Costume Alterations.

Today brings me to sewing I don’t really want to do but need to do.

I have two jobs. One as a mild-mannered English teacher (for Japanese children) and the other as a belly dance teacher/performer (for Japanese adults, Turkish restaurants, etc.).

My English teaching is within set hours that don’t fluctuate from week to week except during vacations. I teach six dance lessons a week and that only fluctuates if I do any substitute teaching or have a workshop to teach.

Then there’s gig life. That can be super dry or super busy, rarely anything reasonable in-between.

It’s been dry. Maybe a studio show, restaurant gig, or dance show here and there. When it’s like that I can get away rotating the same few costumes i’m feeling and fitting well into and not altering much.

My costumes I often make from scratch . Some I fix up after buying them used. years of that can be found on my FB costuming page.

And now, suddenly, I find myself doing two restaurants shows (two different nights) a week in Shinjuku…every week.

It’s time to open the costume closet (yes, I have a closet of just costumes) and figuring out what needs altering. NEVER FUN. Sure, I see things I haven’t worn in a while but I also have to confront the why of it.

Bellydance costumes are tricky to fit as you want everything tight enough that you don’t worry about anything sloshing out or slipping down but not SO tight as to give you excess muffins tops or injury.

I’ve gained some weight at my waist, but my belts and skirts are fine! The thing I’m finding my costumes need is wider ribcages. For some this means just moving hooks but other costumes actually need longer ribcage straps…which is what I’m doing tonight. Luckily this was a used costume in bad shape I fixed up…so I still have extra fabric from my past changes. These alterations don’t help me in cleaning my stash “but what if i neeeeeed it”

img_0832

An album of ALL this costume has been through can be found here.

I even used this as part of one of the tutorials I made for a Japanese book on how to DIY when you’re a bellydancer in Japan.

bellybook

That girl in the corner? That’s me. I was the sequin and bead master and hand model. These medallions are my creation and my tutorial.

So, again, I’m changing another part of this costume.

Tonight I extend the rib cage.In the future I’ll probably change the neck straps so they cross over and connect to the back instead of attaching like a halter. The chest uplift of a halter is no longer worth the risk of pinching nerves in my neck. Criss-cross straps are a bit harder to get into but they provide the same lift with less neck strain.

I won’t wear it for tomorrow night’s gig, I’m already packed, but it might be worn this Friday or Saturday.

And, I’ll be packing some train sewing for the train into and out of Shinjuku. I’ve wrote a few of my blog posts on the ride last week.

Back to the machine!

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