Pink Turkish costume – the gathering

Amulya asked about a post to gather all the costume entries for the Pink Turkish costume. It is also an excellent opportunity to show you pictures of the finished costume. I have worn this costume six times since I finished it and it is holding up great. I’m a little bit concerned about the holographic foil print turning silver over time, but so far, so good. I haven’t written about making the accessoiries: there is a matching upper arm band and a triangular hand decoration. They were fairly easy: I used a paisley medallion, added to a strip of fabric and edged in beads/sequins. The necklace is my multi-color butterfly necklace that also matches my Pharaonix butterfly. Come to think of it, it matches most of my costumes as it is multi-color. I highly recommend investing in a multi-color jewelry, as it creates an extra bit of visual interest. Rhinestone jewelry just didn’t cut it for this costume.

This is a picture of our duet. Hadyr is wearing the Bella I sold her earlier this year, which was the reason why I needed a costume to match it’s magnificent blingy-ness. Picture by Merijn van der Vliet:

And here’s a close-up from a later show in Bussum. Picture by Michael van Schijndel:

And here is a video of the costume in action:

The history:

1 – feb 20th: The materials
2 – feb 21th: belt pattern and base
3 – feb 22th: covering the belt base
4 – feb 24th: rhinestones everywhere
5 – feb 25th: paisley medallions
6 – feb 26th: Vanilla glitter
7 – mar 7th: a whole lot of bling
8 – mar 22th: Fringe!
9 – mar 24th: help me pick a skirt
10 – mar 29th: the bra base
11 – mar 31th: covering the bra
12 – april 7th: beading and fringe on the bra

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Pink Turkish costume part 13: Beading and fringe on the bra

Several anxious dancers asked me on april the third if I had finished the costume on time. I did finish it on time, I put the lining in on Friday. What I might not have mentioned yet is that I was the event organizer for the show, together with the lovely Arya. In addition to organizing the event I was also performing three song in the show: a solo, a duet and a group performance.

The last days before the show were spent on emailing people who bought tickets in the pre-sale, practicing the choreographies, and last minute problem solving. This update is late, but hopefully still fun to read 🙂

In the last post, I showed how I covered the bra and itwas ready for beading. The beading and the fringe on the bra are the icing on the cake and it ook me close to 20 hours to complete both. Let”s start with the beading. Andalee asked me why I only made cut-outs on one bra cup. I designed the bra to be asymmetrical,and I beaded two curls on one cup and added two paisley appliqués to the other cup. I also made the shoulder straps and went with the crossed in the back strap configuration. The choreography has several hair tosses and flips and I needed this bra to be as secure as possible.
After the beading I decided to add short fringe instead of long fringe. I made a silver bra with several layers of long fringe in the past and it didn’ork for me. The short fringe would add extra emphasis on the v-shape of the design, and add extra movement without shortening my upper body. Though beading shorter fringe takes slightly less time then beading long fringe, it still took me a couple of hours to get it done. I watched several episodes of Andromeda which I find aweful, though strangely fascinating. I prefer scifi series with more science and better fiction. Also, Kevin Sorbo should not be allowed to command a spaceship.
and a sort of side view:
The bra is very comfortable to wear, once you got the whole cross-back straps thing figured out. And it stayed on well during the hair tosses 🙂 I also made an upper arm thingie and a hand thingie, hopefully the pictures of the event will arrive soon and I can show you the live pictures. I went with the pink lycra skirt for the show, as my partner was wearing a teal Bella wth a lighter toned lycra skirt.

Pink Turkish Costume part 12: covering the bra base + adding metal wire

In my last costume update, you’ve seen the bra base. In order to make those funky shaped cut-outs keep their shape, I needed to add metal wire to the bra cups. I prefer to cover the bra base first, and stitch the metal wire on later.
I started by covering the center piece of the bra with a remnant of the fashion fabric. It will be covered by a center piece medallion, but better safe then sorry! Then I continued to cover the bra cups by my regular method: start pinning the straight edge of the fabric along the top edge of the cup, then pin down the sides. Create a single fold by folding the fabric to the lower outer corner of the bra cup, lining the seam up with the point where the side strap connects to the bra cup. This part can’t be done by machine, so sit down, put on your favorite tv-show or a movie, and baste everything into place. You’ll end up with something looking like this:

To cover the cut-outs, make a cut in the center and pull/fold to the inside. Hand stitch into place. The shaped bra edge and cut-outs look like this from the inside:

Time for the wire! If you have never used metal wire in a costume, it might seem daunting but I assure you that it isn’t. Use heavy duty thread and a couple of tools to help you shape the metal wire. So here are my tools + the wire. I’m using wire used for gardening, as it is strong, bends without breaking and covered in a thin layer of plastic. If you wash your costume, the wire will not rust.

First, use the small tipped pliers to bend a neat little curl on the end of the wire. This will prevent the wire from poking through the fabric.

That’s all for today, tomorrow I’ll post the pictures on the beading and adding the paisley appliqué’s (the same one as the center medallion on the bra).

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 🙂

Pink Turkish Costume part 10: Help me pick a skirt

The base fabric that I used for the belt was out of order and it turned out to be quite a challenge, finding fabric or a matching skirt. I made a skirt from a lighter shade of pink/fuchsia lycra, but took pictures of four skirt options while wearing the belt. Please submit your answer below or in response to the facebook post!

Skirt 1: Chiffon circle skirt, light side out:

skirt 2: Chiffon circle skirt, dark side out:

skirt 3: Lycra trumpet skirt, multicolor:

skirt 4: Lycra trumpet skirt, pink/fuchsia:
Poll #xxxx What skirt do you like? Look at the pictures above and tick your choices! Chiffon, light side outChiffon, dark side outLycra, multi colorLycra, pink

Pink Turkish costume part 9: Fringe!

My hands have not been idle in the past weeks. I spent 20 hours on making the beaded fringe for the belt and after that I needed a couple of days to put the belt in my living room so I could stare at it in awe. It’s so pretty and sparkly! It also helps me to keep me motivated, as it will take a lot of hours to make/finish the matching bra. That’s what I’m going to work on the next couple of days, stay tuned for more costuming posts.

Front of the belt with jagged fringe:

Back of the belt, without the lining:

 

Pink Turkish costume part 8: Belt with a whole lot of bling

Other events had me occupied last week so I didn’t write much about the costuming project. My hands have not been idle though: I’ve spent 13 hours on beading the belt.

A lot of dancers ask me if making a costume is difficult.There are some tricky parts that require knowing your way around with a sewing machine and learning how to bead, but most of it is basically stitching sequins and beads for hour after hour. Kind of mind numbing and repetitive, but not hard 🙂

I used 9 grams of gold and 9 grams of pink/purple sequins for the belt, and app. 25-30 grams of gold and 25-30 grams of purple beads. The decision to use pink and gold was a good one, as it provides a great contrast up close and from a distance. Here’s a close-up of the beading:

And here’s a picture of the complete belt. The gold sequins look more yellow in real life:

I’m currently busy with beading the fringe, another tedious and long winded process. I can bead about 5 cm of fringe per hour and the whole belt is app. 110 cm long. It might be a while before I post the update of the finished fringe. Lucky for me I have tons of movies and series to watch while beading 🙂

Pink Turkish Costume part 5: Rhinestones everywhere

I promised to give you guys a peek of the belt with the rhinestones, and here we go.

Let’s start by adding the rhinestone strands to the swirls first, since they are easy to maneuver. Rhinestone chain is sold, well, as a chain. And if you order 10 m, you have a big card with the rest of the rhinestones wrapped around it, that you’re trying to put somewhere close without tangling it with your sewing thread and other stuff. To make matter worse, I bought the cheap Chinese pronged rhinestone chain. I don’t regret it as it is sparkly and pretty for only 3,95 per m as opposed to the expensive kind that is 16,95 per m. But it iscold outside and I’m wearing wool. Wool and lots of prongs=epic fail. I did the swirl parts first:

I pinned all the belt parts together and added a couple of huge Swarovski AB crystals. Unfortunately, they don’t show up very well in the picture but once I get the gold beading done they will be more visible. I also added rhinestone chain to the middle back as it looked awfully empty without.

An update on the resources: the sequins arrived in Tuesday and the beads arrived today. Those hot pink beads? They are not matching the sequins and fabric. Lucky for me, the supposedly purple beads are a perfect match, so I’m going to use those. I also realized that I needed more gold bugle beads and purple bugle beads then I expected, if I want to make the fringe too. I ordered those today but expect that it will take another 5 days before they arrive.

Tomorrows post is all about the paisley front closure that isn’t pictured in the above update.

Pink Turkish Costume part 4: the covered belt form

I promised to show the first rhinestones today, but I have to put that on hold for tomorrow’s post. Today was filled with working on the preparations of our (meaning Arya and me) first belly dance theater show RonDom Buikdans. Yep, that’s the show I’m making this costume for!

Today I’ll show you guys the belt form completely covered in the holographic print lycra. Taking the pictures for these blog posts allow me to see my work from a different angle and when I laid my eyes on this picture, it made me think:’wow, this is going to be soooo pretty!’.

Here you go:

See you tomorrow!