Alternate School Dress

The Teelin Alternate School Dress is a slightly less formal dress than the School Dress, and is often worn by Teelin dancers in the Beginner, Advanced Beginner or Novice Grade levels of competition. Because this dress is less expensive than the School Dress, it is a good option for dancers who are new to competing, or young Advanced Beginners who are growing quickly.

The Alternate School Dress is also the recommended costume for Teelin dancers competing in Adult level competitions.

alt dress


The Alternate School Dress is a one-piece dress, which is hand-washable (in cold water, line dry).  The dress should be worn with Irish bubble socks and black bloomers. Adults should wear the dress with black dance tights (Capezio is a good brand), and teens may choose tights instead of socks if preferred.

Each dress includes a matching embroidered headband. Hair is to be worn down, either curled or straight and full-bodied, held neatly off the face by the headband. No ponytails or braids, and NO WIGS! Remember to secure the headband with bobby pins or clips.


IMPORTANT: Please allow ample time before a competition or performance to have a dress made. All dresses are custom made.

To have a new Teelin Alternate School Dress custom made by Jeanne, please contact:

Jeanne Martin

Note: Kit Graves was making these dresses, but is now in the process of a move and is no longer able to commit to dressmaking. Thank you, Kit, and welcome, Jeanne!

Contact Jeanne by phone or email to place an order and begin the process. The completed dress will cost approximately $215 ($150 to Jeanne for the dressmaking for child size dresses, additional cost for larger dresses, and $60-$65 to Paulette Sweeney for the embroidery and headband). From the time of the first fitting it will take approximately 5-7 weeks to complete the dress.

An initial fitting will be done at the Teelin studio in Columbia either by Jeanne or by a designated dress fitter, and a Dancer Profile will be completed (see a sample). Based on these measurements, an order for the embroidery and headband will be placed with Paulette Sweeney. The amount will be $60-$65 depending on dress size, and method of payment to Paulette Sweeney will be specified by the dress fitter.

The completed dress, including embroidery, cape and headband, will be mailed directly to the dancer’s home. A check payable to Jeanne Martin in the amount of $150 (or more, for larger dresses) plus shipping costs is due upon delivery.

Voila! Your new Teelin Alternate School Dress is ready for action! Black bloomers may be purchased from most general dance supply stores. Hair should be worn natural in the headband, neatly curled (or full-bodied for straight hair that refuses to curl), no ponytails or braids.


To make a Teelin Alternate School Dress yourself, please follow these steps…

IMPORTANT! It has been brought to our attention that appears to have gone out of business. In the meantime, please contact Jeanne Martin to have a dress made. If we are able to find other options for this pattern, we will update this page when that information is available….

Purchase the appropriate size dress pattern for the “Irish Dance Princess Line Dress with Full Flare” available from

Purchase the appropriate amount of fabric (per the pattern). Jeanne Martin (contact info above) has this material for sale at a very reasonable price per yard, and is also happy to assist you with determining the yardage needed.

A: Place an order for the embroidery patch and headband by using this document for measuring and then sending an email to Paulette with the request. This order will be processed with Paulette Sweeney and you will be contacted regarding the timeline. The total cost for these items (patch and headband) is $60-$65 depending on size needed. Invoice will be sent via email by Paulette Sweeney.


B: Begin sewing! Or, contact a dressmaker of your choice to have the dress made.


  1. The pattern calls for piping at the neckline, but we will not be using piping for this dress. Instead, dressmakers should make a simple front and back neck facing from the poplin.
  2. The hem facing per the pattern forms a border along the outside of the skirt.
  3. The finished skirt hem must land at least 3 inches above the top of the kneecap. Irish dance dresses cannot be too long. If they are, it makes it difficult to see a dancer’s legs, and a judge may deduct points in competition.

Attach the embroidery patch to the chest area of the dress and the cape to the LEFT shoulder area and the RIGHT hip area per instructions. Black bloomers may be purchased from most dance stores for approximately $10.

If you have any questions, please ask!


As dancers outgrow their Teelin School Dress, it is recommended that the dress be listed for sale on the Teelin Buy and Sell page. The recommended resale value of a well-kept Teelin School Dress is $130.