Purple and gold dress, part 2

This blog is about creating the gold belt and appliquées that spice up the purple velvet dress I made in the previous costuming post.  If you want to know more about the techniques that I used, check out this blog where I review the Swirly Belt Course from Sparkly Belly. All the information about how to make this type of belt is in the course.

This blog is mostly about the process of how I made my belt and appliquées. Let’s get started! For the record, I write this blog after I finished the costume and did the photoshoot. No worries, I got it done in time!

Making a plan

When I start on a costume I usually make a lot of sketches and research fabric options but this was a bit on the fly. Instead I bought the course including the pattern book from Sparkly Belly. Any time that I could save would be most welcome. After printing the pattern book , I adjusted the belt design to make it more unique and add a bit to the sides or center so it would fit around my hips.

The holographic gold print lycra was already in my stash. I used it three years ago to cut hipscarfs for my beginners recital. Quick tip if you want to dress up your troupe or your students (or yourself) on a budget: get metallic printed lycra and cut out triangles to use as hip scarves. Works great on stage!

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In addition to the fabric, I needed decoration. I found left over rhinestone chain in my stash from the Pink Turkish costume I made five years ago. Now seemed a good time to use it. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t have enough but the project was done before I reached the end of the rhinestone chain.

I wanted an accent color to create a contrast against the gold blackground and sparkly AB rhinestones.  I bought glue-on rhinestones in Topaz, a bit of a brownish gold color. Having contrast is very important to create more depth and intricacy in the decoration. I bough 5 gross (5×144) of SS6 rhinestones and 1 gross of the bigger SS20 rhinestones. That wasn’t enough.  I like my costumes to be heavily beaded so I purchased an extra gross of each to finish the job.

 

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Close-up off beading on the Pink Turkish costume

 

I had a couple of smaller teardrop shaped rhinestone sew on stones in my stash and ordered some more. The big teardrop stones were also in my stash. I wanted to use them for the pink Turkish costume but never did. My recurring themes are planning on doing things and then not doing them, and buying too many rhinestones for my own good. Things could be worse.

The E600 glue was still in my sewing stash. I bought the glue for other craft projects *cough* making a mirror costume *cough* that didn’t happen…yet. Despite my hesitation to use glue on a belly dance costume I decided to go for it and see how it works. After all, it seems to work great for several big name designers and all those Russian dancers who make and sell costumes. It’s worth giving a try.

Cutting out the design

Admittedly I was in a time crunch that was really, really tight. I only had a couple of nights to finish this! It took more time than I anticipated but I still got it finished in the end. The first step was attaching the gold lycra to the belt base. That part went smoothly. Cutting the design out of the base material was a bit more daunting. The most important lesson that I learned is that scalpel knives are really sharp. It took me four hours to get to the point in the picture below. I also cut myself twice and had to stop because the cuts needed to heal.

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Adding the rhinestones

I was teaching a class the next night so I started with slightly healed fingers and the knowledge that I ddn’t have to cut out things with a scalpel knife for a while. Let the decorating begin! I started by sewing the rhinestone chain along the ouside of the curls. This would give the pattern some more definition.

Here’s a close up of the belt. You can see the stitches where I attached the rhinestones . The Topaz stones are glued on with E6000. As you can see, I did a botch job if you look close to the edges of the fabric. I cleaned it up a bit by cutting away excess fabric for a cleaner look. Suprisingly for the overall look of the costume this doesn’t matter. It looked stunning before I fixed the rough edges and stunning after.

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I spent about five hours on adding the Topaz rhinestones to the belt by hand. It was a great time to ponder over some questions in my head. I also noticed that the fumes of the glue were unpleasant. Some googling revealed that E6000 fumes are highly  toxic and should not be messed with. Read about the effects on a Burlesque costume maker on this page.

I am glad that I was costuming at night when our daughter was asleep. It would have been way worse if she had been in the room while I was using the glue. A note of caution for all costumers out there: E6000 works great for glueing rhinestones, but please, please take care of your health first. Wear protective gear while working with it, or choose an alternative that doesn’t contain tetrachloroethylene.

This is my work station. The small cup is there to hold the rhinestons. I covered the table with news papers to protect the surface. I used a sharp wooden stick to get the glue from the tube onto the costume in small dots. The glue isn’t runny, it’s sticky and almost gum like while it dries. I used the cotton tip to pick up a single rhinestone and put it on top of the blob of glue. Rinse, repeat. You can see the sparkle of the AB stones very well in all images.

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In the image below you can also see one of the smaller swirls that I made to decorate the bra. When I took this picture I was still adding rhinestones to the design, so the end result contains even more rhinestones.img_7662-1

And then I was done! It was a bit of an anit- climax as I didn’t have time to line so I considered it done when I glued the last stone on and sewed the hook and eyes in place so I could wear the belt. It turned out very pretty. I laid the loose swirls out on the bra and stitched them in place. For a sumptious Rococo look  I let a couple of curls go over the edge of the bra to create a playful design. Here’s a close up of the bra with the swirls sewn on. As you can see, I ran out of rhinestones so the swirls on the bra are slightly less decorated. I’ll fix it once the next shipment of rhinestones comes in.

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And this is what the costume looks like on the day of the photoshoot. This is a behind the scenes image taken with my cell phone. Excuse the poor quality, better images will follow once the photographer has time to process all the images from the shoot. I made matching opera gloves as accesoires to go with the dress. The tutorial for the gloves are on this page. The purple rhinestone necklace and clip on earrings were a souvenir from my visit to Miami in 2009.

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It is comfortable, pretty and suits our theme of wearing purple and gold. Yay! I still have to work on this some more. I want to add extra rhinestones to the top and I have to line the belt and some of the appliquées. Maybe adding some ruffles to the lower part of the dress, as it could use a bit of drama on the bottom. Or maybe some sequins for extra sparkle. I am not sure yet. I happen to have a roll of holographic gold sequins in my stash that could work though.

What do you think?  More ruffles? Leave it as it is? or do you have other ideas to make the dress even prettier? Let me know!

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.

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Swirly belt course review

This is one of the first reviews on this blog and we’re starting with one that I’m very excited about. The Swirly Belt Course from Sparkly Belly! To be clear, I purchased this premium course full price in February 2017. I have worked with Mao Murakami, the owner of Sparkly Belly, during the Belly Dance Affirmation Cards in 2016. I have not received payment to write this review and was not requested to do so. If you haven’t heard of this course, Mao made an introduction video to show you.

Why didn’t I try it sooner?

Due to remodelling and other perils I didn’t make much costumes in 2017. It took all my efforts to keep my ‘regular’ life going and costuming is something that is pushed to the fringes when I’m in a tight spot. With our dance group ‘Sense of Bellydance’ we booked a photoshoot and as a group we decided that we should all wear purple with gold accents. Despite a closet full of costumes, that wasn’t something I had  lying around! Also, due to life, having a baby and gaining some pounds I didn’t feel comfortable in wearing a bra- belt combination. It was time to create a dress. What better way to dress up the dress than a swirly belt and matching appliqués? It was half november and I needed to get started soon.

After buying the course

After making the payment, the course was digitally deliverded to me in the Sparkly Belly Learning environment. By logging into Sparkly Belly, I can find all my courses and go through the content. The course is split up into several parts. All the instructions are available in the form of a movie and in written text. It is clearly laid out and easy to acccess.

Resources

While I was working on the purple dress I started searching for the supplies Mao recommends. The resources are mentioned on a seperate page, and are split into resources needed for each belt design. It took me some time and effort to find all of the materials as I am in the EU and we use different words and translations for some items.  Looking back, I spent a fair amount on tools. In the course, we cut out the design with a scalpel knife and I bought a knife and self healing cutting mat to make that part easier.

The course is very clear in what materials are needed to create the belt. A lot of people have asked me what type of material is used. I will not disclose this in this blog post as it is all clearly stated in the course. The basic course is 39 usd and I got the premium package of 49 USD. The premium package includes a pattern book.

Working with the course

It was easy to follow the instructions and create my own belt and appliqués. I was suprised how simple some steps were, and how incredible photogeneric the end result is. Seriously, it is ridiculous. Let me show you a close up of the bra I decorated. That’s a visually stunning costume! As this was the first try, I have a couple of learning points for myself.

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I should read and follow instructions more carefully

She warned me in the course to check the printing settings, but I was in a hurry and I didn’t check it. I ended up printing the workbook  slightly smaller (about 10%). As a result, the whole design shrunk a tiny bit and I had to compensate by adding extra swirls. I like the way it came out and I like to customize the belt a bit, but it would have been easier if I read more careful and printed it in the right size.

Scalpel knifes are really, really sharp

I cut myself a couple of times during the first try, but I got wiser and a bit more cautious and it didn’t happen again.

This projects is about crafting, not about sewing

Good news for everyone who has never sewn before: you don’t have to sew for this course! You could get make this with cutting and gluing and a couple of stitches. No sewing machine or specific sewing skills required. As a costume maker, I prefer sewing because I want my costumes to stand up to wear and tear.

 

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Cutting out the belt

 

There’s no fringe

Obviously, the course doesn’t include beaded fringe so there isn’t any beaded fringe on this type of costume. I also don’t see how I could add beaded fringe, as the weight of the fringe would possibly damage the belt if I attached it. I love beaded fringe! I also love the look of the swirly belt and the applicquées. I have to live with the knowledge that I can have one or the other, and not both at the same time.

It’s a delicate belt design

The swirly shapes are lovely, so delicate and feminine. At some points, the design is connected by only narrow bits of material to keep it all together. It makes me a bit worried about the durability of the belt. The multiple layers offer some extra support and that’s a good thing, but when I travel my costumes are folded, sometimes crushed or piled on top of each other. I’m not sure how the belt will hold up.

It comes out gorgeous

With this technique, the design will look gorgeous. even if you absolutely have no skills in costuming, I dare to state that your swirly belt will look amazing. Make a mistake with cutting? No worries. A bit clumsy with glue? It dries up clear! Don’t know how to do the lining? You can adjust while adding!

It’s one of the best courses for belly dancers as you can create a beautiful belt with very little skills. This is definitly a lot of bang for your bucks.

Overall

It’s a comprehensive course, suitable for anyone who wants to create a beautiful belt. It requires no previous experience.  In fact, I think you’re better off not having sewing experience as I sometimes missed sewing things.

It might be good to know that it isn’t necesarily a very fast way of making a belt. Each step needs a couple of hours to complete. I think it took me about 14 hours to create a belt and the appliquées. That is still fast compared to making a belt using the more established costuming techniques.

The course has a clear set up, the video and text explain things very well and I loved having the workbook so I had a design to start with. I’d give it a 5 start rating on a scale of one to five.

If you want to try it for yourself, you can read the description of the course and sign up on Sparkly Belly.

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.

 

 

 

Purple and gold dress – Part 1

Adding gussets to create a wider skirt

My last official photoshoot is over three years ago. It’s about time to get some new promo pictures! Our Sense of Bellydance group booked a shoot next Saturday and we decided to go with individual costumes, all of us in purple with gold accents.

Of the many costumes I own, I am lacking a purple costume! With only a couple of weeks to go, I headed out to the Utrecht fabric market and bought a lovely midnight purple stretch velvet. As I have enough stuff lying around in my stash, this project would be a great opportunity to do some stash busting.

In February this year I purchased the Sparkly Belly Swirly Belt tutorial. This would be perfect for trying out some new techniques! With the swirly belt tutorial I would make gold appliqués and a belt to add some bling. Today I’m writing about creating the dress and I’ll write another blog post about making the belt and swirls.

How to make a belly dance dress: start with a bra base

I got a couple of questions when I posted pictures on Facebook about how I made a belly dance dress with integrated bra. I took a commercial pattern for a dress (I prefer a princess seam dress, like this). Add some extra fabric to the top of the front pattern pieces so there’s enough fabric to work with. I drafted a similar pattern a couple of years ago so I took it out of my pattern storage. I had a Dina bra base in my stash as well. The Dina bra base is made of compressed foam. They are light weight, sturdy and are available in cup sizes B-C-D. As the cups are connected in the middle, the bra band size is a bit limited. They are easy to sew through by hand or machine and you can find them on eBay for about 13 USD.

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Dina bra base

How did I do it?

I’m a trial and error kind of person and the process went a bit like this:

  1. Put on dina bra base
  2. Put on dress, hike it up untill the desired height, covering the bra. Pin fabric of dress to bra base
  3. Take dress and bra off, use pins to get the fabric evenly over the bra base. Pin with again, then hand baste into place. I decided to baste the top and sides of the bra but I could have just basted the upper edge of the bra and leave it at that.

 

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The dress with the bra base pinned to it

 

I got a zipper for the middle back of the bra, but I didn’t like how it was visible in the back so I am taking it out. In order to get the fabric over the bra base I took of the flimsy straps that came with the bra. I made new straps by covering waistband elastic in the same fabric as the dress. By adding new straps covered in fabric, I tried the dress on and tweaked a bit with the princess seams to adjust the fit. The bra was hand stichted to the dress.

Picture of bra pinned to dress

 

Adding gussets to create a wider skirt
Adding gussets to create a wider skirt

The pattern of the dress promised a flared, mermaid like skirt. My idea of a flared skirt was a little bit more dramatic compared to the ‘everyday wear’ pattern. I kept the bottom part of the seams open and added gussets, triangular shaped pieces of fabric. In the center back I added a quarter circle to get a bit of a draped effect.

Time management

As I was a bit short on time, I had to sew during the day as well. Our daughter found the whole process quite fasinating and wanted to help, so I let her ‘pin’ the fabric.img_7644

This was a family effort. My mum helped me with pinning the hem for me. I got up on the dining table and she pinned along the edge.

 

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Thanks mom!

I cut off excess fabric and added a seam. After a week of late night sewing, the dress was done! For reference, It took me about 10 hours to make this dress. I saved time because I didn’t need to draft a pattern. I used a Dina bra base so no time spent on converting a regular bra to a belly dance bra, and there is no decoration on the dress. I didn’t take a picture of the dress while wearing it, so you’ll have to wait for the next blog post for a full body shot.

Next week I’ll write about the swirly belt tutorial and creating appliqués. See you there!

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.

 

 

Goodbye, dressform!

I am a big fan of my dressmakers mannequin. It really helps to put a costume on the mannequin to see how it fits. But it is time to say goodbye. I can’t believe I wrote that.

In the past year, I made some costumes but honestly my productivity is dwindling. Being a mom is amazing in many ways, and it also means I have less time to sew and a different body to boot. And that different body doesn’t fit into the size range of my dressmakers mannequin!

It appears that the two of us will have to part. But before I do, I’m writing a blog post in honor of my mannequin who helped me so many times with making gorgeous costumes.

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One of my first belly dance costumes on my dressmakers mannequin

 

What to look for in a dressmakers mannequin?

  1. The option of changing the size of the mannequin independently is very useful. Most women don’t fit the ‘standard’ sizing: hips are wider or narrower, the back is longer or shorter. Having a mannequin that can be changed to your size makes it easier to see if clothes work with your body type, and to adjust patterns to your own sizes.
  2. Make sure you can put pins in it. For example, there are inflatable mannequins for sale, meant for displaying clothes. Another form is the plastif dressform also used for displaying clothes. While these are great for display purpose, the sizes are probably not similar to your size and you can’t pin clothes or items on the mannequin. A dressmakers mannequin is covered in fabrci so you can pin and tuck to your hearts Delight.
  3. It should be able to carry  a heavy garment. There is no maximum load described for my mannequin, but belly dance costumes can be very heavy. With layaers of fabric or beaded fringe, the mannequin has to hold all that weight! When you are on the lookout to buy one, keep this in mind. In my experience the cheaper ones have a harder time with heavier items.

Making your own

If you want to make your own ‘body double’dressform, there are many ways to do so. Read this article for 9 ways of makingyour own true to form dressform.

I am a little bit sad to let mymannequin go because she represents all the pretty costumes and clothes that I made with her help. I still have the memories though 🙂 Plus, she’s going to a very talented and creative friend of a friend who will make many more beautiful clothes.

In the mean time, I’ll go back to making items without a dressmakers doll. It’s the end of an era, not the end of the world. and if I get my mojo back and starts sewing for myself, I’ll have an excuse to go mannequin shopping for a new one!

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.

 

 

Online course: Playlist Essentials for Belly Dancers

In a previous post I mentioned that I am a teacher at the Belly Dance Business Academy (BDBA). Last month I published my first course! It’s a free online course called Playlist Essentials for Bellydancers and this is what we do in the course:

What goes on behind the scenes of publishing an e-course

It’s been a steep learning curve in the last months, creating an online course and learning how to talk on video. I have so many exciting classes and courses that I want to share with you! In order to become a better teacher online I had to overcome my fear of talking on video. Turns out that sitting in front of a camera on a tripod is not my cup of tea and I embraced the selfiestick instead.

Creating the course meant breaking the material down in smaller steps and learning how to use the e-learning platform. The platform is easy to use but the switch from teaching face to face towards online teaching is challenging. For now, the course material is written text and pictures but I like to do more with video in the future. All things in due time.

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Lots of behind the scene preperation at home

 

About the course

The course is for anyone who wants to learn more about digital music management. By creating playlists of your music, you’ll have all the music you need in one place! We start by going through the basics like what type of music management apps there are, so you’ll be ready to get started onthe device of your choice. In this course’I’ll walk you through the various activities of bellydancers. Students, teachers and performers all have different needs, so your playlist wil lbe unique! We’re matching it top types of songs that you can include in your playlist. I will give suggestions and I’ll share my own Playlist Essentials with you.

Join me!

I invite you to join me on this course.It is free, and you can enroll by creating an account at the BDBA and click on the course.  As this is the first course that I’ve created, I love to get feedback! You can comment on the course, send me a PM on Facebook or comment below this blogpost. I hope to see you there!

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or contact me through Facebook!

Buy or sell your costumes on Facebook

Q: How many costumes does a bellydancer need?

A: Always one more!

Despite a closet full of belly dance costumes, I am always looking for a new costume. After wearing a costume for a couple of performances it’s time to rotate! As I am not making a six figure salary as a bellydancer (if you do, please let me know how you do it!)a new costume means selling a current costume. And where do we belly dancers go to sell our beloved creations of chiffon and rhinestones?

You can try selling costumes on eBay and Etsy but those site work on commission which means less money going into your pocket.  Wouldn’t it be much easier to reach out to other belly dancers and offer them your costumes? They probably have a bunch of questions about sizing and the current state of the costume that you can easily answer. And that’s how many of the ‘costume for sale’ Facebook groups came into existence.

 

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One of my recent finds: a second hand cost less costume

 

For buyers
First of all, buyer beware: it is very easy to create fake profiles or scam someone on social media. But it is also easy to build a real profile and connect it to your business website, and show that you really are an honest seller/buyer. Ask as many questions as you need to get a good idea of what you’re buying: what is the size (in cm or inches), is there damage on the costume, can it be cleaned/washed, has it been worn much? Does the costume have a strong odeur (smoke, incense, perfume, sweat, pets)?

Contact the seller through PM to discuss the price and exchange address. Preferable keep payment information off Facebook, and choose a payment method that you’re comfortable with. And all you have to do after that, is wait next to the mailbox!

For sellers

Take pictures of your item: close up , as a whole, when worn and laid out flat. Take as many measurements as you can, including cup size, size of bra band, waist band, widest point at the hips, skirt length. Create an album with all the images and information and get ready to share that album.

 

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Like this costume? It’s for sale!

 

Go to the various groups where you can sell your costume and follow the guidelines of the group for posting a costume for sale. Make sure you mention your prefered contact method (if you never check your PM’s, ask potential buyers to email you). Now wait and be patient for people to ask you questions about your costumes. If you receive no response, wait at least 24 hours before bumping your listing. You can bump your post to the top by responding to your own message: it will show up at the top of the Facebook group again when someone replies.

Where can I find these Facebook groups?

I am so glad you asked! Here’s a list of groups.

New &used belly dance costumes for sale – NO SPAM

**the Facebook bellydance swap meet**

Belly dance costume SWAP

Costume belly dance (new & used)

Belly dance costume bazar (new and used)

Belly dance SALE group

Now go forth and find yourself a new costume!

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.

 

DIY printed bunting banner

What do you do when you’re presenting yourself and your company at a local event and your budget for promotion materials is non-existant? Create a banner by yourself! Okay, it required printing and laminating and I used some left over string, but these were materials that I already owned. As a bonus, I’ve included a PDF file so you can print your own ‘bellydance’ banner.

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For the non-Dutch, it says: ‘Bellydance with Kyria Moves’

Materials

Laminating foils

laminator

scissors

a piece of string

Printable PDF bellydance banner (this is the word ‘bellydance’ plus three bellydancer silhouettes)

  1. In my case I started out from scratch and used a blank template of a bunting flag. I used Word to add text to the flags and printed it on basic white paper. If you have an indoor event, it would be way easier to print the flags on cardboard, cut them out and string it together. As I was at an outdoor event and the Dutch weather is very unpredictable, I opted for laminating.
  2. Put two flags together back to back, laminate them with the laminator. This is one of my favorite steps: the flags come out so nice and shiny!
  3. Use the scissors to carefully seperate the two flags, than cut each flag along the outline of the outline.
  4. Punch holes in the sides of the flags and string them together. Leave enough room on both sides to tie the bunting to something so you can hang it.
  5. Enjoy your work and send me a picture 🙂

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    Our decorated market stall

Learning points

Like I said, the laminating helps with the durability but it also tends to curl the paper a bit, making it harder to read. In retrospect, printing on cardboard paper and cutting it out should do the trick in most occassions. As for the string, I used whatever I had lying around (I think it’s called masonry string) but you can use any type of string. The thicker the string, the easier it is to untangle your bunting. As a bonus, here’s a compilation video of our performances at the market.

 

 

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.

 

 

Beading technique: Looped fringe with sequins

Summer is great for all the projects that are lying around and need to be done. Often these projects don’t need much time or effort but somehow they just don’t happen. I decided to tackle my pile of unfinished projects one by one and my first project was a red beledi dress that I bought five years ago. It’s a troupe costume and each troupe member converted the sleeves to a different style.

 

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The Dalla Dream Dancers backstage in our beledi dresses

 

I wore it as is, without finishing the edges of the sleeves or beading the sleeves. As a result, I always felt a bit uneasy when wearing the dress. Pulling it out of the pile I gathered my materials and got to work. It took me about three hours to finish the edges and now I can put it back in the closet, knowing that it will be ready for the next performance.

While working on the edge, I took some pictures so I could share this technique with you. It is a looped fringe with a big sequin in the middle, that adds sparkle to the edge, weight to the sleeve so it drapes better and a bit of extra movement.

Supplies

Seed beads

Cupped sequins (I recommend higher quality laser holographic sequins because they last a long time.)

Paillettes (I used holographic pailettes app 20 mm in diameter)

Thread (For durability, use extra strong thread)

Needle (as small as possible, to get through the seed beads)

Technique

Start by threading your needle and anchoring the thread to the fabric. Or, in different words: thread your needle and tie a knot in the thread. Choose your starting point and get your needle through the fabric from the back to the front, then to the back of the fabric again. Secure the end. Stick your needleback to the front and let’s get started on the beading!img_7293Add to your thread: one cupped sequin (make sure the cup sits with the bottom towards the fabric), fifteen seed beads, one pailette and then fifteen seed beads again. It looks like this:

img_7295Pick a point app 1″/2,5cm to the right of your starting point, and stick the needle through from the bottom of the fabric to the top. Tug lightly on the thread to tighten the beads and sequins.

img_7296I like to knot my beading as often as possible, so I make a knot at this point to secure the loop into place. If the beading breaks, I will only loose one loop of fringe, not a whole row.

Rinse, repeat.

Once the whole edge is finished, the effect is a shiny, beaded edge with a lovely dangling paillette in the center of each fringe. This technique is very forgiving so it looks rather uniform even when the distance between the starting point and the end point is more or less than 1″/2,5 cm.

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.

 

I’m a teacher at the Belly Dance Business Academy!

This summer I’ve been busy with starting up new classes in the studio and creating workshops that cater to belly dancers needs. The results were great: I had two sold out workshops plus four new students for my weekly classes! Teaching the workshops was so much fun, that I wanted to give more dancers the opportunity to join in. The only question was: how?

What is the Belly Dance Business Academy?

Long story short, I am joining the fabulous team of teachers at the Belly Dance Business Academy and I will create several classes a year for their curriculum. The Belly Dance Business Academy is an online learning platform that helps dancers all around the world to get better at running their business. Classes and workshops are available in every price range, including a couple of free classes. Topics include (but are not limited to) handling the business side of belly dance, how to organize,  creating lesson plans,  handling complicated situations with clients or students and personal development. I wish I had this resource available when I started my belly dance business over a decade ago! Joining the BDBA is easy: go to the website and create an account (no payment involved). Once you’re logged in, choose a class from the many classes and workshops that are available and start learning. The classes are online and you can start and continue when it suits your schedule. As a teacher, I have a  bio page that tells you more about me as a teacher right here.

 

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The picture of my official bio at the BDBA

 

What am I going to teach?

My online teachings will be along the same lines as my live workshops. They are meant to inspire, look at challenges from a different perspective and help you become the best dancer and entrepeneur you can be. Now that I’m added to the team at the BDBA, I have to learn how to create an online course. It will be a steep learning curve and I’ve scheduled the next month to get used to the technology. I’ll create a free class so you can get to know me as a teacher and you get a taste of what the full class will entail.

The first full class is on how to find new music and get new inspiration through listening to music. This is a topic that pops up on every Message Board, Forum and Facebook group where dancers discuss belly dance. It’s one of my favorite topics to talk about with my fellow belly dance teachers because it’s so much fun to explore what’s hot and trending in Egypt, Turkey or other countries. It also means staying in touch with what happens with regards to music in American Tribal Style and Tribal Fusion, plus I like to listen and use music from our music charts as well.

As soon as my classes are available, I will post them here on this blog and across all the channels that I use for promotion (newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, websites, and I will tell you all about it when I meet you in person!). Stay tuned! If you are interested in the BDBA, I recommend you go over there and sign up for free. Even if you are not a professional dancer but dance pure for fun, there are classes that can help you overcome stage fright, or help you resolve disagreements.

Special shout out to my fellow Dutch dancers

For the Dutchies, I have special treats for you! I will offer real live workshops in our Kyria Moves studio on several topics. I am now working on the schedule for September-December and there will be a couple of really special workshops to help you succeed as a belly dancer. Keep an eye on my website  and sign up for my (Dutch) newsletter and you’ll get all the news first hand.

I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My biggest passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I intent to continue doing so for quite some time! If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Leave your questions or comments in the box below, or let me know through Facebook.