Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tribal Fusion Costume Week 4 – Applying Fabric to Belt and Bra

Lyza Costume

Last week we covered the production of a pattern for both the bra and belt. This week that pattern will be used for covering the bra and producing the belt.

The main fabric I have decide to use has quite a loose lightweight weave so I have found it necessary to interface it with light interfacing, which will give it some extra strength.

After cutting the pattern out of the fabric the first step is to stitch both fronts together and stitch the darts in place. This is one of the few stages that can be completed using the sewing machine.

Now to attach the fabric to the bra, start by pinning the center-front working all the way around the cup. Finish by neatly folding the seam allowance inside and stitching in place.

Bra & Belt Pattern Pieces Bra Pieces

The belt will need extra stiffening as it is going to have a lot of coins and heavy chains attached to it – to do this a layer of interfaced scrap fabric is used on top of the existing fabric. The scrap fabric will also give a weave to securely tie off any adornments. To encase all the edges inside, I stitched these two layers together leaving a gap at each end and turned through.

This leaves us with a fabric covered bra and a belt base to start applying adornments.

Tribal Fusion Costume Week 3 – Developing the Belt Pattern – Part 3

Following the last post covering the development of a bra base pattern, I’ll now discuss pattern drafting for the belt.

The best and most reliable way to make a pattern for a belt is to cut a strip of paper the width of the finished belt and long enough to go all the way around the dancer, overlapping a little. This is then taped around the dancer’s hips, it will stick out slightly in places (which we will correct in a minute).

Belly dance belts are usually worn just above the hips which is where most of the curving occurs. This means that for a belt to fit snuggly it needs to contour to the individual’s shape.

Belt Pattern

To make the belt lie flat against the body, darts and slits need to be added at points on the paper, usually you’ll need to add them to:

  • Center back
  • Back sides (between center back and side)
  • Sides
  • Side fronts (between center front and side)
Some body types may need more, some less.
Belt Pattern
At these points, cut slits at the top with scissors, taping them open so that the shape is not lost, and pinch the bottom edge, pinning as you go.

When complete cut the paper pattern off the body at center front.

This pattern can then be transfered to a new sheet, marking the size and position of the darts on the new sheet, smooth out any harsh curves and add a 1.5cm seam allowance all the way around. For this belt, I removed 3cm from either end so that the lacing would be more visible. The belt should now be curved to fit the figure of the dancer.