Tag Archives: belly dance

Lampeter World Dance Festival

Lampeter World Dance Festival

Last weekend was the Lampeter World Dance Festival, there was free taster sessions for Flamenco, Tribal dance and Belly dance with a show on the Friday night.

The friday night had a wonderful atmosphere with lots of local dancers from around Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire performing. Zara came all the way from London to perform three dancers and brought her souk.

I performed a solo in my Gothic Lolita costume to Animus Vox by The Glitch Mob, it went very well appart from my bindi falling off at the beginning! I also had the opportunity to be part of Lyza Chthonia’s improvised Black Sheep Tribal group. Where we performed a slow and fast movements piece.

Egyptian Baladi Dress Part 4

I’ll include a few images of my progress on the beading as this is going to take a while – but hopefully over time this collection of images should give a really nice overview of the progress.

Tribal Fusion Costume Week 5 – Applying Trims to Covered Bra – Part 2

No matter how well sequins are stitched on they do have a tendency of falling off or working loose, I usually tie off the thread every three to four sequins to reduce the risk of this. This will also keep any repairs that are needed in the future to a minimum.

Most importantly when stitching sequins and especially the heavy coins and metal work use a good quality strong thread (I use gutterman or moon threads). To strengthen the thread again with out adding more strands run the thread across a block of beeswax this will help stop the thread from knotting and reduce friction so trims don’t wear though so easily.

While stitching the overlapping sequins I found they moved around a lot making it look messy, so I thought it was best to stitch an additional line invisible thread over the top of the sequins making them much more secure- invisible thread being transparent looks much nicer for this type of top stitching, as you can’t see it. Transparent thread does tend to knot easily while stitching an become loose while stitching as it has a certain amount of stretch. My only advice would be to use it in short sections and persevere, because the finished look will be worth it.

smallIn the center of the bra there needed to be a hanging heart and chain loops.The heart just needed to be stitched securely, and the chains after deciding how long to drape them it is helpful to measure each point they are going to be attached to and how much chain will be in each loop.

The last trims to apply were the Kuchi triangles and gathered flowers. The triangles needed to again be pinned in place and adjusted until they were even, I stitched these down securely but left the chains at the bottom to hang freely.

Although these steps are the most rewarding, as you can finally see the costume coming together, they are the most time consuming. I have now finished all the bra trims and will in the next few posts take you though a few of belt trims as many are the same as the bra before we finish with the linings and finishing touches.

Tribal Fusion Costume Week 5 – Applying Trims to Covered Bra – Part 1

The bra and belt have a base cover and are strengthened ready for the trims and metal work. Adornments can really make a tribal belly dance costume stand out from the crowd. Here’s how I went about applying them for Lyza’s costume.

The side ties for the bra need to be added before any trims. In my pattern drafting post I described the necessity for strong stitching on the side ties as they will be taking most of the weight of the bra, you’ll want to get these out of the way before adding any of the trims.

Once you’ve cut out the straps, they can be lined – leaving an opening where they are to be attached to the bra. First the strap needs to be pinned in place and checked it is at the correct angle. Next stitch the strap to the bra, as this needs to be a strong join it is best to stitch it to the underwire casing of the bra. The casing is made of a strong woven fabric and shouldn’t rip or stretch over time. I usually use two strands of thread when stitching and stitch backwards and forwards a few times.

Taking some time to think about how the layers of trim will build up will help to ensure that nothing is missed out, overlap in the correct order. One of the worst things is attempting to slot something in or worst of all undoing work that has taken hours to complete!
Halter Style Bra

For my trim layers I started with adding rivets to the bottom edge of the bra. These were a new adornment to me and took some time to get used to. They looked simple enough but ended up being a little more fiddly than I anticipated. They tend to pull and distort the fabric if you aren’t careful. In the end this was remedied with delicate placement of the rivet pins, so that the fabric is stretched sightly into the four pins before they are bent inwards.

Halter Bra

The velvet trim edging the bra needed to be stitched in place next. Starting from the outside I pinned the velvet around the neckline ensuring it didn’t pull. At this stage it is important to do a lot of pinning to ensure the shape is correct as layer will be one of the most visible when the costume is complete.

Velvet Trim

To create the shaping around the neck I first turned under and pinned the velvet starting with the center front continuing all the way round and then secured it with small invisible slip stitches. The last step with the velvet was to fold the fabric up and over the edge of the bra and stitch it to the inside with a quick tacking stitch, there will be many other layers of stitching on top of this, so it wasn’t necessary to spend a great deal of time securing this part.
Antique Gold Trim
Next the heavy antique gold trim needed to be applied, again pinning was key to making sure that everything was smoothly attached.

After this was completed I could see the design starting to come through, and next to come was one of my favorite bits – sequins!

Tribal Fusion Costume Week 3 – Developing the Bra Pattern – Part 2

Last week we covered the importance of stabilising the bra and how to go about it.
This week I began developing the pattern for the halter top that would be attached over the top of the bra. This is a great way of adding base pattern before adding trims and embellishments which can really add to the finished look.

To begin pattern drafting you will need some scrap fabric – begin by pinning this to the bra in the same way as the interfacing layer starting in the center and working your way around each upper edge of the bra and darting where necessary. As I was creating a halter style bra I found the next step much easier to complete with a mannequin, but using the client would be just as beneficial if not more so. It is important that the halter straps lie at the correct angle to fit comfortably around the neck.

Once the scrap fabric is pinned flatly to the bra you need to begin marking out the shape of the halter as there are many different angles and curves that could be used. With the halter section it was necessary to shape the beginning of the straps so that they would taper down from the neck strap in one smooth curve. After you have decided on the shape the fabric can be cut along these lines and around the cup shape giving you a feel for the final design.

Next it is time to consider the back straps. There are a few ways of approaching these but for this design we have chosen to go with straps that tie at the centre back. This style is easily put together and allows the costume to fit regardless of weight fluctuations. From the edge of the cup the strap can be either straight or shaped depending on the style you want.


Make sure not to make the back straps too thin especially if the costume is going to be weighty as much of the weight will be carried by these as opposed to those around the neck.

This completes the drafting of the pattern, so all that is left to do now is to remove the fabric from the bra marking all the darts so that they can be easily transferred to the paper pattern for cutting.


Lay out the scrap fabric template on to the paper and pin it in place to stop it moving around. Transfer all the darts and trace the outer shape on to the pattern paper, this will give you a nice easy to understand pattern to work from. Once all this is done you will need to add seam allowance all the way around both the main bra and back strap pattern.

Side Strap

It is important that the back straps are separate from the main body of the bra as they will take a lot of weight in some cases and therefore will need a lot of securing. The best way of doing that is to stitch it on to the casing that holds the underwire. These are designed to take the force of the back straps supporting the bust, but I’ll cover this more thoroughly next week.

If you have any questions about bra pattern drafting get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.