Moon Goddess part 3: First outing of the costume

Bellydance Moon goddess performance

Completing the Moon Goddess costume was on my list, I had everything planned, but somehow the time space continuum warped and I ended up finishing the costume the night before the scheduled performance. Pressed for time, I took a couple of short cuts. I didn’t make the intended arm decoration, wearing crystal bracelets instead. I knew that the backdrop was black and with my dark hair and no crown I clipped a white flower in my hair. The matching white half circle veil was also made the day before the performance.

In total, I used the following materials for this costume:

  • 10 meters of white chiffon – 20 euro
  • one Dina bra form – 15 euro
  • 2 yards of crystal rhinestone trim – 32 euro
  • 1 yard of 20 cm/8″ long beaded fringe – 25 euro
  • 5 teardrop crystal flatback rhinestones – 5 euro
  • 0.5 yard of white felt – 3 euro
  • white thread – 2 euro
  • hook and eye closure – from stash (I bought a gross a couple of years ago)

All this for the grand total of 102 euro/ 110 usd.

I worked app. 35 hours on the costume, if I paid myself 10 bucks per hour the total cost for this costume is 400 euro/460 USD.

My friend Roos rented a small stage in a cultural center for her recital, with extra lights and sound equipment hired for the day. It was a warm day, but so much fun to meet up with her students and all my dance friends. The moon goddess performance is part of a story about mermaids living under the sea. Though they enjoy their tales, the moonlight draws them out of the water where they discover what it’s like to have legs. The moon in the background was placed there to support the story.

Bellydance Moon goddess performance
Bellydance Moon goddess performance
Bellydance Moon Goddess performance, back view
Bellydance Moon Goddess performance, back view

I’ll have to do some more work on this costume to finish it. For starters the arm decoration, lining the bra and belt with satin in a different color (white smudges too easily). The drape that is intended to fall over the shoulder is flapping forward. Not the effect I intended, but it works. During this performance I am four months pregnant (18 weeks).

I am  a professional bellydancer and costume-a-holic living in the Netherlands. I enjoy blogging and am expecting my first baby in November 2015. If you enjoyed this post and like to 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!

Advertisements

Moon Goddess part 2: the bra

Moon goddess bra close-up

For the Minty Fresh costume I used a Dina bra base and as I usually order in bulk I still had a couple of bra bases lying around. They are made of a molded foam that is sturdy, yet easy to work with as I can sew right through it with my machine or by hand. These bases were bought on eBay, from seller ‘Egypttradediscount‘. I recommend this seller, and the bra bases. Be careful with custom made costumes though, some of the images on his listing look like they are made by Russian dancers. The bra base comes covered in white tricot, the same material white t-shirts are made off. It has elastic straps to the side and two non-stretch straps tacked on as shoulder straps. as I was in a hurry and my costume is white, I didn’t add extra fabric to cover the bra. I washed the bra in the washing machine before decorating as it had a bit of a funky smell.  At a 40 degree celcius cycle, it came out perfect.

Dina belllydance bra base
Dina belllydance bra base

 

The ruching of chiffon on the bra was harder than the ruching on the bra. The cups are domed shape and I was going for a sort of curved effect with the ruching creating ore curved lines. I wanted it to turn out neater. This will do though. Due to my pregnancy I have a bigger cup size. I used to ba a 70C, am currently a 75D and I expect that Mother Nature has some more surprises for me in the next months. It is amazing that I am able to fill a bra cup without adding lots of padding. I used a cup size D for this costume and I have a bit of room to grow. Not much room though, so I’d say the D cup is close to EU size 75D or 80D.

I added the prebeaded rhinestone trim to the bottom of the bra and decided to leave one strap bare. A left over scrap became the drape that covers one of the shoulder straps, then cascades down in folds. I left the side straps uncovered, thinking that I might have to make adjustments to the costume in the next couple of months due to size changes. Because of the elastic, the bra is very accomodating of changes in ribcage size and it is very comfortable. Unfortunately elastic has a limited life span and I will need to check the costume every time before wear to make sure it still has enough life left to stay put. In my experience, this type of bra strap has a life span between 3-6 years.

 

Moon Goddess bra finished
Moon Goddess bra finished

 

I am  a professional bellydancer and costume-a-holic living in the Netherlands. With my dog and husband I live in the suburbs. When I am not dancing or working on something to do with bellydance I am probably sleeping.  If you enjoyed this post and like to 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!

 

 

Moon Goddess part 1: the skirt and belt

Moongoddess belt with fringe

The Moon Goddess costume is finished and had it’s first on stage outing! I’ve been busy with teaching the last class before the Summer holiday, the student recital of my own students (who did an awesome job) and the student recital of my dance friend roos Belinfante. So much to do, so little time!

The skirt

You might have seen the Moon Goddess skirt  in passing when I posted about circle skirts. I used close-ups of the side seams for my post about finishing straight seams. And I ended up edging the hem with fishing wire, so it’s very  swooshy. But I didn’t post a picture of the finished skirt yet, so here you go.

Circle skirt with finished hem
Moon Goddess skirt! Swoosh!

While working on this skirt it occured to me that if you never worked with chiffon before, it might be handy to know:

  1. Chiffon is semi-transparant. Either make a two layer skirt to decrease the amount of exposure, layer the skirt on top of another skirt/pants or wear leggings underneath;
  2. It is a slippery fabric. Make sure to pin well with sharp pins;
  3. Because blunt pins might cause a thread to be pulled, creating pulls in your skirt. And that would be a shame after all the hard work you’re putting in.

The skirt took up a couple of hours but I always wanted a white circle skirt. It’s so dreamy, I can imagine so many different combinations I could make with my dance wardrobe.

The belt

I think I left off with the sketch in my post outlining the project. After the black and multi-color costume I still had some felt left over and I used it to create the belt base. I made the belt base into two pieces and I choose to add a bit of extra length on both pieces. During pregnancy it is considered normal and a woman is expected to gain 24-36 pounds. Since I am halfway there, being slightly over four months, I am already seeing the changes in my body. Making this costume bigger seemed like a smart plan, as I have performances planned up until half September when I’m seven months along.

The belt base was covered by scraps of chiffon. I first pinned the folds down, then stitched it into place with small stitches. I am not completley satisfied with the effect but it’s not bad for the first time of me trying this technique. Wedding dress makers have to practice a long time to get ruching and pleating down to an art (and it shows). I like to look at weddingdresses for inspiration on pleating and ruching as it is very inspiring to see the beautiful things the weddingdress industry makes.

This is the first time that I used pre-beaded rhinestone trim and I am positive about the experience. Easy to cut and stitch to the fabric, though I spend some extra time on finishing the edges of the trim.

moon goddess belt with rhinestones
Moon goddess belt with rhinestones

To make sure that the belt would fit, I pinned the two parts together and try it on. It fit! WIth a bit of extra overlap to spare, phew. I took out the prebeaded fringe and cut a couple of larger pieces for the lower part of the belt (8 cm wide/ 3″wide). There was some loss of strands but since it was such great quality, it held up well. I then continued cutting smaller pieces to add as accents inbetween the bigger pieces. I ended up with this arrangement.

Moongoddess belt with fringe
Moongoddess belt with fringe

To hide the attachement of the fringe to the belt, I sewed a big teardropped rhinestone on top. They were left over from adding rhinestones to my vintage gold Bella. I felt pretty good about the progress I was making and to my suprise, the one piece of fringe was enough for the whole costume. I’ll keep the other pieces for new projects, I have a c ouple of things in mind that would work. Next time, more about the bra 🙂

I am  a bellydancer and costume-a-holic living in the Netherlands. I enjoy blogging and I have big plans for the future with regards to writing and publishing books and such. I am currently four and a half months pregnant with my first child, which is very exciting. I plan on dancing through most of my pregnancy, we’ll see how that works out.  If you enjoyed this post and like to 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!

Project: Moon goddess

Sketch for Moon goddess bellydance costume

Yup, I finished the black multi color costume and I decided to continue with stash busting. I always wanted to make a goddess type costume with flowing white chiffon and a lot of AB crystals. Through the years, I made several drawings and sketches, playing around with the design. This is my most recent sketch, I drew it by hand and did a bit of coloring with photoshop.

Sketch for Moon goddess bellydance costume
Sketch for Moon goddess bellydance costume

The bra ad belt will be covered with chiffon that has been pleated and sewn into place. The beaded trim is accenting the upper edge of the belt and lower edge of the bra. Some draped fabric hanging off the shoulder creates an interesting line and some movement from the shoulder strap. The general idea is Golden Era meets goddess. Since I am preparing a performance where I am symbolizing the moon, I’ll call this one the Moon Goddess costume.

The good news is that I have most of the materials already in my stash, probably because I collect fabric and beads like a squirrel collects nuts.

  • White felt that I can use for the belt base
  • White tricot fabric to cover the bra and belt base
  • Some scraps of white chiffon left over from student veils I made about a year ago
  • About two yards of rhinestone AB trim, bought from a Chinese store on eBay
  • Left over fringe pieces in bright silver, patent silver and white silver (yes, three different types of silver)

What do you think, should I use one type of fringe? two types? three types? and if I have to choose, which one would work best? I have a yard of each. Leave a comment below or on my facebook post.

Fringe for the moon goddess costume
Fringe for the moon goddess costume

Gold Bella – adding crystals

I’ve been busy lately with upgrading an old Bella costume. I bought it in 2004 from my teacher, who had also worn it a lot. I’d classify it as a vintage bedlah, in the typical Turkish style of costuming from 1990-2000. You might think I was lucky that my first professional costume was a Bella but at the time I had no idea. I had never seen a Bella costume in real life or been to the Bella store. All I know is that I liked it because it was pretty. I adjusted the hooks, eyes and straps, removed some of the fringe and added a couple of yellow acrylic stones. I wore this costume for my very first dance photoshoot in 2006. This picture was taken in the livingroom of the photographer, thus all the close ups. If I stood or put my arms out, you would have seen her couch :-).

The original costume had no crystals.

Let me repeat that.

The original costumes had no crystals.

Hard to believe, as Bella costumes are know for using many crystals nowadays! I removed some of the gold sequins in the center of the raised beading and added huge teardrop shaped crystals. As you can see in the picture below, I also removed the yellow acrylic gemstones and replaced them with smaller sized teardrop crystals.

IMG_2103[1]This was the first time that I bought crystals from a Chinese supplier. I was a bit suspicious as there is a huge price difference between swarovski crystals and the Chinese ones.

Crystals compared

The backing on the swarovski crystals is solid and fairly thick. The backing on the Chinese crystals is rather flimsy: it came of easily (even taking them out of the wrapping damaged them) and the backing felt slightly sticky. I can imagine that the backing wears of faster on the Chinese crystals. Some of the crystals had a bit of damage to the glass, something that I never experienced with Swarovski crystals. Overall, the amount of bling that comes from a Chinese crystal is excellent. I bought AB crystals and they are very shiny, perfect for what I had in mind.

I bought a big bag of round crystals in a gold setting when I was in Istanbul last year and I added those to the inside of the raised beaded scrollwork on the bra straps and the upper edge of the belt. Here’s a shot of the belt before I added the teardrop crystals to give you an idea of what it looked like before.IMG_1999[1]

Tips for sewing crystals: sew from the outside edge of the crystal towards the hole closer to the center. This makes it easier to ‘aim’ for the right place with your needle, from the other side of the fabric.

The metal wire along the edges of the bra straps have broken in several places and I need to fix and replace it. I am also considering replacing the lining, to freshen it up a bit. Through the years, I have worn it with various skirt and performances. For example with our troupe Sense of Bellydance:

I hope to have many more happy dance years ahead of me and various occassions to wear this set.