Ellenton woman sews costumes for Sochi Olympic skaters - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Ellenton woman sews costumes for Sochi Olympic skaters

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Dawn Imperatore makes clothes for Olympic champions Dawn Imperatore makes clothes for Olympic champions
For the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dawn Imperatore helped create 12 uniforms for three skating pairs from the US, Canada and Great Britain. For the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Dawn Imperatore helped create 12 uniforms for three skating pairs from the US, Canada and Great Britain.
Dawn Imperatore makes clothes for Olympic champions Dawn Imperatore makes clothes for Olympic champions
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

If you had the chance to watch Olympic ice skating this week, you likely saw the intricate work that went into it.

But we're not talking about the actual skating, we're talking about the costumes.

It turns out, there's a local woman who makes clothes for champions.

Ice skating an art form that takes flight. Skaters are tough athletes who compete with elegance and grace, all while looking good.

And, that's thanks in part to Dawn Imperatore.

"We particularly don't care for very flat costumes. we like a little bit of depth to them," she said.

Imperatore is a seamstress at the Ellenton Ice and Sports complex.

Twelve of her costumes have been worn in Sochi.

Imperatore has sewn costumes for skating pairs from Canada, Great Britain, and the US.

"Everything on the girl's pair costume has to be like so fit and so tight so that the costume doesn't move when you're doing a throw."

The costume designs are initially drafted by the team's coach. Then Imperatore tweaks it, buys local fabric and gets to work.

She goes includes the tiniest of details. Some costumes require thousands of tiny gemstones, each applied by hand.

"Upwards of that amount, it can take up to five hours," she said.

The costumes not only have to fit the athlete, they have to fit the show.

"I've seen things where they're playing say, [Les Miserables] music, and they have a modern-looking costume on. To me its distracting, doesn't fit," she said.

Imperatore takes great satisfaction in helping her friends reach their dreams.

"I get such a feeling of pride when I see them out there and they look good and you could tell they feel comfortable," she said.

Not to mention, her work is being shown on international television.

"It's so neat. It's so neat. I can see things two inches away. But when you're seeing it out there, you notice the little details that other people might not see," she said.

Imperatore's work is an important part of the skater's overall presentation in the Olympics.

"It's part of the story. Their skating, the music, the choreography, and the costume make a complete picture."

A picture that is on display for the world to see.

Each costume is worth upwards of eight hundred dollars. And after they're used, Imperatore carefully washes them at home and dries them in her own bathroom.

Read more about Olympic coverage here.

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