Gold Mesh costume refurbishment – part 1

Back in the days when Facebook wasn’t as popular as it is now, bellydancers would gather on online forums to talk about the latest bellydance cd, what the dancers in Cairo were up to nowadays en to buy and sell costumes. My favorite hang-out was Bhuz. I bought a worn out Eman Zaki costume back in 2010 from a fellow dancer with the intention of refurbishing it. I was fascinated by the use of gold mesh cut into tiny squares and sewn to a lycra skirt and bra. The skirt has a really pretty jagged hemline that flares out nicely when dancing.

I found a picture or Randa Kamel wearing this style of costume. Judging by the cup size of my costume, my fixer upper was never worn by her.

Randa Kamel wearing a gold Eman Zaki costume
Randa Kamel wearing the exact same design costume
There are several  reason why it needed to be refurbished. The main reason being ‘fabric rot’, the holographic gold print of the base fabric started wearing off. The costume can still be worn but it doesn’t look as sparkly and pretty as it should. Another issue was that the mesh was directly sewn to the skirt: I’d prefer to turn it into a seperate belt and skirt so it would be more versatile. Probably not a v-shapef belt, I was thinking more of a lycra belr with jagged edges.

gold mesh skirt before

Whenthe costume arrived, I noticed that the bra is on the small side and looks a bit out of proportion for ribcage. This wad new for me as my ribcage is on the small side. I might as well use a bigger bra base to fix it. The bra was kind of dingy, to be expected of a well worn costume. I prefer replacing the lining completely in second hand costumes when they are heavily used, because the sweat is hard to get out of a heavily beaded costume.

In this case I’ll create a new bra, belt and skirt so it will be a brand new costume when it’s mesh bra before

That’s when I put it into my stash and worked on other things, like organizing a bellydance event, creating the pink Turkish costume and making the pink modern Egyptian costume. 2010 was a very productive year.

In 2013, I bought a Dina bra base and searched for suitable fabric online but came up empty handed. I was wrapped up getting better at my day job, dating my future husband (hi sweety!), buying a house and moving. 2013 was also a very productive year.

In the summer of 2015, I found a nice holographic print gold lycra on the local fabric market and I used it for making fast hipscarves for a student recital.  I did of course buy way more of the lycra, thinking I could use it for tops, skirts, or other projects.

Student group in circle skirts and tie tops
Student group in circle skirts and tie tops. The hipscarves are triangle pieces of lycra.
Fast forward to november 2015, with me watching my due date come and go and looking for something to keep me busy. I dug up the costume, the bra base and the lycra and plan on working on it in the next couple of months. You can expect to see the (probably slow) progress of this costume in the next blog post 🙂

I am  a professional bellydancer and costume-a-holic living in the Netherlands. I’ve been sewing and crafting stuff for over twenty years, for theaters, dance costumes, historic costumes and regular clothes. My most recent succesful diy project is our daughter, born in November 2015. If you enjoyed this post and 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 and I might write a blog post to answer your costuming question.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!


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