The belly dance inspired tango costume – The Adventure Begins!

Having seen my favorite tango dancer wear something similar, I decided, for some odd reason, to put together a similar costume. I spent many hours researching online, only to find that what I planned to make was very similar to a belly dancing top, only with way less beading and with a tummy cover. Having asked a few experts, I went to the fabric store, spent 19$ on fabric and notions, and got started.
Here is the bra I started out with; a La Senza bra I don’t wear anymore since I lost some weight and cleavage (fun times).

 

 

 

 

 

 

I snipped off the shoulder straps, as per Shushana’s most excellent instructions (which can be found at http://www.shushanna.com/costumes.html ).

Here’s the fabric I chose: a pink satin for the back and halter strap (and potentially for the matching skirt I’ll try making) and a printed chiffon to cover the cups and for the tummy cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also got a cheap cotton fabric just to cover the cups since they’re a bright aqua:

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see the cups aren’t stiff like with belly dancing bras since I won’t be covering them with beading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I pinned my cotton fabric to a cup, again as per Shushana’s excellent instructions; then I created my dart, pinned that, and pinned the rest of the fabric onto the cup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a close-up of my “needs work” spiral stitch for the dart and for the inside of the cup:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obviously, someone needs to practice her hand stitching!

Now, I’ve got two cups covered in my cotton fabric:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I decided to snip away the center connector because I felt I needed the cups to be closer together a smidge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I started to cover my cups with the chiffon fabric, but this time around, I didn’t create the dart because I wanted a sort of “pleating” effect on the cup. I’m more or less satisfied with the results because a) you can see the dark of the covering material underneath the chiffon, and b) the pleating effect is minimal. I’m still unsure as to how to achieve that effect:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I made a center connector out of 2 strips of grosgrain ribbon and 2 strips of heavy interfacing (overkill much?). I stitched those layers together and then covered them with my pink satin fabric…I’m still working on HOW exactly to securely attach the connector to the cups, and at what angle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think I may have to remove the stitching on one side and bring the cups closer together because they seem to have changed in the way they fit. Perhaps by adding the back strap and halter strap, I’ll get a better idea of how it’ll end up looking. I wonder if the inside lining will be enough to “pad” the bra for my petite chest…
To be continued!