A general update of many things

Do you ever wonder what makes you happy? Not just the little things, but what makes you happy in life? The lock-down in the Netherlands has been extended in the past couple of weeks and it’s been on my mind. What are things that I miss the most?

Writing blogs and making costumes is something that I didn’t dedicate much time to in the last couple of months. I enjoy the process of making things but I currently lack the focus of sitting down and concentrating on making something. I decided to give you a general update every now and then on this blog even if it’s not about making costumes. Instead I’ve been focusing more on healthy habits. Walking the dog and enjoying nature, making sure that I don’t sit behind a screen all day and fitting in at least thirty minutes of cardio every day. I am often hopping or randomly dancing around the living room after eleven o’ clock much to the amusement of my husband.

Our dog is eagerly watching a shrubbery where rodents and birds might be hiding

Dance wise I’ve kept in touch with my dance friends through video conferencing. We invited a percussionist for a percussion workshop at the start of October when it was still allowed to teach music classes. It was so much fun! Drumming definitely has a bit of a trance like thing going on where I can get lost in playing the same rhythm over and over again.

Playing the darbuka with friends 😃

A lot of energy went into keeping my belly dance classes going. With changes in the lock-down, we found creative solutions to keep going. I am now teaching an online dance class on Mondays and if we’re allowed to have live group classes again, a limited amount of students can attend the live class on Wednesdays. Teaching my classes is a moment I look forward to every week.

Me with my setup for online classes

I have finally started experimenting with a green screen for dancing and I made a little try out video to see what type of effects I can use. Creating videos is time consuming but also fun, challenging and with a result that I can share with the world. I miss live performances and this is one way to keep my love for performing alive. The upside of using the green screen is that I can also take recent pictures of the costumes that I made so I can update this blog when I feel like it.

Recent picture of the gold metal mesh costume with the greenscreen in the background

At home the birthday season has started, as all our birthdays are in November and December, plus we have Sinterklaas, Christmas and New Years Eve. Celebrating the birthdays of our children turns out to be a challenge. Between both of us working, our oldest daughter had a fever last week so we decided to self quarantine for at least ten days and I hope nobody gets a fever or falls ill in the next couple of weeks. There will be cake, decorations and presents 🙂 I might post about this years cake as I am planning a unicorn cake.

I am grateful for my family, for our health and for my husband and I to still have a job in these trying times. My heart is heavy for all the people working in cultural sector, for museums, dance schools, theaters who are having a really hard time. I am supporting artists online as much as I can.

Stay healthy, stay safe and see you soon!

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 , subscribe to my Youtube channel, follow me on Twitter or find me on Instagram

Video tutorial: making medallions with a large mirror in the center

About twelve years ago, a dance friend got a costume that had large and small mirrors glued to the bra and belt. I was fascinated by the concept and hunted down craft mirrors to try this myself. The mirrors arrived, they lived in my craft room on my working bench for a while before being put away into my stash.

In the mean time I had this beautiful gold Mid-East set with medallions and mirrors mounted on a red silk base. One of my all time favorites, also because of all the good memories of performances and hafla’s. I still love these sets, they are very versatile and absolutely stunning on stage.

Gold Mid-East set with medallions and mirrors on a red silk base, 2007

In the past months I’ve been back to dancing ATS style and I’ve been admiring belts with Gul medallions. The type of medallion made with seed beads and used a lot in ATS and ITS costuming. I used medium sized medallions on the fusion belt in the image below.

ITS costume, coin bra and belt made by me in 2006

I had been looking for Gul medallions to purchase but due to COVID-19 I could not purchase items from India or Afghanistan. It made me think of everything that is in my stash and that if I can’t buy such a thing, I could make something similar. And I unearthed the box with mirrors and started working on making something beautiful.

I’ve been busy with many exciting things, and one of those is creating another video tutorial. If you like this video, please like and subscribe!

Materials:

Felt (or any other non woven fabric) 1.3 mm craft felt, about 10×10 cm per medallion

Large mirrors ( 7 cm/ 3″ mirrors)

Round sequins, hexagon plastic beads and large flatback pearls

Step 1:

Use a glass to draw a circle on the felt that is a couple of cm larger than the mirror.

Draw two circles and cut them out. Use s glass that is a bit smaller than the mirror (in this case, app 5 cm). After cutting the small circle you’ll have one solid circle for the back and a ring for the front of the medallion. The mirror will be layered in between.

Step 2:

Sew sequins along the inner edge of the ring, overlapping the sequins like roof tiles.

Assemble the medallion with the base layer, mirror and ring on top and pin in place or use quilting clips.

Step 3:

The large flat back pearls are stitched to the outside of the circle, and I doubled back on my stitches to make sure they stayed in place. After all the pearls were added, I stitched the hexagon beads between the pearls.

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 , subscribe to my Youtube channel, follow me on Twitter or find me on Instagram

Costuming video tutorial: how to make beaded medallions

Being busy with video, I made a video tutorial for the beaded medallions that I was working on. I have been hesitant about creating video tutorials because they are so much work compared to writing a blog post. Being at home a lot made me realize how often I watch video’s and how much I enjoy watching people craft amazing things. And if I can make someone on this world happy by posting a video tutorial, I don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t!

So here you go, my first costuming video tutorial. I am making these beaded medallions in different sizes with the plan to layer them on top of the hip wrap I made recently.

Video Tutorial for small medallions

Materials:

Craft felt (1.3 mm, or any other non woven fabric with a bit of weight)

Shisha mirrors (I got these at a craft shop)

Hexagon beads (6 mm) and flat back pearls (10 mm)

Step 1: Cut a small circle from the felt. In this case I cut a circle of roughly 5 cm in diameter, by using a cup.

Step 2: Use embroidery thread to attach the mirror to the center of the fabric. First create a small square with four stitches.

Step 3: sew the flat back pearls on near towards the edge of the fabric. I marked the places with a pen before stitching them down to make sure they were evenly spaced. I added the the hexagon beads last.

And there you go: beautiful small beaded medallions to add you any costume! Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll show you how to make these:

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 , subscribe to my Youtube channel, follow me on Twitter or find me on Instagram

How to make a belly dance fusion hipscarf with ruffled trim

Like everyone else I am uncluttering. In my stash I found fabric and trim remnants from fusion hipscarves from a student recital. I am in need of silent hipscarves for teaching and I need bright colors that show up well on video. And while I’m sewing I might as well create a post so you can create one too! There are a couple of neat tricks in this post, including how to finish edges and how to create ruffles. Let’s get started!

Materials

  • Fabric for the base (app. 50 x 110 cm)
  • Satin ribbon for the ties: 250 cm long, 5 cm wide
  • For the ruffle: woven fabric, app. 20 x150 cm
  • Various lace trim (app. 2 meters for the lowest trim and 1.5 m for the upper trim)
  • matching and contrasting thread

This project can be done by hand but I recommend using a sewing machine.

Step 1: The base

In this case I layered a lace fabric on top of a blue satin fabric. Securing the layers in place with pins, I used a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch to sew them together. Make sure to pin while laying flat. Fold the ribbon in half and mark the center with a pin. Mark the center of your hipscarf and match the pins. Stitch the two together. Due to the double layers and the satin being slippery it was hard to keep everything straight, so pin like your life depends on it!

View of the seams on the back, showing the the finished hem on the left and the unfinished hem on the right

Step 2: Making ruffled trim

Here’s a secret I learned from making historic costumes. Victorian costumes have a lot of lace and trim, and it usually covers quite a large area. The sleeves, the hems, the skirt, there’s trim everywhere. Buying trim is very expensive, and it was common to create various types of decorative trim from fabric. And that’s what I did for the ruffled trim.

Victorian fantail skirt
This is me going all Gothic with a Victorian fantail skirt with tons of trim. Maybe 2005? Good times.

Take your base fabric, a woven satin fabric in this case. Use a simple household item to measure out the width. Or use a tape measure, but this was faster. In this case I used a spool of thread. Cut about 10 cm into the fabric, then grab the fabric on both sides of the cut and tear the strip over the whole width of the fabric. Repeat if necessary. In this example, I used about twice the length of the finished trim. In this case that were three strips of 150 cm for a total of 450 cm. Attach all the strips by stitching them together to make one long strip of fabric.

Example of a torn strip on the left, and how to measure the width with a spool on the right

The torn edges of the strips will eventually start to fray. I used a narrow rolled hem on both sides to finish the edges. A rolled hem foot is highly recommended to make this easier.

Close up of the rolled hem on the fabric strips. It looks like ribbon now!

Ruffle the hem by stitching with low tension in the center of the fabric an pulling the thread. Or buy a super fancy gather foot for sewing machine and go crazy. Guess which option I choose 😉

Example of trim ruffled by the sewing machine. This picture is for display purpose only, obviously the fabric goes in ungathered when sewing

And now you have a beautiful length of ruffled trim, ready to use.

Step 3: adding the trim to the hipscarf

I used lace trim on the outer edge because I liked how it added an interesting shape to the edge of the hipscarf. Sewing the trim on the round edge is a bit of a challenge. I sewed slow and made a lot of adjustments while sewing by using my hands to keep the trim in the right place.

I then pinned the ruffled trim into place, checked the location and sewed it to the hipscarf. Make sure you set your thread tension back to normal if you lowered it in the previous step to gather the trim. I decided to use a little bit of lace trim on the top for a third tier as well. It’s a nice contrast with the fabric plus it adds depth.

The finished hip scarf with three rows of trim. I absolutely adore the colors and textures.

I am undecided on how to proceed, as it would look lovely with a bit of extra bling like rhinestones on the lace, or sequins in the center of the ruffled trim. I’ll leave that decision for another day. I’m going to wear it in the next class and post pictures afterwards.

Got questions or want to see more in progress pictures? Friend me on Instagram or Facebook!

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 , follow me on Twitter or find me on Instagram

Bellydance during lock down

My last day at work was on Tuesday, March 12th. As instructed by my employer I took my laptop home just in case we wouldn’t be able to go back to the office for a while. On Friday the 13th, the Dutch government gave out the first advice to not go to your job unless you work in a vital industry. On Sunday the 15th they announced that schools and daycare would be closed until further notice. Don’t worry, I’ll soon shift to bellydance during lockdown later in this pst 🙂

The first week

We have been scrambling ever since to get our work done from home, do the schoolwork for our four year old, walk the dog, create entertaining and fun activities in and around the house and try to keep our mood swings and anxiety to ourselves. I worked on some sewing repair stuff on my to-do list but the first week I didn’t have time to do anything except fall into my bed at the end of the day.

As teachers were struggling with getting their classes online, I did a free webinar in a Dutch Facebook group for belly dancers about teaching online. Being able to help people lifted my spirits and made me feel useful and I started contemplating teaching online again.

I love watching all the online content that other bellydancers are creating but I am kind of overwhelmed with all the options. For now I’m sticking with my Sharqui subscription.

Second week

The second week got slightly better and I decided to get my vast collection of belly dance dvds out of the closet, bought an optic drive (were did all the cd-rom trays in laptops go?)
and start dancing again. It’s been sporadic but I try not to beat myself up. I asked my regular belly dance students if they would be interested in online streaming classes, and I started those as well.

Someone in the Dutch Facebook group for dancers started an online project for dance school owners of all styles of dance. Locking myself in the studio, dressing up and recording my 14 seconds was exhausting but also exciting. Kind of the excitement I feel right before a performance! You can see me around the 1.13 mark. It felt great to create something and to be part of a bigger picture.

On Sunday we had a video meeting for Roos, one of my dear friends and troupe member of Sense of Bellydance. It was her birthday and we were all so sad that we couldn’t celebrate with her. It was nice to talk and laugh together.

Third week

Argh, we’re still inside! We’re getting better at it though. Somehow we found some kind of rhythm in our days and we try to keep the weekends free. On Wednesday night I teach bellydance on Zoom, on Saturday afternoon I meet my MBA study group for capstone project. Mornings we do schoolwork with the oldest, my husband and I can both get some work done during the nap time of our youngest and we try to go outside every day.

I noticed a friend on facebook who was doing some kind of bellydance practice every day and keeping track on social media. I applaud her and thought I could do my own version. It obviously didn’t include dancing every day because tired and worn down, but at least I could try!

Did I join some of the free challenges on facebook? Did I sign up for something new? Nope, I bought an optic drive and got my bellydance dvd collection out! This week I did Jillina’s Hip up and shape out dvd (available as a download of over 3gb on Jillina’s website too). Ah, still good. I did stream a Bellyfit class because I felt like revisiting the Bellyfit format and the classes are always fun and keep me moving.

 

Fourth week

We were starting to get the hang of this lockdown thing. Mostly resorting to traditional role pattern with me taking the kids to the playground or on a cargo bike ride, and my husband being the hunter and doing the one every four days grocery shopping. My mood wasn’t great, I bounced between slight optimism and anxiety. My attention span is shot and I had a hard time concentrating on work.

What usually helped me through was dancing, so that’s what I did. I made a ‘no rush’ video with Sense of Bellydance which was fun!

This week I tried an intermediate Sharqui workout. I started with Sharqui because it was part of the 2019 Belly Dance Bundle and I sort of stuck with it. It’s a great way to get moving without worrying too much about choreography, as everything is cued by Oreet. My second practice was the dvd ‘Bellydance- the next level’ by Jenna. I didn’t do the choreography part (short attention span, remember?) but the drills are good. Plus I love how the drills are matching the music instead of a straight forward 4 count.

Fifth week

I got a confidence boost in week four from a fellow dancer and I gathered enough courage to record some short video’s for my Youtube channel. I wanted to do that for years but I hate seeing myself talk on video. It’s in Dutch though so I won’t post much about it in this blog.

The Dutch government had a meeting for the press on Tuesday announcing that the schools would reopen after May 11th. Partially and with extra safety precautions but still, it’s a good sign. IC capacity is still overstretched to about 1300 patients instead of the regular 700 but there is a steady decrease in COVID patients.

In the meantime my anxiety is getting through the roof and my usual coping strategy is crafting and dancing so more work-outs! I did one Jamila style dvd, taught by a very young Suhaila in true eighties style. Interesting to see how the format was used and turned into ATS/ITS. My second dvd was Tribal revival with Mimi Fontana. I used this dvd three years ago when we did ATS style in my class. Super creative combinations, I highly recommend this one for home practice.

And that’s where we are now. No costume sewing so far, though I did some online shopping and bought a modern assuit shawl on the internet. Because it’s assuit and I’ve always wanted one!

To conclude this lengthy post, I am still at home with my family. We are all well and hope to stay healthy in the next couple of weeks when our kids return to daycare and school. Thank you for reading through this rather long post that didn’t include costuming at all 🙂

Stay safe, and see you soon!

Rainbow cake

I make a lot of things and many of those things don’t make it to this blog. But I found out that these other things often appeal to other bellydancers too, so I’m going to write about them over here too.

This is an extensive post on a rainbow cake made in November last year. November and December are crazy months for our family, because it has all the birthdays, the Dutch St Nick celebration, Christmas, the Christmas Holiday and New Year’s Eve. But I love making cake so I set myself a challenge: making a cake that would be a bit out of what I usually would make. This cake is so pretty!

My take on the rainbow cake

Before you start, make sure you have enough time and frustration management skills to get through this project. Because it will take more time than expected and it will come out less glorious looking than the examples on the internet. Probably because the examples on the internet are made by people who actually did this a couple of times, have kids that sleep through the night or have inexplicably a lot of free time on their hands. I don’t so I’m cutting myself some slack. This is a tutorial for rainbow cake for those of you who want to try but are short on sleep and time.

  1. Make the cake batter

I tried googling for recipes and there are several very optimistic blogs about making your own batter and how easy it is. I opted for the easier version and bought four packages of biscuit cake batter. Worked like a charm and saved me some time. I also went with buttercream from the super market (three packages). My food coloring also came from the supermarket, I used the dr. Oetker brand.  I treated this cake  like a triple version of a regular cake to decide on proportions and how much supplies I needed.

Somehow people who made this cake have three or more matching cake pans that magically fit into the oven at the same time. I don’t have matching sized cake pans and a regular sized oven so here’s what I did. I also have limited closet space and no need of even more clutter so buying new pans was out of the question.

I borrowed cake pans from my mom instead and picked the two that were the closest in size. I then decided to do three rounds of baking to get all the layers done, spread out over two evenings. The third evening was spend putting all the layers together and on Saturday I added the decoration. Making this take took me three evenings and a bit of time on Saturday. I’ll write this down for my kids to let them know how much I love them when they’re teenagers and hate my guts.

2. Divide cake batter in seven small portions and add food coloring

To get the vibrant colors, I had to go back to the supermarket and buy more packages of food coloring. No way that I was spending so much time on this cake and having the colors come out drab! Plus we’d be eating this cake during the day so the kids had time to go through the sugar and additives rush before it’s time for bed. This is an important point BTW and I cannot stress this enough. You’ll need a good attempt at getting a night’s rest after working on this cake for three nights and having a birthday party for your kid. And you’ll only get some sleep if your kids get a good nights sleep.

So I say go crazy with the colors! Get all the plastic tubs out of your cupboards and all your spoons and spatulas because you don’t want to contaminate one color with the other. Surprise, there’s also a ton of dish washing involved. Who knew.

I ended up using three packages of food coloring and my orange turned out suspiciously close to yellow. I decided to accept this and move on. Purple is also a tricky color: start out with creating a deep red, then add a drop of blue and stir. Continue with a drop, then stir. Don’t be tempted to wing it: if you add too much blue, your purple ends up too dark.

3. Bake cakes, let them cool off

I stashed all the layers that were already done in a plastic tub with a lid to prevent the dog from eating them when I turned my back on them. You can bake these layers a day or two in advance, it won’t affect the taste.

4. Put layers together 

I used buttercream because that’s what I learned in a two hour cake decorating workshop. Plus I like butter. Pro tip: get the butter out of the fridge a couple of hours before it’s time to use it. When having a hard time stirring it into a creamy substance, put your bowl into another bowl with hot water. It will help soften the butter. Take a knife or spoon and start building the cake. It’s okay to use a picture of an actual rainbow for reference. My four year old knows what colors go where but I got serious mom brain and there’s no shame in looking up what a rainbow looks like.

5. Fix the outside

In this case I also used buttercream on the outside. This was the first time of trying this decorating technique. I put the crumb guard on on Friday night. That’s the first sloppy layer meant to keep your cake from falling apart. The final layer was done on Saturday. First of all, make sure the buttercream is room temperature, soft and easy to work with. Then search for a tutorial or a video that explains this process to you. Proceed with your own cake, notice how it’s not as neat as the example in the tutorial and let it go.

6. Decorate

With all the color on the inside, it’s nice to add stuff to the outside too! Aim high and search for tutorials on how to do amazing things like this, this or this. Decide that you don’t have enough time or decorating skills and get a bag of chocolate M&M’s. Put them on top right before serving the cake and enjoy the great visual effect. The M&M’s will start running when in contact with the buttercream so eat all of the cake as soon as possible.

 

 

Why I still call myself a belly dancer – Belly dance and entrepreneurship

In may 2019 I started a one year EMBA program at Quantic.mba. It’s been a great way to expand my horizon and learn more about running a business and being an entrepreneur. But while I was learning on how to make a balance sheet, use statistics for market research and write a business plan, something has been irking me.

Belly dance also isn’t my day job. I have a career in IT security that pays the bills. It also makes me happy to be a part of the cooperation that I work for, having coworkers to work with and coming up with solutions for security problems. I like being a security officer. In the last decade, I have gone back from teaching eight hours a week to one hour a week. My paid gigs are far and in between. So why do I still call myself a bellydancer?

As belly dance business owner, I have often wondered: am I really an entrepreneur? I am not developing something innovative that will change the world. I don’t have investors, my own building or the prospect of making millions of dollars. What I do have is a never ending workload to keep up with administration and marketing, a hard time finding new students and every year gigs are fewer and further in between.

During one of the EMBA classes I stumbled upon the different types of entrepreneurs. The four types are:

  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Intrapreneurship
  • Startup entrepreneurship
  • Small business ownership

Social entrepreneurs try to solve a social problem. Success is not measured in dollars but in how effective the solution for the problem is. For example getting more kids to read at school by offering free books.

Intrapreneurship is for employees who like to develop new ideas and opportunities within the organization that they work in. For example, Google encourages employees to spend some of their time at the office on ideas and projects that they come up with. This is how Gmail came into existence.

Startup entrepreneurship is what we often feel is the holy grail of entrepreneurship. This type of entrepreneur takes huge risks, inventing something new. Inventing Facebook, creating electric cars, becoming the worlds biggest online market place.

Small business ownership are small businesses. The hair dresser on the corner, the local sandwich shop. The local belly dance teacher.

The great thing about different types of entrepreneurship is that you can be a mix. Looking at my own business, I do own a small business that offers belly dance classes, workshops and performances. But I also feel like I am a social entrepreneur because I empower my students and audience to get more acquainted and at ease in their bodies, to move and express freely. I measure my success in the twinkle in the eye of the student that found her shimmy, the student that suddenly exudes confidence on stage while being timid in class.

I am also an intrapreneur for trying to expand my business by writing eBooks, teaching online classes. I have seen this with a lot of belly dancers. Many professional dancers are expanding their entrepreneurship by also teaching Zumba, Sharqui, Pilates, Yoga. Expanding the traditional business model of teaching local classes by developing online classes, certification programs, or new ITS formats. There is nothing ‘small business’ about platforms like Datura. What I love about being a belly dancer is the creativity and ideas of my fellow belly dancers, finding new ways to tell people about this awesome ancient dance form.

As a local belly dancer I may not be raking in millions of dollars of revenue or saving the world one shimmy at a time.  The focus might be more narrow compared to entrepreneurs like Elon Musk who is trying to get rockets into outer space. But the service that I am offering has the opportunity to change lives. What belly dance offers has social value. At the end of the day (or year) my numbers should add up and I should not lose money on being a belly dancer. I do not expect to make a lot of money with bellydancing though.  When I am in doubt about why I am still a professional belly dancer, this is what I go back to. As long as I am not losing money and I have the opportunity to empower students and audiences by dancing my heart out, I will call myself a belly dancer.

Embellishing a dollar store mask

My new job has a tendency to have themed get togethers, including people dressing up in full costume. The first party I attended at work had the theme ‘Super hero’. Initially I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a Wonder Woman themed costume. Somehow time went by and I got lost looking and reading about super inspiring and beautiful cosplay versions of Wonder Woman. I totally lost track of time and suddenly it was a couple of days before the event. Oops!

Working with what I had, I bought a cheap Venice lace mask from the dollar store for 2,50 euro and I did some embellishment. When I went to the store, they also had beautiful black metal face masks that were already embellished. They were very uncomfortable though and rather expensive. The lace ones were a better alternative. In the end I would only be wearing this mask for a couple of hours at a costume party. Let’s not overthink this.

I planned on wearing it with my purple belly dance dress with gold and crystals, and I wanted to customize the mask to match. First I brought out the AB crystals. These are SS20 and I bought them in bulk from a company in China. They ended up being on the large side but I glued them on anyway. I used E6000 glue as it holds up really well.

img_1298

After adding the crystals, I used some of the craft tools from my daughter to dab gold glitter paint on the mask, to make it a bit more sparkly The glitter didn’t cover as well as I hoped but it worked.

img_1297On the night of the party I secured the mask with the black ties behind my head and I used a flower clip to fixate the ties in place as well. It held up for hours and was a great hit combined with the gold isis wings. After four hours I had enough, as the mask started sliding in front of my eyes and I took it off. There was a lot of dancing going on by then so time to ditch the costume and dance the night away! My compliments though for the people who kept their costumes on, including a Star Trek officer, a girl dressed as a super computer including Christmas lights.

In short, if you need a mask and want to match it with your costume, I highly recommend getting a cheap mask. Adding drawing, rhinestones or paint is very fast and easy plus it looks great!

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 , follow me on Twitter or find me on Instagram

 

Black velvet dress with multi color godets

The back and multi color costume was a refurbish project in 2015. Multi color means that there are a lot of skirt options and I wore this costume with purple, yellow or pink circle skirt. But it would look really awesome with a matching black and multi color skirt! Off I went to the online fabric store, ordering black stretch velvet and chiffon in four bright colors. The fabric arrived, I put it in my closet and waited two years to give the fabric time to mature. I’m kidding, I have more ideas and plans than I have time so that’s why it took me so long to get started.

The pattern

Pattern straight skirt with godets

I choose the easiest way: by starting with a rectangle as a basic skirt and adding slashes for the godets. That worked like a charm! I originally intended to make eight slashes but I ended up with seven. The side where the skirt closes functions as the seventh slash.

My idea was to use two types of fabric for each godet, allowing the skirt to show different colors while dancing. I got that idea from watching a dancer in a Bella costume that had multi colored godets. After cutting quarter circles out of chiffon, I picked the color combinations (green with pink and blue with yellow) and attached the matching quarter circles together.

The job of adding the inserts was faster and easier than I expected. I put the insert on the fabric with the outside parts of the fabric together and start sewing from the top of the slash, down to the bottom. Repeat for the other side, always staring at the top of the slash and sewing towards the hem. Why? because some pieces turned out longer and some shorter. The last godet was added by putting the sides of the skirt together and closing the seam, turning it into a large tube with chiffon inserts.

The top and the bottom

While I was planning on making a skirt, I knew that wanted to cover my belly for this costume. Instead of measuring the skirt from my hips down to the floor, I measured from below the bust line down to the floor so it would go all the way up to my bra. To perfect the fit, I put it on inside out and used pins to indicate where the skirt would need to be tighter (around the waist) or wider (around the hips. I then took the skirt off and sewed along the pins.

img_0909
The skirt/dress laid out on the floor

The top has a tunnel of 2 cm wide elastic, plus I added a loop of black elastic that starts from the side below the bust, goes around the neck and then down to the other side. Snaps were sewn on the edge in six places to attach to the bra.

Hemming this skirt was done by putting the skirt on a clothing dry rack, measuring the appropriate length and cutting it while hanging. I added fishing line to the hem afterwards so I knew that it didn’t have to be very exact. Look at that pretty fluffy hemline!

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All the ruffles!

The finished look

This skirt needs to be spinning to see it’s full effect and this is the best shot I have so far. It’s very comfortable and I am happy with the result. My plan is to make a matching top as well, in case I want to go for a more covered look but I am putting those plans on the back burner right now. Maybe wait another two years before I get started on the top 😉

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Spinning around in the studio

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 , follow me on Twitter or find me on Instagram