I decided to go over to their website to check it out. While I was checking it out, watching the girls and listening to some of the stuff they had to say, I was really inspired by a picture they have there just to create something new, something simple and easy. One of the things they talked about is that you want to stand out. If you take that basic piece of dancewear that you find on a shelf and you just pep it up a little, you are going to have something that not every girl has. When you walk into an audition, you do not want to see somebody else wearing the same outfit because they are going to remember your look by how your hair is done, by a costume that stands out, by everything. “Something that stands out” inspired me. I saw a top that they had on and I kind of copycatted it. I used one of our sports bras and added some piping on it and then a little tube of fabric here – simple basic things. You are not altering the pattern. You are just adding a little embellishment to it. But, something like this will really bring the judge’s attention to you and draw their focus up to your face. So, if you want a little extra edge when you are trying out to be a professional cheerleader or dancer, this might be the top for you. You are going to need some needles and scissors. I am using a shiny white holographic fabric and I picked up a sports bra from our shop. I am going to show you how to use that fabric to put a stripe along the top of the sports bra. Then, I am going to show you how to pinch the center of the sports bra and cover the center with a strip of fabric. The whole look will be finished off with rhinestones along the top and down the center.
- Sports Bra
- Contrasting Fabric
- Thread Matching (1) the Sports
Bra and (2) the Fabric
- Elastic optional
- Sewing Machine
- Choosing Your Materials
There are two things you need to chose, (1) the sports bra and (2) the fabric used to make the piping and the vertical strip in the center of the bra.
- Cutting and Pinning Strip Around Neckline
In order to do accomplish this look, I will need to cut two strips of different widths from the white material.
The first strip is going to be approximately an inch wide and be long enough to go around the front neckline from one shoulder seam to the other. When you cut this strip, you will need to consider the distance from the seam to the edge of sports bra and any other variables, i.e., do you need to sew around elastic or is there some other detail to consider? You need to make sure that the strip is wide enough to fold over the edge. That width is strictly a matter of personal taste. If it is to look like piping, it should be fairly narrow. If you want it to look like a stripe, you will need to make it wider.
Once it is cut, place the white strip of fabric upside down (with the side you want visible facing the sports bra) along the edge of the neckline starting at the seam on the shoulder of the sports bra and pinning it all the way to the other shoulder. I am going to sew the strip from shoulder seam to shoulder seam. The abrupt change where the strip ends will not really be noticeable when you rhinestone the piping. However, if you prefer, you could continue the white strip all the way down the back of the sports bra on both sides. But, you will end up with the same situation where the piping, or stripe, abruptly ends there, too. Again, the rhinestones will make it unnoticeable. This is another area where it is a matter of personal preference so you want to think about what you want before you cut the fabric strip.
It is also important to make sure to turn both ends of the strip over about one inch so that the raw edge faces you. That way when the strip is folded over the raw ends will be hidden.
I am going to set this aside because the next thing I need to cut before we go to sewing is the strip of fabric that will wrap vertically around the center of the sports bra.
- Cutting and Pinning the Vertical Strip (Tube)
Open the material up and then cut a wide piece of fabric that will go vertically around the center of the sports bra. The strip will be approximately two inches wide. Remember, when it is sewn into a “tube” like strip, it will end up a little less than one inch wide. If you want the strip to be wider, you will need to cut the strip wider allowing for the strip being folded in half and the seam. The length of the strip should be more than long enough to go around the center of the bra. It makes it easier to work with the strip if it is longer than will ultimately be needed. Any excess can easily be cut off once the strip is sewn in place.
Fold this strip in half lengthwise and pin it together to be sewn later.
So, these are the two pieces that need to be cut from the fabric to create this look.
- Sewing the Strip to the Sports Bra
Once the strip is pinned in place, I am going to sew the fabric strip to the sports bra using a seam that is approximately ½ inch from the edge using a straight stitch. I am going to go back and do a zigzag over it later but for now I will use a straight stitch. It is important to make sure the ends of the strip remain turned over and flat. Since there is elastic along the top of the sports bra, I am going to sew next to the elastic taking care to not sew the elastic. So, I will go ahead and sew this seam using the straight stitch. Remember, with some sewing machines you need to remove all of the pins as you sew. My machine does not require me to remove the pins but I often do so anyway. Also, as you sew, it is important to make sure that the layers of material are properly lined up, that the material underneath is not bunched up and that it is nice and flat. I am going to barely tug on the layers to make sure we are catching the bottom and top as I sew. I am going to keep going until I get the end. As always, it is very important to back stitch at the beginning and the end of each seam in order to secure the threads.
Next, I am going to fold the strip over the edge of the neckline and pin the fabric strip in place on the inside. It needs to be folded over the edge evenly making sure that it folds over the edge smoothly without any gap at the top, is not pulled too tight and that it lays flat. To make sure the edge of the fabric is caught up in the zigzag stitch, it is essential that the edge folded over the top of the sports bra passes the seam on the inside. This process will create a white stripe (piping) along the edge of the neckline. The width of that stripe will be dependent on the width of the strip you cut and how far the seam is from the edge when you sew the strip to the sports bra.
It is essential to pay attention to everything as you sew. It can cause problems if the layers are not pinned snugly and/or you do not pay attention as you go, i.e., the bottom layer could slip up at some point and the width of the stripe or piping could be uneven or the edge of the strip on the inside is not caught it the zigzag stitch.
As you sew the ends of the strip down, make sure that they are folded over smoothly so that they are even on the upper edge of the top and there are no gaps between the ends of the strip and the top. Make sure to sew those ends down, too.
I am now going to zigzag along the edge of the stripe next to, and just touching, the seam catching all layers together. These layers will actually consist of four layers in the following order (1) the top layer of the stripe, (2) the layer of the stripe that is turned under, (3) the sports bra, and (4) the layer of the fabric strip that has been folded over the top and under the sports bra. At the same time, it is necessary to keep the layers flat and not pulling in any way as you sew and last, but not least, not sew over the elastic.
Although the zigzag stitches will be on top of the piping (or stripe), the stitching will not even be noticeable once the rhinestones are applied. Rhinestone the piping along the stitches and you will not even notice how the fabric changes from blue to white.
The reason I want to use a zigzag here is two-fold: (1) it helps ensure you catch all of the edges and (2) it makes the seam stronger and provides a little give. If you stretch the straight stitch, stitches can break but a zigzag stitch will not.
- Gathering the Front of the Sports Bra
The first step needed to gather the center of the sports bra is to determine that center. To find that center, I am folding the bra in half by matching the left seam to the right seam. The resulting fold will be the center front. The next step is to gather the center of the bra by drawing the fabric together in a vertical direction with my fingers. I am going to spread my fingers apart and place them on the bra at this center. Then, I can just pull them in a little bit creating a “gathering” effect on the front of the bra. You can move your fingers in or out until the “gathers” are aesthetically pleasing. You also want to make sure that it is not gathered too much. You can pull it in a little more when you add the fabric strip if you wish.
The final step is to pull a needle with matching thread through these gathers from the top to the bottom of the bra and then sew the gathers down using a zigzag stitch. I am going to stitch over it one more time to make it nice and strong. If desired, you could also sew a strip of elastic down the center on the underside of the sport top.
Remember, these stitches are going to be covered by the vertical strip.
- Sewing the Vertical Strip
Fold the smaller fabric strip in half lengthwise and pin the edges together. Using a straight stitch, sew a seam down the long edge of the fabric strip and across one end. Sewing one end closed allows for an easy way to turn the strip so that the seam is on the inside. You can use a pair of scissors or the eraser end of a pencil to push against that closed end and turn the strip inside out. You will then need to cut off that closed end and manipulate the tube so that the seam is in the middle of the tube rather than on one side. The seam will then be hidden when the tube is wrapped around the gathered center of the bra.
Place the bra upside down with the inside of the bra facing up. Pin the strip vertically on top of the gathered portion of the bra with the end of the strip near the top of the bra and the length of the strip sticking up above the bra. Zigzag stitch the strip to the bra using thread that matches the bra. This will make it easier for the stitches to blend in on the front. Fold the strip over to the front of the bra and wrap it around the bra until the two ends meet and overlap. Securely pin the ends in place. You want it to be fairly snug but not pulling the bra. Last, while keeping the ends of the strip securely in place, hold the strip aside with a finger or thumb and sew the other end of the strip down. Use a zigzag stitch sewing from the front of the bra so that it will be hidden when you let go of the strip.
- Finishing Step
Finish the changes to the sports bra by gluing rhinestones over the stitches on the piping along the top of the sports bra and on the vertical strip in the center of the bra.
There you have it. It is that easy to have a top for your routine that is totally different than anyone else. If you coordinate this top with the shorts that we showed you in our last video, How to Create Two Tone Shorts for Cheer as Seen in ProMotion Dance Website, you will have a matching set.
It is just this easy to make a top, or an outfit if you include the shorts, that will stand out from everyone else. No one will have one like it.
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