Figure Skating Costumes
Both costumes were commissioned pieces. In each of the the costumes, the style was informed by music choice and performance sequence. The coach had a general inclination for what he was after. I then took what he had told me, and translated this into a costume made to move, stretch and twist.
The challenge with this assignment is pure construction.
Working along side the coach, who has seen many costumes in his lifetime, would sometimes suggest things I would never do from the perspective of a sewer. Especially, from one who doesn’t have the experience with working with this material. While there are many types of sewing, this was not one I was completely comfortable with. Especially, when we start putting zippers and such into spandex. Not all spandex are equal either and sometimes the material, even though a spandex, react and hold shape differently compared to other spandex. I found this true, come the 2019, costume which features faux 4-way spandex leather and faux 4-way rubber.
While these costumes may appear simple, there is quite a lot of detail and consideration for every seam.
Things such as, zipper installation: invisible and exposed, collar construction, interfacing spandex, basic seam construction (because you can’t just use a straight stitch on a machine, it will always pop,) piping, and even the straps around the skate.The boy (Jason) is 14, 15 years of age and this isn’t the type of pattern making I generally do. Little did I know, some other seamstresses I reached out to previous before making the first costume were quite passionate about the reasons why they never touch figure skating costumes, especially for children and young adults who are still growing.
I believe maybe one of the other reasons why some of my other references won’t touch costumes comes down to time too. It takes time, and it takes even more time to problem solve any tech issues due to the lack of open source recourses regarding tween figure skating costumes. I made five mock-up tops before beginning the final. Which even on the final, I discovered the collar, isn’t easy to sew. Given the 4-way stretch and the natural curve you are setting the collar into and with spandex piping, the pattern is quick to shift and change length even with basting before hand.