 8510: I made a mock-up of the bodice to try the fit and clearly the dress has a comfortable fit -- which means it's too wide for Irish Dance. Go down one size and try it first with some cheap fabric. The pattern itself is good, but too big for Irish Dance needs.
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By dande Comments: 18, member since Wed Dec 02, 2009
On Fri Dec 04, 2009 09:09 AM
Hi everyone
i am a new member to the site. Have started making costumes again after a break of a few years. As the styles have change dramatically in my absence it is a great help to find out what patterns are good to use. Thanks a lot, great idea.
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By degobahjunk Comments: 2, member since Mon Jan 11, 2010
On Mon Jan 11, 2010 07:34 PM
great info!! I'll be passing this on to the head of our dancing school. Thank you!
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By SpringRain Comments: 6, member since Wed Oct 07, 2009
On Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:03 AM
for folk who are looking at patterns that are too big in the bodice . . . a quick and easy solution : Sew 3 loops down each side seam starting at the armpits, and ending at the waist. Then thread a LONG ribbon through the loops crossing from left to right (like tying a shoe) and pull tight. It will enable you to use a larger bodice on basically ANY sided girl as it cinches the bodice in tight. Rremember to give room for breathing though!! :)
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By LNNdesign Comments: 8, member since Tue Mar 02, 2010
On Fri Mar 05, 2010 08:28 AM
Wow, I wish I would have found this discussion earlier. *Before having gone through all the websites myself* Great post!
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By Saoirse_89 Comments: 24, member since Fri Apr 30, 2010
On Sat May 15, 2010 02:20 PM
Now I know how you made my dresses! Awesome post, thanks!

LOL
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By waves12 Comments: 5, member since Sun Jul 04, 2010
On Mon Jul 05, 2010 01:00 AM
This is so helpful! I know you said that it's possible to just modify a three panel pattern to make it into the kind of skirt you want, but how would you go about doing that exactly? We're interested in making a petal skirt (like Michaela Hinds' dress at NANs... www.nanationals.net . . . in the white dress...) but have no idea how to go about constructing a skirt like that!

Any suggestions or tips that anyone has would be so greatly appreciated!
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By rosalinde Comments: 1973, member since Fri Jun 19, 2009
On Sun Jul 25, 2010 05:45 AM
WAves02: do you have a picture of this dress? I can't see it in the link.
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By Pru Comments: 91, member since Sun May 11, 2008
On Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:22 AM
I used Butterick 4377 (mediaeval pattern)for an adult's dress. The fit was lovely. The dancer had a bit of a sway back but the pattern was very easy to adjust. I made the toile out of a woven fabric and fitted it closely with very little ease. I then cut the dress out of a one-way stretch velvet with the stretch going around the body. Lovely fit without being tight. I attached a simple 3/4 circle skirt at the high hip (about 10cm below natural waist) and lined it with non-stretch contrast satin. This stabilised the skirt at the hip so it didn't stretch and get sloppy. I had to adjust the neckline and sleeve but I did that at the toile stage. Sorry, no pictures yet.
re: Patterns you can use for Solo Dresses, Riverdance Style dresses and Boys outfits
By SodaHeadd Comments: 32, member since Wed Jun 16, 2010
On Fri Aug 06, 2010 02:58 PM
this is really cool! I've been looking for some patterns, thanks for sharing!
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