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Donna and the Dynamos

Donna & the Dynamos

A Mama Mia themed 50th Birthday

 In August 2019 I made Super Trooper costumes for a friends 50th birthday. Donna and her Dynamos had matching outfits. They were a fun costumes to make and the birthday girl had a great party.


 Concept drawings made on Prêt - à - Template

The Super Trooper outfit has pants and a top with the belt attached to the bodice.
I used Kwik Sew 2057 for the elastic waist stirrup pants.
The top was made using the bodice part of Simplicity 1537.


Donna's costume

The main blue fabric is foil dance polyester.
I used the patterns original sleeve and added a godet to the seam. I drafted my own shape godet and cut it from a white mesh fabric with a silver foil spot. I sewed two godet's right sides together along the hemline then turned them. 
I sewed the godet into sleeve seam. I then decided to accent the hem by adding blue foil spot binding, so I could have just sewed the hem of the godet wrong sided together because I bound the hem in the end.
I also bound the inside seams of the godet because when the arm is lifted the seams would show and I wanted them to be neat and tidy.

I cut the top down the centre front and added an insert of silver foil fabric. I had to make my own facing using the centre front pattern piece so the neckline edges would be finished neatly. 

I added a seam and allowance for the zip to the centre back pattern piece.
The peplum is two half circles sewn to the bottom of the belt with the side seams lining up with the belt side seams.

I drafted my own belt, following the curve of the hemline. It is made from diamond embossed lamé with a pleather buckle and piping edges.

Donna has round crystals on her costume because to the circle foil spot, I matched the belt to her crystals. These are glued on with Helmar fabric glue.

The silver trim used on the vertical seam lines on the bodice and pants is made from disco sequin which is a foil spot glued in parallel rows onto a metallic mesh fabric. 
I cut strips of this fabric 3 rows foil spot wide, I then folded the fabric over like bias binding and stitched the layers together. 
I used the same fabric for the binding on Donna’s peplum but 6 rows wide this time. 

The Dynamos 

The two back up girls outfits have the same bodice design as Donna but with different sleeves and peplum.
The Roman style peplum is self drafted.

Individual pieces are made and by covering heavy interfacing with the diamond lamé and topstitching it in place around the edge.

The sleeves are made from white georgette with silver glitter. I used the sleeve pattern from  Butterick 6537 view b lengthened to finish at the wrist with poofyness.
I made my own cuff pattern with a velcro closure.

The belt buckle is made from Pleather with the blue foil in the middle. The shape of each buckle is different but matches the shapes of the crystals on its garment.

Back Up Singers Poncho

Jen - Mari - Cassie - Karen

These are a one size fits all poncho I made my own pattern for. I used costume satin as it came in the two shades of blue I needed.

I overlocked the poncho seams together to minimise sewing time. The neckline and bottom hem are folded once and topstitched down. 
I added loops to the shoulder seams so the poncho could be hung without it slipping off the hanger.

Pattern pieces
1. Hem. 
2. Dark blue stripe. 
3. White centre.
4. Light blue stripe.
5. Neck.

Cut the satin fabric into strips as indicated to replicate my version.
White neck 12cm wide (5)
         Centre 8cm wide (3)
         Hem 10cm wide (1)
Light blue 10cm wide (4)

Lay the satin strips on the pattern piece so the edges are staggered to fit along the angled edge. This way you waist as little fabric as possible. See the diagram. Cut the strips to fit the pattern piece and sew them together with the overlocker. If you don’t have an overlocker then straight stitch and pinking the edges or add extra seam allowance and do a French seam.
Trim the shoulder and centre front edges so they are straight. Press all the seam allowances. Once you have made two striped pieces for the right front and right back of the poncho, flip the pattern piece over and make another two in the same manner for the left front and left back.
Carefully pin the centre front lining up the seams of the stripes. Straight stitch this seam to maintain control over the fabric using a 6 mm seam allowance. Overlock the seam to neaten.
Repeat for the back. Press the seams.
Pin the front to the back at the shoulder seams, lining up the strips and straight stitch. Overlock.
Using ribbon or tubes made from left over satin create loops and sew to the shoulder seam allowance about 9cm from the neckline.
Press the hem under 6mm and topstitch.
Press the neckline under 6mm and topstitch.

Back Up Singers

Robert - Abby - Sahara - ? - Shae - Hamish

The Back up dancers dresses are made from a pattern the lead dancer and choreographer Shae designed. I drafted off a pattern from her original dress and made several more. The boys wear costumes bought online.

A simple one shoulder, belted waist dress made from 1 pattern piece.
My girlfriend is a dancer and instructor. She doesn't sew but made a great dress for a party once. I was asked to reproduce her design multiple times for dance number. 
Because she is not a sewer she had a different perspective of cutting and sewing the dress than I would, this led to her creating a wonderfully easy to make but stunning dress from poly-lycra.
The dress is made from 1 metre of 149cm wide spandex Lycra. It would suit petite sizes as the dress is made by folding the fabric in half.

(Note - the hem length of the dresses pictured being worn was recut by the dancers themselves and was a lot longer originally.)

If you would like the pattern I have included it here
basic pattern

pattern layout on fabric for cutting

Measurements to fit

If you want to check the fit first these are the measurements to take as marked on the diagram 2.

A. Because this is a one shoulder dress, measure the distance from the shoulder across the front of the body above the bust to the opposite underarm. A. This will give you the distance from the end of the shoulder seam to the top of the opposite side seam.
B. Armhole. Measure from the shoulder to the underarm for the position of the point at the top of the side seam.
C. Waist. Measure your waist and half it for measurement C.
D. Side seam length from underarm to desired hem line.
E. Position of waistline for the placement of the belt loop.

Step 1
Fold the fabric right sides together with selvedge edges touching. Cut of a 16cm wide strip from the bottom edge of the fabric for the belt.

Step 2
Mark out the cutting lines for the side seam/sleeve with pins. Cut out the void which is shown in pink on diagram 2.

Step 3
See diagram 3. Orange lines indicate raw cut edges. These include the sleeve, hem and front and back neckline facing. If you want to finish the edges you could fold them under and straight stitch but the lycra won't fray so its not necessary.
The red line show where the fabric folds to the inside across the neckline, this forms the neck facing.
The green dotted line shows the stitching lines. Seams are sewn at the sides and the shoulder.
Purple dotted line indicates cutting lines.

Step 4
From the off-cut fabric cut some small squares of fabric about 2cm square. Pin these to both sides of the garment at the top of the underarm seams. This extra fabric will stabilise the seam ends. 
Pin the cut edge side seam and using a short length straight stitch which is more flexible than a long stitch, sew the cut edge side seam. Lay the fabric flat and pin the other side seam on the folded edge. Add the fabric square to the top of this seam as well. This seam gives some shape to the torso. You can sew the seam all the way to the hem line if you wish.

Step 5.
Sew the shoulder seam with the reinforcing fabric squares at both ends of the seam.

Step 6.
Fold the belt right sides together and sew one short end and the long edge with a 1cm seam allowance. Turn the belt through. Fold 1cm of fabric to the inside of the tube and topstitch the end closed.

Step 7
Belt Loop. Cut a 3cm x 7cm strip of fabric from the off-cuts. Sew into a tube and turn through. Check where the position of the belt needs to be on the person who is going to wear the garment. The belt loop is secured to the side seam which is under the sleeve.

The fabric used for the garments pictured is yellow Dance Polyester Spandex in a foil print from Spotlight.

Sahara - Shea - Abby

 All fabric used are from Spotlight.


A design of a new version of the costume I made for myself!

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