About 10 years ago now when I was very new to belly dancing and gearing up for my very first student performance in the cabaret style of dance I made this costume:
The overall look has been well received by many and it's a costume that I've continued to wear for many years. As most first project attempts go it has been successful. However, there are some design issues that I've learned from. In the years since its creation the velvet has faded and become crushed and the soft bra cups used for the base don't have much support and frankly don't cover enough to make me feel safe whilst shoulder shimmying! It is time for this costume to have a renewal. The belt underwent some modifications a few years ago as no interfacing had been used and the velvet was 'slouching' with wear. I added buckram to the inside as well as some extra fabric and length at the sides. It wears a lot better now except that I never lined it. That leaves the scratchy buckram to rub raw spots and occasionally peak out at the top of the belt.
I'm hoping to double check the fit (due to weight loss) and add some lining to the belt. The bra must be entirely remade. I have begun by salvaging the cool colored glitter dot fabric from the old cups and cutting the embroidered-down leaves from the old bra as an applique. A new design has been drawn up and I'm ready to start getting down to business by cutting away straps from the new bra foundation and starting to cover this new bra in a style that more closely matches the remade belt. The vest will be done away with as it is too far gone for salvage. The beaded fringe will be moved to the bra and some velvet details similar to the belt will be included to contrast with the dragonfly glitter dot fabric. Some might argue that I should do away with the glitter dot all together but for some reason- maybe sentimentality- I just can't do it. I love that glitter dot. It shimmers in my favorite color!