Last week I covered working with the client to produce a final design for the costume. This week I started the actual construction process of the costume with one of the most important steps to decorate a belly dance bra.
You need to start with a fairly sturdy underwired padded bra that fits well – the last thing you want to think about while performing is an uncomfortable/ill fitting bra.
The next step is to stabilize the bra before adding base fabrics or embellishments. This will give you a sturdy base on which to build and will ensure that the bra doesn’t collapse under the weight of all the trims. Tribal fusion coins or even bead work can end up being heavier than you’d imagine!
I usually find heavyweight interfacing to be the best way to do this. I used one layer for this costume because I intend to cover the bra with an extra layer of interfaced fabric. Some bras might need two layers especially if there’s going to be a lot of heavy trim or if the main outer fabric isn’t going to be stiffened.
While it’s not always necessary, I cut away the bra straps for this costume – I’ll be replacing them with a halter-style top later on. I then began to pin the interfacing in place around the outside of the bra.
Starting the pinning from the center between the cups up to the highest points where the straps are attached to the cups gives a nice clean edge to the inner curves. While pinning I made sure that the interfacing was smoothed and darted where necessary. You’ll usually find you need to a dart from the bust point to the lower outer edge of the underwire and another from just below the bust point to the bottom edge of the cup.
After pinning the interfacing it needs to be stitched in place, this will have to be done by hand starting with the darts and then working from the center of the bra all the way around the edge. Once this is done all the excess interfacing can be cut away. Be prepared for a lot of hand stitching while covering the bra – there isn’t much that can be done by machine.
Once all this is complete you’ll end up with a nice stable bra that’s now ready to have an outer fabric applied. Next week I’ll be drafting patterns for the bra and belt so that outer fabrics, lining and interfacing can be all cut to fit each other.
Thanks for Reading if you have any questions please let me know.