Friday, May 29, 2009

The trials of change...

I've been completely fixated on getting back to my coin costume project and starting what I think will be the next project in line- an ivory velvet with pearls and iridescent crystal creation. But first? I must put my sewing room back together.

I just completed a move to a new town and my sewing area is a complete shambles. Went down in the basement (sewing area) a few days ago thinking I could start setting things up and noticed two rather... critical..things. I have no outlets. Absolutely none. and I have one bare light bulb and a window well for lighting. *pulls hair and cries*
For the short term solution I will be stringing an extension cord down the stairs with a power strip on the end for my sewing equipment and lamps. My darling boyfriend has promised to wire me some outlets and lighting as his next project. Yay! In the mean time, I'll torture him with my sewing equipment being set up occasionally in the main area of the house. It has to be done.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Phoenix Rising

One of my very first belly dance costume projects was to cover a bra with coins. I had no idea what I was doing and in retrospect I'm pretty sure I chose the worst possible bra ever. I didn't cover the cups with new fabric. I didn't reinforce anything and I didn't replace the straps. It was litterally a bra with coins. Eek. Thankfully, at least the arrangement of coins was flattering...

Several years after that I went through the painstaking process of building myself a coin belt. I loved the way it looked. When it wasn't on. Unfortunately, the weight of the coins would pull the belt as low as physically possible, leaving me with the dreaded "Muffin Top" where the flesh of my hips was puffed over the top of the belt. Not flattering.

Here's a picture of the costume.

While wasting time on eBay one day I stumbled across an inspiring image of another coin costume. I loved the arrangement and it didn't seem to have any of the troubles that my failed attempt suffered from. (I later discovered who made the costume and was in the picture, but that's another story!)

I had already begun the process of rebuilding my ill-fated coin costume based on this picture when I stumbled across Ozma and her costumes on facebook. What should I find within her treasure trove of information but this very costume and step by step pictures of how she remodeled it! This find was just in time to help me solve some of my construction dilemmas.

Here's where I'm at so far: I've cut the coins off of the floppy, unreinforced satin bra with the scandalous demi cups (can we say too much exposure!!). In replacement, I have purchased a WonderBra and recovered it in dark teal lycra dance fabric. We'll see what happens as I go, but for now I am thinking of adding some braided trim and resewing the previous coins that only cover the top half of the bra. I've also created a tummy drape from coins and some jewelry findings.
Any vote on whether I should completely cover the bra material with coins or allow the current amount of teal to be visible? I'm leaning towards leaving it visible. I feel like completely covered bras sometimes make people look flat chested... Thoughts?

The belt hasn't been touched just yet but I've just purchased some cool lining fabric and crazy stiff interfacing to go under the teal lycra so there should be progress soon.

The coins come from all over the world. The majority of them were a gift from my Great Aunt Martha who has brought them home from her life of extensive travel. China, Japan, Kenya, France, Mexico, Ireland, Portugal, Australia... I love my coins. Because I have no intent to spend them anywhere, I have been free to 'deface' them by drilling holes. I have a drill press and a magswitch for this part of the process.

I'll post again soon with pictures of my current progress, an image of the drill press and magswitch in action and whatever else I think might be of interest.