The 13th of June I married the love of my life and this is one of the many costumes I wore under the evening. Late in the evening I wanted to preform for our guest with some bellydance and off course I needed a brand new belly dance costume!
This is actually my very first attempt making a belly dance costume and here are my first thoughts:
I got the idea of taking organza and making lots and lots of spirals to create a kind of “ruffle” with the skirt. The fabric for the skirt have been lying on my desk and waiting so I already knew I would use it. It creates a wonderful effect while you do hip shimmy!
Usually the bra-part is covered with tons of rhinestones, gems, trimmings and what not so the cups need to be sturdy to be able to hold all that bling up! My solution was to steal a corner from R’s wrestler mat (if that is what it’s called). No he doesn’t use it for wrestling on, he to actually carves in it for various crafting.
It is sort of a more dense kind of foam. That is probably the best description I can give you. You will need a material that is at least 5-8 mm thick, lightweight, and easy to cut in to. This one is perfect.
I took the measurements from a belly dance costume I already have that I find works good on me. Though for my next belly dance bra I will probably take the measurements from a regular bra that I’m comfortable with instead and maybe make it a bit wider on the sides. It depends on what design you’re going to use.
The mat was easy to part through the middle as well! This mat is about 2 cm thick, and I couldn’t have that on my boobs ^^ so I used a bread-knife for cutting. Worked very well because of the thin and serrated blade! But for next time I definitely will carve it down even thinner. I went with only a bit under half of the mat (ca 8 cm) I could’ve gone down to 5mm, and that’s because of the padding you will have to use if you have size A (european measure) like me.
Some darting will be needed for the shaping of the cup!
Superglue is you best friend when it comes to this!
I angled the edges for a better fit.
And there you go!
To soften the shape even more i glued on some wadding.
And then you can use a regular glue gun when you cover the cups with fabric for your desire.
For the straps I chose a fabric with no stretch. I found some waste of compact wool cloth that I covered with the black fabric I used for the cups.
Further on I had to figure out witch way was the best to make the ruffles for the skirt. I made three tests. This one is a long strip of organza cut on the bias. Then I’ve used black fishing line for the edges. Simply fold the edge around the fishing line and zig zag over it.
Next one I also cut on the bias but fishing line only on one side.
Then it became more obvious what I must do! First make a pattern that looks like this and cut out in your desired fabric.
Then attach fishing line to the outer edge. Don’t forget to zig zag the other edge to, only without the fishing line. If you want to you can stretch that edge a bit when you zig zag it to make it a bit more straight so the fishing line can make that nice curl around it easier.
This took awhile…
I wanted to be able to remove the ruffles for only using the skirt occasionally so I cut out a 1 dm wide organza strip witch I attached with several small ribbons to the wrong side of the skirt. (I would recommend using hooks and eyes instead, cause there will be some stress on the ribbons)
Then I pinned the ruffles with some overlapping to the strip…
…and then made a quick seam over it!
The ruffles will hang out almost at once so remember to make them approx 20 cm shorter from the start. (If you’re unsure I suggest you make a test and pull it to see how much it will hang out)
The base is done, now on to the fun part! The bolero is made in mesh with hotfix rhinestones that I’ve attached myself.
If you really want to be sure your decorations stay put, you should really sew them on. I use “invisible” nylon thread.
You can use “Gem-tack” to, but it doesn’t work with certain plastics that can be on the backside of cheaper acrylic gems.
If you really want to use rhinestone chains or other gems witch have these little metallic spikes holding the gem in place, I recommend not using to much veils and other props witch can easily get stuck. In the end I actually didn’t use the bolero because of the mesh fabric got stuck in the bra the whole time.
Only your imagination…
I bought a big brooch on eBay for putting between the cups!
The black ornaments with rhinestones witch are attached to the shoulder straps is easily done with a narrow tube of fabric were you use quite a lot of seam allowance. Turn the tube inside out so the seam allowance become the “stuffing” for the tube. Then try to slide a piece of wire into it, then you can shape it as you like! I embellished mine with some hotfix rhinestones.
Here’s a better pic of the spirals..
And that’s that! It was extremely fun to preform, the audience was awesome! Hopefully it soon will appear some pictures here with me in the finished costume.