Pink Turkish Costume part 11: the bra base

When people commented on the pictures of the belt, one of the most often asked questions was: ‘will you do cut-out on the bra too?’. In this post I’ll show you how I converted a basic bra into a bra base and made a couple of cut-outs in the bra cup. My lack of posting the past couple of days is because I’ve been practicing my ass off for the show next Sunday. I can’t wear a pretty costume when my dancing is not up to par.

I always start with a regular foam cup bra, preferably a push-up one because the cup have the riht angle. I feel I should apo;ogize for cutting up the cutest bra I’ve ever seen. I bought it on a sale, but the straps never worked for me so I rarely wore it. And now it has a chance to be reincarnated as a pink belly dance bra!

Second step: making the side straps
Cut off all the straps and make new straps from denim fabric. I use unbleached cotton and I used one of my previous made belly dance bra’s as a template. I decided to go for lightly wider straps. Bella’s have quite narrow straps in the back, but those straps tend to dig into my back and cause unsightly blobs (yes, it happens to skinny people too!). So slightly wider and slightly longer then I needed, as I might have to resell this costume in the future or I might gain weight and need the extra couple of inches. Put the shapes on your fashion fabric…

and use the machine to stitch everything neatly into place:

Third step: attaching the side straps
I don’t have a lot of pictures of this step, as it basically comes down to pinning the straps to the bra cups and neatly sewing them to the under wire. Follow the seams on the bra cups so you won’t break your needle on the under wire. Once you’ve got the hang of it, attaching side straps will be a walk in the park.

fourth steps: the pattern on the bra cups
On to the bra cups! I decided I wanted two small cut-outs on one bra cup, to mirror the cut-outs in the belt. There are some awesome examples out there of belly dance bra’s that are held together by beading and net fabric alone. This bra will not be like that, though it would be fun to try it in the future. First I sketched a curly design for one bra cup, cut 2 layers from unbleached cotton and pin to the cup:

There are a couple of places where I need to cut parts of the original bra cup, but first I fiddled around with the placing. When I was certain, I stitched it onto the cup with the sewing machine. Also stitched the outlines of the cut-outs. Did I mention that I’m madly in love with my sewing machine and prefer to do as much as possible with my machine? And that it has a top feeder too, and a needle threader? I swear that it probably tastes like chocolate too, that’s how awesome my sewing machine is. Anyway, back to the bra cups and the stitching:

Fifth step: cut out excess foam
After thorough pinning and basting, you can cut the remaining foam out of the way. I decided to leave the lower curl closed, as it would be placed dangerously close to the nipple and I want to keep the audience attention on the dancing.

And on the inside:

Sixth step:adding padding to the back of the design

The last step is adding padding to the parts of the design that are not reinforced with the original bra cup. I used a bit of molton that I had lying around, but you can use anything you want: flanel, felt, or even hobby foam. Stitch to the outside and cut to fit the design:

That’s it for today, tomorrow I’ll post pictures of the process of covering the base with fashion fabric. In case your wondering: this costume needs to be finished for the weekend and my lj posts are behind ont he facts. So rest asure, this costume will be ready on time in all it’s shiny glory 🙂


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