It is festival season and that means DANCING!

What’s more fun than a glow in the dark dress with fluorescent snaps to dance in?

Tracy McElfreshTracy McElfresh

Now, don’t let this dress fool you. The design is just as busy as the print, with eight ruffle flounces, princess seams and a few fit issues. I chose a late 1970s possibly 1980s McCalls 4334 pattern for the bodice of this dress. I designed and attached a three-tiered ruffled circle skirt for the bottom of the dress. This little number could be worn for multiple dance parties from crash and burn square dance moves to Salsa’s hammerlocks, hand throws and other innovative dance moves.

Modeling this dress is Ruby Randall and photos by Sharon Elaine Photography. The awesome artwork is by MrEtcha!

This was my very first dancing dress from 2008. It had 3 circle skirts, heirloom pintucks, covered buttons, lined bodice and a pretty sash. I believe it was a Simplicity pattern. My sister, Sarah Wonderling, was kind enough to model for me when I was first getting started.

Soon, I realized I could also use a maxi dress pattern for the top and two squares with a circle cut out to create the look seen here. This was one of my favorite dresses in 2013. Sadly it disappeared. Although I did make two more versions at a later date they never stick around long as they do sell very well.

In 2013 I also started learning to make magnificent swimwear. I used some of those concepts here. I draped this dress on my dress form. The back is a cowl neckline that I used Threads Magazine’s directions to create. The skirt of the dress is a complete circle with 4 large godets added. This garment was made of poly and was not anti pill. I still never put it in the dryer.

Above is my fierce  flamenco dancing dress. Again a maxi dress pattern for the body. I drafted my own sleeves and added flounces to the bottom of the dress. I also used fishing line in my serger to finish the edges of the ruffles. This gives the ruffle edges a stiff stand-out look.

This is what they call “Liquid Gold.” A more formal dance dress. In 2016 I was obsessed with the 1920s/1930s one piece dresses. This dress was cut out on the floor and then draped on my dress form for fit. Other than the binding it was all from one uncut piece of fabric. Designing is limitless and so much fun!

I made dance dresses for a mother daughter team once. Can you believe this is the same vintage pattern?

I love a bohemian 1970s dress! This inspiration is one I cut out from a photo online. When the fabric is free I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

How about a little fancy flapper dress for a child using their night-gown as a pattern? Yes!

I saved one of my favorites for last. I was asked to make a party dress that looked like one of the dresses from the 80s movie Dirty Dancing. I used two separate vintage patterns to get this look.

To see more dresses and additional glamour please follow me on Instagram or like my Facebook Page.

Want to learn to sew? Check out my sewing classes here.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!