I have just finished a new how to about using water soluble film to create a machine embroidered material.
For the Summer Sapphire Bellydance Charity show coming up in the new few weeks I have decided on my song and in the process of working out a choreography. This is my new costume which will go with it.
The track is an mix of Build that Wall and Terminal March from the soundtrack of Bastion by Darren Korb. To go with this I’ve chosen to make a belly dance costume based on the character of Zia.
I decided a nice way of doing this would be to outline a few of the paisleys with twisted bugle beads.
I decided to go with an applique technique called needle turn applique, where you tuck under the edge with the needle and ‘invisibly’ stitch as close to the edge as possible. It took a while as it had to be done by hand but the finish is beautiful. Below is a video of how I did it.
I started drafting and adapting patterns this week to create the design. I then used the patterns to make a prototype so that it could be tried on and any changes or adjustments in shaping and size could be made. Also this gave an idea of how the shapes worked on the body as well as visualising how the pattern could fall on the finished piece. After the fitting there was a few adjustments to the belt pattern pieces making the ties and triangle point longer. The patterning on the belt is also going to be different the scallop patterning will go down either edge of the point.
I photographed all the pattern pieces so that I could overlay then on the computer to see how the pattern could be placed. The scallop edge will need to be appliqued on top, to line both the edges, the ties would also have the scallop trim lining the bottom edge.
The main part of the fabric is paisley patterned, and all the edges are finished with a scallop border with flowers. At the one end is a wide welt of triangular patterning.
I starting by looking at the fabric and trying to visualize which pieces of the pattern would look nice where.
Then the designing stage!
The two designs are quite similar appart from the under skirt and the pattern placement on the bra. In one I have used the paisley section for the main part and edged both centres with the scallop and flowers
On the other I have used the triangular pattern for the main section and positioned the diamonds just above the bust line.
Different aspects of both designs are going to be used on the final costume. The under skirt will be made of a lovely netty gold fabric, the bra will have the triangular patterning, and the belt instead of having the scallop at the top will have it lining the bottom edge framing the point. The hanging ties will have the paisley patterning and will be edged with the scallop edging as well.
Next thing is to make the pattern pieces and pin them out on the fabric.
Last week I noticed lots of cobwebs around the house and decided it was time I owned a feather duster.
As I’m still on a mission (as always) to use up all my scraps of assorted materials left over from previous projects. I remembered I had lots of multi coloured feathers and some bamboo – from my attempt at gardening.
This was a wonderfully fun quick project to make.
What you’ll need -
- Hot glue gun + glue sticks
- Bamboo /handle
- Fleece (optional)
I used three pieces of bamboo to make a nice sturdy handle. Cut the bamboo sticks to the desired length. I made mine quite long to reach the ceiling.
Step 1. Hold the sticks together at one end. Put a small amount of glue between the sticks and wrap the yarn around to pull them together tightly. Cut and knot the yarn. Repeat this step in the middle and at the other end so that the sticks are firmly held together.
Step 2. For the feather end I tightly wrapped it with sheep fleece and yarn to create a padded end so that it wouldn’t scratch the wall – it ended up looking a bit like a torch. This also give the end more surface area to apply the feathers to.
Step 3. Apply the feathers from the end working back towards the handle, making sure to keep the glue on the base of the feathers. Leave it to dry for about ten mins or so to make sure the glue has cooled.
Step 4. Enjoy dusting with you new duster!
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.
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.