I am overdue for an update on this project. I have been busy co-producing the spring student showcase and starting a new class session and I need to catch up on my costuming. However, since I decided to wear the Bella for the student show there is now further progress to report!
For the photoshoot I had worn the bra safety pinned as a halter since the straps were too short to do anything else with it. A halter just won't work for performance though, it is too uncomfortable. For performance I prefer x-back. The best way to make this into an x-back would be to remove the current straps and make new ones, however with the show deadline approaching and organizing requiring the majority of my attention I ended up doing the quicker solution of making extensions for the current straps so they would be long enough to attach to the back straps. If you recall from the previous posts the back straps also needed work. One of them disintegrated and fell off and while the other one was fine it was too skinny for my taste. I like straps with a little more oomph. The side straps of the Bella are all one piece with the cups and the part right next to the cups is fine on both sides so I decided to take a strip of grosgrain, cover it with green velvet, and then attach it to the inside of the current straps. For both sides to be symmetrical I had to cut off part of the non-disintegrated strap so it would match the one that had fallen apart. It is scary to cut into a Bella but it went well and no beads were lost. I was booked solid before the show (I taught over 60 classes, private lessons, and rehearsals but who is counting?!) so I had my talented boyfriend cover the 4 new strap pieces with green velvet for me and I attached them. There wasn't time to bead them before the show so that still needs to happen but they are comfortable and supportive and I was able to wear the costume.
The cups also needed a bit of work since the cutouts were too scandalous on me and I didn't want to worry about costume malfunctions. I had leftover fabric that matches my skin tone from making a slip for my coral costume last year so I used pieces of that to cover the bra cutouts. I think it worked really well; the fabric is opaque and I am much more comfortable now that I don't need to worry about costume malfunctions. I started lining the cups with the final green lining fabric as well but only managed to finish one before the show.
I didn't succeed in finding a new skirt on Bhuz so I decided to go with the green circle skirt I have. It needed an underskirt so the day before the show I went out and bought gold satin to make a skirt that would brighten up the costume and bring out the gold accent beads in the fringe. I cut the fabric and made the skirt that night, but when I tried it on under the green skirt it just didn't look right (the green skirt is a little short on me so the gold stuck out under it). Luckily reversing the situation and wearing the gold one on top looked perfect. I still feel like the skirts are a little plain in comparison to the epic beadwork on the bedlah so I plan to add gold holographic sequin trim. The chiffon sleeves that came with the costume had gold holo sequin trim and I have cutout the fabric for new sleeves and added this type of sequin trim to them so I think it will tie the costume together better to add trim to the skirt as well.
More Work to be Done
The bra straps need beading, the bra and belt both need new lining, the skirt will get sequin trim, and the chiffon armbands and wristlets still need to be finished.
My adventures in dance, music, costume design...