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Ask the Costume Goddess

Dina Lydia, the Costume Goddess

Ask the Costume Goddess:

Soft-Cup Bras for Costumes?

by Dina Lydia



The Question

Dear Costume Goddess:

I have read your tips on covering bras. Unfortunately, I have trouble finding ones that fit my DD figure, especially with a seamless shell or support built into the cup. I have found a seamless soft-cup bra made of stretchy material. How could this be covered with a non-stretchy satin-like synthetic? Should I try to fortify the cup in any way? I'm afraid that the material might be too flimsy to support a lot of beading. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Your suggestions for making a belt pattern were very helpful. I was also quite impressed by your designs.

--Curvy In Canada



The Costume Goddess Responds

Dear Curvy,

A stretchy cup will be nothing but problems to cover or reinforce. A bra that has a well-fitting non-stretch cup that is too soft can be reinforced on the inside. I do this by lining it with interfacing, using the same two-piece method that I use for covering the outside of the cup. Non-woven interfacing is neater because it does not ravel. If it feels too stiff inside or looks ugly, cover the interfacing with tricot or felt as a lining.

For extra reinforcement, I've also sewn in a strip of plastic boning, the same kind used for strapless dresses; either the kind that comes in its own casing, or the kind you can sew through. The boning, or cotton casing, is sewn in horizontally across the cup seam, as shown in the photo, through all layers. The stitching on the outside will be covered later. This works well for me. I haven't tried sewing it in vertically, but that might work better in some cases. Experiment until you get a satisfactory result.

Boning Inside a Bra

More detailed instructions and illustrations are in my book, Cabaret Belt and Bra for Bellydancers. Yes, I managed to get a plug in!

--The Costume Goddess



Related Articles

Other articles on this web site related to making belly dance costume bras include:



About the Costume Goddess

Dina has been sewing for more than twenty-five years (yes, she started as a toddler!)

She's also an artist (Maryland Institute of Art) and perfected her sewing techniques apprenticed to various designers, freelancing for small theaters, restyling vintage garments, and altering wedding gowns.

Dina fell in love with belly dancing costumes upon her very first lesson. Now the pleasure of wearing her own designs, and seeing others wear them, offers as much pleasure as dancing. She's become expert as well in altering those troublesome ready-made Egyptian costumes, and modifying designs to flatter individual figures.

She holds workshops in Seattle to teach design and construction of cabaret costumes, and analysis of figure characteristics. She will also give private lessons, or resize or repair a secondhand costume. She's thus earned her Costume Goddess title.

Photo of Dina Lydia, The Costume Goddess

The Costume Goddess Tells All Costuming Books

Dina has published six books of her own on belly dance costuming as well as writing nearly all the costuming section for The Belly Dance Book. For information on her series of books, The Costume Goddess Tells All, see her web site at For reviews here on of some of her books, see:

Photo of Dina Lydia, the Costume Goddess

Costume Goddess Photos

To view a photo gallery featuring pictures of Dina, costumes she has designed, and her friends, either click on the choices below or visit her web site:


All about belly dancing! Explore belly dance!

The contents of this page are copyrighted 2009 by Dina Lydia. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is forbidden.



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