My newest project – building a White Tiger & black fringe Turkish Bedlah. I have had this idea banging around in the back of my head for years now, but I have always been afraid to try. Sewing is intimidating, especially machine sewing. It’s loud and fast and requires a piece of equipment that looks totally foreign in our digital age.

To begin I cut the denim fabric off a pattern from another Turkish belt. The base of the belt is three layers: denim fabric,  reflective cloth and a white tiger print salvaged from my high school years.   Scalloped sequins line the top and bottom of the belt along with accent silver tone glass beads. V-Fringe is attached to the back of the belt at the bottom.

New Belt
Belt fully covered and awaiting final touches.

When building the bra, I started with a regular department store underwire a size larger than what I normally would wear. The more beadwork you sew on, the smaller the cups become. Also, remember that you need a padded bra to keeps it’s shape once all the heavy fringe is added. I covered the bra with the reflective fabric & the tiger strip print, then sewed a large V-Fringe to the top of the bra – from strap to strap.

The long V-fringe is from Horus & Isis and while they were a little slow in shipping, but the quality is superior!

Creating and sewing  your own costumes is important as a dancer.  It allows you to be creative in a totally different way and spending days sewing tiny beads will make you value your purchased costumes even more. While it may not always be cheaper in the long run the anecdotal experience you gain from building it yourself is priceless.

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