Mom helps Olympic ice dancer look like a star on the ice
Toledo, Ohio (WNWO) Susan Hubbell is the proud mom of ice dancer Madison Hubbell.
She'll be watching the winter Olympics very closely from the sidelines in PyeongChang.
She was more than a chauffeur to practice and a cheerleader in the stands. Susan is also Madison's seamstress, making her look like a star on the ice.
"I've sewn my whole life," explained Hubbell.
Hubbell taught herself how to sew while growing up, and she channeled those talents into interior design for a career.
When her daughter hit the ice, she went back to designing clothes. Hubbell logged hours and hours at her sewing machine, creating fashionable dresses that function like swimwear.
"When I saw this dress it was shreds. I said Madison you can’t skate in that it looks awful. We have to make that over. It was just shreds. I don’t know what it was some of them hold up better."
Hubbell focused mostly on Madison's costumes, not taking on many other skaters unless it was a worthwhile trade.
"I would do Anastasia‘s dresses and she would do Madison‘s hair. So we had those kinds of deals that facilitated the process for both of us."
There's no hard and fast equation for what goes into designing one of these dresses.
"I’ve made costumes for 30 bucks. But I’ve also spent $1,000 making one too, and 70 hours. The Chantilly‘s may be $100 or $200 a yard. So it’s just totally depends."
It's not just the cost to consider, but the time.
"I sat for days gluing all these rhinestones," Hubbell recalled. "I’m careful because I was already working two jobs. I worked my job and then I also waited tables for Ventura’s. Three or four nights a week. So I would sew all day and at 3:30 I would go down and wait tables until I got off and would go home and go to bed. So I was careful with how many I did."
The dedication to the costumes cut in on family time, too.
"The kids would come home for the weekend so I could work on costumes. And everybody is up making popcorn and watching movies together and I would be in the basement because they were here to fit. So I had to keep working. That would drive me crazy because I wanted to see them and sit with them but I had to be in the basement sewing."
Over the years, the two have become a mother/daughter team, designing specifically for the sport. Hubbell says it could lead to a future business off the ice.
"We have done a lot of practice clothes together. She takes a big role now in saying more so than when she was young. I would just make things and she would say 'thanks mom.' Now she’s much more specific about what she wants and has more input about how they feel. We’ve developed a lot in practice clothes, so we’re actually looking to maybe do a line together."
The dress Madison is wearing in her Short dance performance in the Olympics is just one of two dresses Madison has worn that were not made by her mom.