One of the best parts of going to my mum’s belly dance performances is the chance to see all the beautiful costumes! Some of those costumes can cost you an arm and a leg so naturally I decided to try and make one myself from a regular affordable bra!
Let’s get right into it!
Materials you will need for your dance bra
- regular bra in your size (don’t worry too much about quality as you will be adding so much to it! I think mine cost about 17 dollars.)
- thread in similar colour to bra
- two long strips of fabric (long enough to cover the backs of your bra and leave tails for tying)
Don’t mind the messiness of my crafting desk 🙂
Creating the tie back
I used a light scarf cut down the middle as my tie backs. You want to width of the strips to be at least as wide as the thickest part of the back of the bra.
The first thing you will want to do is seal the edges of your fabric so that they won’t fray over time. I used Fray Check which is basically a sealant but if you have a sewing machine you could always just sew a seam down the edges.
Sew the first end of your fabric strip to the front edge of the bra. Fold the edges of the fabric under itself so that it is the same size as the bra band. Pin the fabric in place to help you sew it on.
I wasn’t thinking and forgot to take a picture of this step but here it is after the edges have been sewn under.
Once you reach the fastener sew a line straight up and down to make sure the tie won’t come loose. Leave the rest of the tie loose so that you can fasten the bra and tie the straps over top of it.
The most important part of most belly dance costumes is jingle and shine! That’s where the coins come in. You can buy coins at a lot of online dance supply stores. There are a variety of qualities including real coins for the dedicated costume designer. I found the best deal on Etsy from Bellymix. I am not promoting this seller or that site I just shopped around for a bit and these ones seemed to be the best price for the amount that you receive.
To attach the coins I used a piece of thread that is double the length of how low I want the coin to dangle and then add a few inches onto that length so that it is easy to sew on after.
Start by threading the coin onto the middle of the thread. Then bring both ends of the thread together and thread seed beads onto both threads. (I used 5 beads per string but it is really your preference!)
Boil the kettle and put a good tv show on because making these coin strings will take you some time. To cover the top edges of this bra I used about 100 strings.
To attach your coin strings to the bra simply thread the string onto a needle and poke through the edge of the bra from front to back pulling tight enough that the thread is not visible from the front. I triple knotted each coin string in the back so that all that shimmying and shaking wouldn’t work them loose. That’s 300 knots!
I had a few extra coin strings so I attached a few to the center of the bra for some extra jingle 🙂
The hanging chains are definitely what bring this dance bra together and by convenient coincidence they were also the easiest part! You can probably find chains or links from any art store in the jewelry department but I’m sure they are pretty expensive. I found these costume jewelry necklaces at the dollar store! Each necklace cost about 3 dollars and I simply removed the closing links so that I was left with just chains.
Simply sew through the chain links to fasten to the bottom band of the bra. Just be careful with your chains as the links on these ones weren’t completely closed so the thread would keep falling out. I just grabbed a pair of pliers and cinched the links shut that I was sewing through 🙂
You can use any beads that you have around, I chose these glittery purple ones because the colour matched and when it comes to stage performances you definitely want beads that will glimmer in the spotlight!
To make the bead strings along the bottom of the bra cups attach your thread where you would like the bead string to start. Then simply string the entire thread with beads until it is long enough to reach to the other side of the cup. Then send your thread through to the back of the bra and fasten VERY WELL! If you are concerned about your bead string falling off then you can work some small stitches around the thread from beginning to end to really secure it in place.
Put as many bead strings as you want! After looking back at this project I wished I had added a few more beads to the cups for extra glimmer.
This project was so fun (dance costume projects always are!) and my mum was so excited when she opened it. I hope this tutorial helped you out a bit with your costume inspiration.
Please feel free to leave your comments, question or ideas below in the comment section. I love hearing feedback from my fellow crafters!
Also I currently have a homemade headache salve giveaway going on! YAY!
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