The belt is all finished now with ties and lining all done. I’m really happy with the outcome. Now on to the bra and matching arm cuffs.
I’ve finally finished all the beading on the neckline. It was a lot of work but I think it was worth it, the finished piece is really effective.
Next was to attach the neckline to the dress. I started by pinning the neckline to the dress while on a dress former to make sure it was stretched slightly.
Turning under the edge all the way round the neckline, pinning as I went.
Then I slip stitched all around the inner edge, making sure that the fabric was smooth and turned under enough not to be seen from the outside.
In the centre front I stitched two lots of bugle beads between the two sides to maintain a certain spacing while still being open.
With the dress back on the former I pinned the outside edge of the neckline and again invisibly hand stitched under the edge.
The last finishing touches are to stitch the arm holes, hem and side seams.
I have a Black Sheep Tribal Belly dance performance coming up and I realised that I didn’t have a nice full skirt to wear, so I decided that I’d have to make one and may as well do a complete costume while I was at it.
I’d heard a lot about 25 meter skirts and was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. I assumed from the name it would have 25 meters worth of fabric, but with a little research it seems to be a 25 meter hem circumference making a very full skirt!
As this was my first skirt of this sort I had the idea of making a 10 meter one. Im quite short and thought I’d see what sort of effect this gave me as I was a little worried that 25 mtrs could swamp me.
I chose some pretty batik fabrics which I’d hem each tier with a black contrast band. I worked out all my measurements for meterage in each tier and used the Golden Ratio to have a natural looking ratio between each of the tier depths.
There was a lot of gathering and overlocking in this skirt!
The overall effect of the skirt is wonderful it has a lot of movement as the cotton is quite light in weight. The busyness of the fabric also adds to the movement and vibrance of the skirt.
Now onto the bra, falls and maybe a belt too!
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.
Begun the beading this week, and have just realised how long this is actually likely to take!
I started with the gold edging and then went on to a bit of the blue bugles and sequins. It seems to keep up the momentum and enthusiasm if I change section every so often – but I am really enjoying it.
I think I’ll outline the scallop sections next so that it will give me an idea of how the shapes will look once there filled in.
I recently attended Add Sparkle to you Dance workshops with Kay Taylor in Cardigan, during which she covered – including many other things, some arm movements and positions for Baladi style Bellydance (Baladi is not normally my thing as I’m definitely a tribal girl). But while dancing this gave me an idea for a new costume.
The inspiration is a Baladi style dress taking some influence from ancient Egyptian jewelery and designs without it being overly obvious.
I’m not a great fan of Lycra fabrics as most Baladi dresses seem to be made of, so decided that I’d go with a rich stretch velvet in a dark royal blue – with dark blue, gold, red and possible turquoise beading.
I decided that I would bead the neckline and then work out if I wanted a belt as well, because the neckline may be enough without the belt. Next I’ll tackle the shaping and pattern for the neckline.
Here is the costume which I have been taking you through over the last few posts.
This is after a performance at the Llanfairfechan Summer Sapphire Hafla. Click here to see Lyza Chthonia dancing in her tribal fusion costume.
My last post covered applying the trims to the bra. In this post I’ll take you through how I put together the belt.
We’ve already made the pattern for the belt and cut out the fabric ready. A sturdy base for the belt was made using interfacing, and the outer fabric was then stitched to it, this ensured that the belt doesn’t twist and sag under the weight of the kuchi coins.
I worked layer by layer using the same techniques as for the bra trims after which I began work on the metal coins and gathered silk flowers.
The last thing to apply before the lining was the velvet scoops around the hips. The pattern was made by draping the fabric and pinning in pleats to create the scoop. This was a process of trial and error until I had a shape I was happy with. Then the fabric was carefully unpinned marking all pleats and curves onto pattern paper.
I cut and lined each scoop stitching curved lines across each section to ensure it didn’t stretch too much. The pleats were added to the belt. At the front the belt needed a way of closing it securely to the body. It was decided that ‘D’ rings and ribbon were the best option for this as it allowed for a give in size as apposed to hook and eyes which are fixed.
The rings are positioned under the gathered flowers and are only just visible. The lining is cut using the same pattern as for the belt and stitched to the back. The belt and bra are now all finished.