Pure Onyx Movement



Costuming 101

Posted by pureonyxmovement on October 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

So you're on the train and the woman next to you whips out what looks like a bra out of her bag. You look around confused...you look around to see if anyone else is seeing what you're seeing and you look around for Ashton Kutcher to see if you are being Punk'd! You then wonder is she going to switch bras here on the train?  From the size of it, the bra looks like it may even be a hat. You are all kind of confused. You decide to sit and wait.

WELL....chances are you're sitting next to Jeannie Mitchell, co-founder of POM, president of Visions of Gaia Dancewear or Candace Crawford, president of CocoaBelly LLC.   That bra she just whipped out will most likely be turned into a fabulous belly dance costume and featured on stage

The costumes we have lined up for our upcoming show, Pure Onyx Movement present "Paradise" are nothing short of fantastic. If you've ever been to a Pure Onyx Movement show then you've seen belly dancing TREES, snakes, and flowers.  I've been sworn to secrecy about what these new costumes will be BUT I can give you hint....To get to Paradise with POM you have to soar!  And by soar I mean on the wings of a BIRD (hint hint)!  

We wanted the inside scoop on what really goes on when it comes to costuming, so we interviewed both Jeannie and Zuri.  Read below to find out how you too can be your own belly dance seamstress!

How did you get into costuming?

Jeannie: I was 1st taught how to sew by my mom. Then Jasmine, my daughter, being a dancer, I was often asked to help backstage with costumes!

Zuri: My mom taught me how to sew as a little girl. When I started dancing, I started to experiment with designs for myself, since plus sized costumes were a little hard to acquire.

What was your first costume design?

Zuri: I made a choli and a skirt for my first performance at a social

Jeannie: My Barbie’s were the hottest chicks in the “PJ’s”! LOL

What comes first the costume or the dance piece?

Jeannie: For me the costume!

Zuri: That's so hard. I try to let it happen organically. Sometimes it's the music for the dance piece that flood my head with images for a costume. Then sometimes, I get inspired by fabrics that I come across while shopping.

For a newbie who decides to make a costume what can they expect for an average budget?

Jeannie:  It depends on what they are making. But a bra and belt can cost them at least $200. Part of that is costly mistakes, having to do it over.  A large part of it is not knowing your prices and where to go to get the best prices.

Zuri: I would say for a simple base costume without a whole lot of embellishment, you can make yourself for $100 or less if you pick the right fabric. But yes Gia is right, you have to factor in mistakes, and that can add to the cost.

5 tips on how a simple non-sowing girl like me can jazz up a bra for a show


1. VOG (vision's of Gaia) says glue!..Glueing on stones saves time…But watch Cocoa belly say different.

2. Also some of the best trim can be found in the good will on used dresses.

3. Ribbon also does wonders for colors

4. Broken sparkly jewelry is a nice addition to a bra.

5. Lose one earring. Don't toss it – adhere it to the center of your bra.

Ooo here's bonus #6 get cowrie shells in natural color or you can paint them with spray paint or nail polish, then cover with glitter then paint again with clear nail polish.

Zuri: OMG JEANNIE NOOOO glue lolololol! No, just kidding. Glue is ok, but I think you have to be mindful of the purpose of the costume, how long you want it to last, if you ever want to make changes, etc. I have learned from experience that using glue can actually add up the costly mistakes category-especially as a beginner. But it can also be an easy fix for a quick costume. Totally agree with GIA on all the creative things to use on the bra. I would add:

1. Choose a well fitting bra with PLAIN, STIFF cups, no lacey ribcage straps, and make sure you change or reinforce the shoulder straps so you don't get any giggle.

2.Proceed to bedazzling! I have costume tips posted on my FB page about ideas on creative items you can use www.facebook.com/cocoabelly , and also two videos on my YouTube page: one about glue, and one about as few basic items you might want to keep in your toolbox if you decide that you want to make costumes for yourself www.youtube.com/cocoabellycostumes

I don't know about anyone else but I'm ready to head to fabric store and make me a costume! Happy Sewing!!!

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