Now that I’m on the verge of completing my costume (I should finish tonight), I started fantasizing about my next costume project.

I don’t believe I mentioned it when I first began writing about my costuming for Middle Eastern dance, but I have several reasons for sewing for myself. They are as follows:

  • Cost. Costumes are quite expensive. Many have a beginning price of $500. They are worth it in a lot of ways; they are handmade, most costumes have intricate beaded designs and cutouts. However, that is still a lot of money to spend. Here are some gorgeous costumes. They are works of art, but I can’t afford it. Costuming by hand isn’t exactly cheap, but I have never hit anywhere near the $500 mark.
  • Style. There are a few designers who make gorgeous costumes. I do like how they look, but there are little things that personally aren’t my style. For instance, I like mix and match pieces, and a lot of designer costumes have the skirt match the top very deliberately. I also want unique things; several of the big names have very distinct features that make it identifiable as a brand. An example of this is a Bella (Turkish designer) costume is easy to identify to me.
  • Size. Most designers are custom fits, but I am leery of ordering things. I’m a very short, thin person. I know my body very well, which makes it easy to sew for it. I also can check things piece by piece and adjust accordingly.
  • My own interests. I like to sew. I think it’s fun and a good activity.

While I’ll probably end up eventually purchasing some basic items from L.Rose Designs (they’re incredibly reasonable and good quality) to jazz up things in my mix and match, I’m also planning on making what I would consider basic costume items. I’m going to create a solid colored bra and belt set; Although they can seem relatively plain on their own (funny thing to say about something decked out with beads and shiny), they’re really versatile. Pair them with a different colored skirt or a vest or arm drapes, and sometimes, it’s hard to tell that they’re the same 2 pieces from one costume to a next. Not only will this be economical, but it will also be fun. The current set I’m making is very pretty, in my opinion, but the bright pink with gold pattern can’t be paired with just anything. The next set (I haven’t picked a color) will have much more versatility.

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