It’s fall already and as the weather gets a bit gloomy over here, we spend less time outside. I spend more time in our house instead, making Elderberry jam and syrup, roasting sweet chestnuts and getting back to my fabric stash. Here’s a shot of the process with the Elderberries. If you want to make your own, here’s a fast and easy recipy for Elderberry syrup. Great for keeping colds at bay as it’s high in vitmaine C and Iron. Now how about that fabric stash and costume projects?
Why did I need these sparkly round appliquées? I made the white Moongoddess costume roughly three years ago and I wanted to change the look for a bit, to make it more suitable for another dance project that I have in mind. It included adding a belly drape and removing the center piece beaded fringe from the bra. The costume looked like this three years ago. I am four months pregnant in this picture.
In order to make a belly drape, I wanted a couple of round appliquées to add structure and texture. I was in a bit of a time pinch I went with materials that I already had in my stash. You can see in the above image, that the rhinestone trim on the bra and belt follows a wavy pattern with small circles. The appliquées are slightly larger versions of the circles.
white felt (I used heavy felt, about 2 mm thick)
Round sew on rhinestones (I used rivoli cut Swarovski with a 2 cm diamter)
Rhinestone trim (got some lying around, this is 2mm AB rhinestone trim in a metal setting)
Silver seed beads
Each appliqué took me about ten minutes to make.
Step 1: Draw a circle on the felt
This is a rough guideline so I searched among my spools of thread for a spool that sort of matched the circumfence of the final appliqué and drew a circle around it with fabric marker. The circle is slightly larger than the finished appliqué so you can cut away the markings when you’re done. In the image below, I have a finished version on the right. As you can see it is smaller compared to it’s marker outline.
Step 2: Sew the rhinestone in the center
Position the rhinestone in the center and stitch into place. I used enough thread so I could continue right away with sewing the rhinestone chain. Just make sure to back stitch a couple of times and tie off the thread before continuing with the next step. It makes the appliqué much more durable.
Step 3: Add the rhinestone chain
The noce thing about thinestone chain is that it is flexible enough to bend into swirls and shapes. The small shackles also allow for a bit of wiggle room in getting the cain to fit around the stone. Start by tacking down the start of the chain with a couple of stitches.
I don’t cut rhinestone chain, but twist it at the desired point untill it breaks. This gives me a bit more grip in sewing the chain down. After securing one end, stitch it down one shackle at a time untill you reach the end. I secured the end into place by catching the end prong with my thread and securing it to the felt base. I did that with the two prongs on both side so they wouldn’t end up flopping around.
Step 4: Create an outline with seed beads
I love lining with seed beads as it creates such a lovely, sparkly outline and it helps to give the appliqué a finished look. I used larger sized seed beads and sewed them down in groups of about seven beads at a time.
To close the circle without a gap, I estimated how much beads it would take to fill in the gap at the end. Put your needle through two or three of the beads where you started and it will close the gap perfectly, making it hard to see where you started or ended.
Step 5: Cut the appliqué out
Using fabric scissors, cut out he appliqué, making sure to leave enough room around the edge to keep all threads intact. You can finishe the back of the appliqué by gluing a bit of felt to the back and hide the threads.
That’s all for now! You can also use these as center pieces or for decorating a bra and belt base. I’ll show you a couple of options in another blog post.
I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I’ve been doing that for almost two decades. 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. I you want to ask me something or comment, use the box below, or let me know through Facebook.