As many of my friends and supporters know, although I purchase many high end designer costumes, I also make my own line of couture high end belly dance costumes in Orlando, FL. I often host small sewing parties in Orlando during the month to unwind with my fellow crafty friends and get these costumes done for myself and other clients. Here are some fun tips for making your own base.
1. Do not use regular bras! Use the cups only if you need to but please make and attach your own bra and side straps at the very least. This will make your costume top look like a real costume bra rather than lingerae. The bra cups I swear by and use come from a line called Braza. These are water proof, not super hard or too soft, are easy to sew onto and durable! They cost roughly $8.50 and are simply amazing.
2. For straps and the shape you will mount your cups onto to make a bra, use three layers for your base. That seems to be the magic number. Use a light weight denim, a fuseable interfacing, and light weight felt. Combine these and you have yourself the perfect base material to cut into what ever shape you choose. The more layers the less maleable, so you choose.
3. Wire the top of the costume bra base. It will conform to your body better and will not allow for any gaps if done properly.
4. Patience is key. Professional costume bases take time and precision so don’t go into it with a crazy time limit or due date. The first time you make one it won’t be perfect but practice makes perfect and it will eventually come out beautifully.
5. Though shalt use good quality thread! Thread can be expensive but boy does it make a difference! I build my costumes to last not for a performance but for life. Think of this when you shop for materials and you will find the end product will last.
6. When in doubt just ask. I get lot’s of calls from my friends and in turn I have my own friends I ask on the occassional bumps along the road. Better to ask twice and cut once.
7. Bra fit is essential. You can have a $5000 costume that is blinged out and gorgeous, but if the bra is too small or without support it will distort your appearance and be distracting. Get a good fitting and know your measurements.
8. Play to your shape. Whether your a pear, triangle, hourglass, or whatever…know your proportions, know what to accentuate and deaccentuate and have your design make sense for your body types. There are gorgeous costumes out there that I wish I wish I could wear but when your 5’3″, short torsoed, and very muscular, some things just don’t quite work jejeje! Know and love your body type and the rest will come.
9. Yes, I do do custom belly dance costumes here in Orlando and can definitely make a one of a kind creation for you. Just call or email to get the process started.
10. Above all if you love sewing, have fun!