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Assiut Belly Dance Costuming Book – The “Big Build” Begins

 “Assiut Belly Dance Costuming” – The Book Build Begins

Hello Gang!  I’m so excited that the world is opening back up again after the global hiatus. Here in Studio Davina, I’ve begun work on the next DIY costuming book.  Our current working title is “Assiut Belly Dance Costuming in Detail.”

When we published “The Cloth of Egypt” back in 2014, we edited out two entire chapters that didn’t seem to fit.  These lost sections introduced the main elements of belly dance costuming design and construction. During editing, we all agreed these chapters just seemed like an awkward departure from the history and technology focus of the rest of the book. 

Lost Belly Dance Costuming Sections

The last year gave us all lots of time for reflection during the global shutdown. Over the past year and a half, I spent time thinking about how to repurpose those two chapters.  My co-author, photographer Alisha Westerfeld and I had always hoped to release this material. But in the intervening years, we’ve decided to completely scrap that initial text. The original text was written in an explanatory overview style. However, we’ve decided to create a more in-depth and detailed book.

Belly Dance Costume Construction – Step-By-Step Instructions

So what will this book include that isn’t in other books I’ve published?  I’m going to use a similar format to what we did in the step-by-step guide “Embellished Bras.”  As I work on projects I will pause and take in-progress photos to capture the key steps in the process. Twelve full head-to-toe ensembles give me plenty of opportunities to demonstrate all of my favorite design approaches and sewing techniques.  In this book, I will move through each key step in the process of design, from the spark of inspiration to the completed look. 

Need some inspiration for an assiut costume now?  Check out my Three Day Assiut Costume Challenge blog series where I attempted (and failed) to make an assiut bra for a dance showcase.

Acquiring Assiut Fabric

Over the intervening years, I’ve spent time acquiring a fresh new batch of modern assiut cloth.  We need quite a bit of modern assiut fabric to meet our goal to make a dozen head-to-toe costume ensembles and document their construction!  We’ve used some of the proceeds of the Assiut Mask Project to fund these assiut fabric purchases. Fortunately, we’ve worked with a number of dealers on eBay, Etsy, and from the world of belly dance to acquire enough materials for the big build. 

If you purchased an assiut mask from me over the past year, thank you for supporting my next book!  While we still have some materials and supplies left to pick up, we’ve got enough to get started.  If funds get tight, we might pause to make some items to sell or to use as premiums for another Kickstarter campaign as we get a better idea of the size and scope of this new book.  We successfully funded two Kickstarter campaigns for Cloth of Egypt and our belly dance textbook Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage which is now available on Amazon.  Of course, Cloth of Egypt is available both on Amazon or directly from me on my Etsy store

If you would like to follow my book development regularly, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.  If you want more status reports and behind-the-scenes photos, come join the conversation over in my Facebook Studio Davina group.  Or come back here to catch a future blog.

Thank you for your continued interest in my ongoing projects.  Follow me here to watch the design process unfold for these next 12 assiut costumes.

Happy Costuming and Dance!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina

ps – Have you checked out the behind-the-scene magazine “Costumer’s Notes” that we put together to commemorate the creation of the book “The Cloth of Egypt?”  Loads of full-color photographs of dozens of belly dance costumes!  

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