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Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Belly Dance Costume - On Sale!

This has been another one of those weeks, maybe couple of weeks, when life has interrupted the usual course of events and I haven’t had the time or “ganas” (Spanish word meaning the desire to do something) to write my blog. Things go along smoothly and then, wham! Out of nowhere, something happens, and your peace of mind and schedule go to hell in a hand basket.

But I’m not going to do any navel gazing. We all go through switchbacks along the rocky road of life, which is the price we pay for being here. Like everybody else, I just stumble through the best I can.

Anyway, I’m going back to the topic of belly dance. We’re gearing up for another feverish round of rehearsal classes after a month’s hiatus.

In the meantime, I’ve been obsessed with costumes. I have spent hours looking at costumes on internet sites, especially Dahlal. Buying clothing online is always iffy. At Dahlah the costumes are usually unique and made to order. But they also have a selection of costumes that are already made and therefore on sale. Each of these sale costumes has specific measurements for ribs, upper hip, lower hips, skirt length, etc., so unless they exactly match your own, which is unlikely, some alterations are inevitable.

My idea was to buy a costume that was fancier than my gold one, but lighter than the fuchsia one. I chose one that was silver and pewter and black, a rather elegant color scheme, I thought. Finally it arrived. I could tell as soon as I picked up the box that it was indeed lighter. I could dance Elsekka in this without a problem. It fit well, too, except for a couple of minor things that I probably could have done myself. However, the last time I attempted a simple alteration, with my fuchsia costume, the first thread I snipped caused a shower of tiny beads to fall to the floor. It took a long time to pick them out of the carpet. Suzie the seamstress had to put it all back together. So no more self-alteration attempts for me.

When I tried on my new costume, Suzie immediately saw that the skirt was too short. That much was clear in the full length mirror in her sewing room. How did that happen? Well, apparently, you can’t get an accurate reading from dropping a tape measure from your own waist to the floor. I don’t know why, but it’s true. The skirts on my two other costumes are a good four inches longer. So now we were faced with the problem of making the skirt longer, a skirt that is embroidered and finished at the hem. Suzie decided the only way to do it was to make an underskirt that will fall below the original hem. She said if she just tacked something onto the hem to make it longer, that’s exactly what it would look like. And that would be, well, tacky.

In addition to lengthening the skirt, Suzie is going to make some accessories. She suggested making gauntlets out of black stretch velvet, a matching headband, plus add some of the black velvet to trim the bra top. It will tie it all together and make for a sophisticated look, much different from the fuchsia costume. I can’t wait to see the finished product!
Next: the mysterious art of stage make-up


  1. I can't wait to see a picture of it!!

  2. I'll take a photo as soon as I get it back from Suzie. I can't wait to see it, too!