10 things I’ve learned about Belly Dance Costuming – On the Belly Dance Geek Podcast

Dawn Devine ~ Davina
joins the Belly Dance Geek Podcast
Live on Thursday, August 29, 2019
at 2 pm Pacific Time

I’m pleased to announce that next week Thursday I’ll be appearing on the Belly Dance Geek Podcast!  Come join us for a conversation about 10 things I would tell my younger self about belly dance costuming. Can’t make it next Thursday?  Listen anytime you like on your favorite podcast app.

Did you hear that the Belly Dance Geek has a new leader?  She’s a very glamorous, multi-award-winning professional dancer in Yakima Washington Heather Wayman.  I’ve found her to be a delightful interviewer and am liking the vivacious energy she brings to the podcast.  So I’m very excited to be talking about my favorite subject.

If you would like to join us live next week on Thursday at 2:00 pm, click on the photo above to visit the Belly Geek website and sign up for their mailing list. You will get an alert for my talk and a link to join live.

Geek Out with Dawn Devine…Again!

Third Podcast is a Charm!

This is my THIRD chat with the Belly Dance Geek podcast if you are interested in listening to the other two you can check them out on their website:

Episode 57: Self Publishing for Dancers – https://www.bellydancegeek.com/2017/12/geek-out-with-davina-2/

Episode 48: Finger Cymbal History – In this episode, I share some of the content of my book “Zills: Music on Your Fingertips” – https://www.bellydancegeek.com/2017/03/geek-out-with-dawn-devine/

Have you read my Zill book? It’s full of history, technology, and use of finger cymbals throughout history.  It’s on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2SLUZvU  Or get it directly from me on Etsy: https://etsy.me/2Uc2sU7

On Belly Dance Costuming – the eBook

This year has been rather hectic, so I’ve had to put many projects on pause to deal with major changes in my personal life.  Consequently, my co-authors and I are taking a break from our next big book “Pose.”  But writers got to write. So instead of a larger collaborative project, I’m producing a series of small ebooks that had previously been living on my hard drive and waiting for the perfect time to emerge. I’m hard at work editing the text, selecting the photos, and laying out the document

As soon as I know more details about this new eBook I’ll be sure to let you know.

Happy Dance and Design,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Thursday, August 22, 2019


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Pink Floral Belly Dance Costume in Action

Hello Gang!

I love it when I get to see my creations take the stage.  As a costumer, I don’t always get to every event, and sometimes I make belly dance costumes that I never get to see in action.  But this time I’m in luck!  Shalimar sent me some footage of her performing at a live event on the east coast.

Belly Dance Bra with Rouching

For this costume, I started with a typical Olga plunge bra with underwire. (Recently I’ve been LOVING working with the Olga “No Side Effects” Contour Bra, it offers great coverage and support)

I covered it with the left-over holographic stretch fabric from her Pink Mermaid ensemble.  I really like using as much of my off-cuts and scraps as possible to save my client’s cash.  It’s also good for the environment, so in making two costumes, we were able to really stretch the budget.

After covering in the spandex base cloth, I used very affordable flat tear-drop shaped sew-on rhinestones (similar to these) and round pointed or Rivoli shaped stones (similar to these) to create a “floralesque” pattern along the tops of the bra cups.  Once these stones were in place, I pleated the floral georgette border print onto the cups and straps.

Two Pink Belly Dance Costumes – Two Different Vibes

The cost of the rhinestones, beaded fringe, pink holographic spandex, and floral georgette were shared between two costumes. The georgette costume used the “leftover” sew-on rhinestones and spandex.  So when you are planning your next costume and want to save some dollars, I recommend picking a color that you like and design a pair of costumes.  Best part?  She can wear either skirt with both bedlah sets, adding in some versatility to her wardrobe.  Learn more about those sleeves.

Shalimar in two pink costumes by Dawn Devine of Studio Davina

Please take a moment to like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more belly dance performance and costume video content!

Best of luck on your costuming adventures!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
August 6, 2019

PS:  Oh, and thank you for clicking through to Amazon – using my affiliate codes doesn’t cost you any more, but it helps me cover the expenses of running a large website!  I couldn’t do it without your support.

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Cutting Assiut Fabrics

“What scissors should

I use to cut modern assiut?”

This is one of my most frequently asked questions over in my assiut and sewing groups on Facebook.  So I thought I would take a moment to talk about these dressmakers shears from Kai. I have been using Gingher since I went to fashion school, and I have an entire arsenal of cutting tools from this German company.  My heart was devoted to this brand until I started the build for the Cloth of Egypt photos. 

Cutting Modern Assiut

I realized that it’s quite easy to cut through the metal stitches of modern assiut. I was using a very affordable pair of Fiskars shears I have laying around for cutting trims and through sequin fabric and trim.  When I reached for my trusty Fiskars, I realized they were really dull.  Not just a tiny bit dull, but OMG, nothing will bring back the edge dull.

I had heard some great reviews of the Kai sewing shears. When I compared the price of Fiskars to the cost of a basic pair of Kai scissors I found these Japanese scissors were not that more expensive. So I picked up a pair.

I’m pleased to report that after cutting assiut for over 200 garments and countless accessories, these Kai shears are still sharp and going strong. My last pair of Fiskars didn’t keep their edge nearly as long, so in the long run, I’ve actually saved money.

Cutting Vintage Assiut

But what about cutting vintage assiut?  Let me start by saying this,  I wouldn’t recommend cutting into a high-quality piece of vintage assiut. However, if you are upcycling a damaged piece or have a fragment you want to use for costuming, go for it.  But don’t use your sewing shears. Vintage metal varies widely in composition and is much heavier than the modern aluminum alloy that is easy to cut.

Instead, I like to use a scalpel or surgical style seam ripper to cut the threads between the stitches.  I plan my cuts in advance and carefully cut the fabric stitch by stitch. This gives me the most precision while saving my shears from damage.  In addition to cutting assiut fabrics, I also use this style seam ripper to cut faux fur, crusty embellished lace, and when upcycling vintage beaded garments.

If you are interested in learning more about my favorite sewing tools, I’ve put together a supplies list.  Please feel free to drop me an email or join the conversation over on Facebook if you have more questions about tools and how I use them.

Happy Costuming!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
July 29, 2019

PS:  Thanks so much for supporting my blog by using my Amazon links.  When you click through it doesn’t add any additional cost to you, but they give me a tiny sliver of commission that helps cover the expenses of this site!  Thank you!

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