I’ve been making costumes in the last couple of years. So I thought I’d show a few of them here.
Warning! They’re bellydance costumes, and I’m not a tiny wisp of a thing!
You can click on the pictures for a bigger version.
My first attempt was a Refashion. I bought a pair of extremely shiny pink yoga pants, with a little mini-skirt incorporated. I took the mini-skirt off and used it to cover a bra, and then beaded the resulting costume. This became known as the VSPTS (or Very Shiny Pink Trouser Suit). It started out quite edgy, and then as soon as I added the beading, it turned all Cute!
Then we have the White Baladi Costume. (Baladi is a particular style of Egyptian bellydance). This was much more of my own work. I covered the bra, made the belt, and the dress. The fabric is, I think, Glissenette, and I wish I could get hold of more of that stuff, because it’s the best sucky-in lycra I’ve ever come across! I beaded it with proper Swarovski crystals at hideous expense. The only part I didn’t make myself was the shorts.
Next we have the Hyacinth Lace. I was inspired by some of the beautiful lace embellished costumes I’d seen made by couturier costume designers in Cairo. It was a fairly bog-standard mermaid skirt bra & belt costume. On reflection, I’d probably put some bead drops onto this now, to give it a bit of movement when dancing, but I wanted to keep it elegant! So it’s covered in lace and diamanté.
I loved the lycra for this costume, it’s such a pretty colour, and it’s really lightweight and slick. I wish I knew what it was, but I bought it years ago, and never kept notes.
Then I moved on to a costume that had been something of a long term goal for me. I wanted to do what I call “confetti beading” where the beading is all in a mass. I wasn’t sure I’d be up to it. It would have been too much if I’d done the whole thing in Confetti, so I did a border, on the bra cups and on the belt. I think it came out pretty cute. This is the Pink Confetti Costume. What you can’t see here is that it’s got BEA in big diamanté lettering on the right bra cup beading and on the back of the hip belt. The beading includes all sorts of little special beads and charms, including a couple of Eiffel towers, in celebration of my French heritage.
After this costume, I declared a moratorium on making pink costumes for at least a year.
I went back to Baladi style, for my latest completed costume. This one is made with a cute apple print lycra, and the lining has a cherry print, so this became known as the 5-A-Day Baladi. The lycra was a dream to work on, as it was very soft to the touch.
I made this with the idea that it could be quite versatile, but I’d need to make a hip belt to go with the bra, if I’m honest, and I’m not sure I want to go back to this one right now… Maybe some time in the future!
I was really pleased with the beading on this, it created a nice cascading effect with the bead/sequin drops.
I kept photo records of all these Makes:
So that’s a few examples of my costuming work so far. As I’ve said before, this is way, way different from regular dressmaking. The lycra allows for minimal fitting, and the beading and embellishment covers a multitude of sins. But it’s been a stepping off point for the dressmaking plans.