Here I am, watching the weather report (while sewing, of course), and wondering what is going on with the temperatures and the arrival of spring in New Hampshire. Last week the temperature was in the 70’s, trees were starting to bud out, and my tulips were poking their heads up out of the ground almost a month early. This week it’s in the 20’s at night, 40’s during the day, little ice balls are falling out of the sky on to my car, and the cat is REALLY ticked off because she can’t sunbathe on the back porch.
This is it–the height of my season, when I realize that I have to sew every single day in order to fulfill the orders that I have. I’m working on a tiny red kilt at the moment, trying to get it done for the next competition. This particular kilt really has to fit correctly, because the girl who will wear it is quite an accomplished dancer. She will compete at the regional championship later this spring, and then, if she is one of the top three in her age group, at the USIR (United States Inter-Regional) Championship. She has a pretty good chance of making it based on past performance, and it’s my job to make sure that she looks good on stage.
Dance moms often ask me if their dancer can “make it one more year” with the kilt they have. In many cases, they can make it do. For Beginners, if they’re dressed, they’re good to go. For Novices, the same is pretty much true– you don’t need to have a kilt that was made for you; you don’t need matching tartan hose. By the time kids reach Intermediate, it’s time to have the outfit. You need a kilt rather than a kiltie, and you need the matching hose in order to meet the dress requirements. It’s also helpful if you have a kilt and vest that fit pretty closely in order to show body lines.
Now comes the difficult part: if you are going to dance in Premier, you need to look right. If you are standing up on the stage next to someone who looks really sharp, and you look like an unmade bed, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Judges, teachers, and kiltmakers understand that things can’t always be perfect, but dancers should always look clean, neat, have a nicely pressed kilt, and everything in place. A well-fitting outfit adds to this by showing the dancer’s knees and body lines, and a REALLY nice outfit has proportions that flatter the dancer’s physique. I am always looking for the perfect length for a client’s kilt, and the right balance of color and white on the tartan, as well as the right size sett for each dancer. It makes such a difference when a dancer looks right.
SO, I need to carry on. I’ll post more pictures when I can.
Best regards, and don’t forget to show your Scottish roots on Tartan Day, April 6.