Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Do It Yourself

Purty close-up of one of my first bra projects
When I was first thinking of trying bellydance back in the late 90s, I remember that my Mom found a website called "Learn to Dance, Learn to Sew." As far as I can tell, it doesn't exist anymore, but that catchy and accurate title has stuck in my head for all these years. The two really do go hand-in-hand.
Of course, you don't have to sew as a dancer. I know plenty of dancers who buy all of their costumes, either off-the-rack or paying a designer to make it for them. But there's a certain satisfaction that comes from making something yourself. The bra above is very distinctly "me", from the brown and green color scheme to the trim that I bought on vacation in NY to the coins given to me by my first dance teacher. The Swarovski sequins on the trim? I added those myself. I bought the sequins at my gem show job. The green stone dangles? From a necklace I cut apart.
Doing it yourself is not without its hazards, however. For instance, I poke myself with needles and pins quite a bit. And while before, I just hoarded beads and jewelry making supplies, now I'm amassing piles of fabric, saris, trim, appliques, Turkoman buttons and whatever else I think I can work into a costume. I have a backlog of costuming projects that will keep me busy for the rest of the year, and only one of them is a troupe project, the rest is just stuff that I want to make.

I'm working on a gorgeous olivine bra and belt set now... I'll post some in-progress pictures soon!

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