Green velvet costume part 2: the bra

I’ve blogged about the green velvet costume and how it started out with a skirt in 2006. I beaded the skirt in January 2011 and let it rest, as I needed to finish the pink/gold Bella like costume before the start of April. In the back of my head, the green costume was still haunting my dreams. I was halfway already: so close to actually finishing the costume! I prepared a bra base last week and started working on the bra in the past couple of days. The good news: it looks amazing. The bad news: it looks amazing because I used a different beading technique, and I need to redo the skirt.

I started out by cutting all straps off a basic 75C bra. I’m a hoarder and I have a couple of those lying around. I solemnly vowed to clear up clutter this year and finishing belly dance projects with whatever I have lying around is high on my priority list. Since the bra base is pretty similar to all the other bra bases, I skipped taking pictures of the whole covering the bra in velvet’process. The only thing I might add is that I’m using a lycra fabric, and I managed to cover the cup without using folds or darts, by shaping the fabric smoothly over the cup. I found some gold seed beads and decided to bead the whole edge of the bra with those

I then set out the swirly decorations by using a billion pins:

This might look a bit confusing, so I took a picture when I finished adding a rhinestone curl before taking the pins out:

And once I did all the curls, I removed all the pins and it looked something like this:

You might have noticed, the beading on the skirt was made with bugle beads and sequins. I tried adding sequins to the swirls, but it didn’t work out. I decided to add gold seed beads to the swirls too. This is a technique often used by the late madame Abla, or Noussa, both costume designers in Cairo. I had another type of gold seed beads in my stash to add: they are slightly larger and darker then the seed beads on the edge.To show the difference, this is a picture of the whole bra. Left side is done with seed beads, right side isn’t:A picture of the cups to show more detail:
And the ultimate close-up picture:

The rhinestone chain was left over from the Bella project. I need more gold beads as I finished my stash: they are Güttermann beads, high quality and expensive, but worth it. My plan is to finish the bra this week, then let it rest so I can build courage to tackle the skirt.


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