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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Ask the Costume Goddess

Dina Lydia, the Costume Goddess

Ask the Costume Goddess:

Creating Cleavage

by Dina Lydia



The Question

Dear Costume Goddess:

I am flat-chested and don't fill out my new costume. How do I pad it?

--Flat Fatima



The Costume Goddess Responds

Dear Fatima,

I don't recommend shoving a bunch of shoulder pads or old gym socks in to fill up the cups. These aren't the right shape. You'll get a better result with ready-made push-up pads which are available in fabric stores. These have more padding at the bottom, which gives you that anti-gravity effect we're all after.

Position the pads at the bottom of the cup and towards the side, then try on — as always. If positioned correctly, you may even acquire a bit of cleavage! Your friends will hardly recognize you! When you get a pleasing result, tack the pad around the edges to the lining of the cup. A smaller flatter pad can be layered on top of this if you still need more filler. But don't overpad or the bra edges will actually stand away from your body — looks awful!

This photograph to the right shows how this method enables even an "A" cup costume goddess to achieve cleavage!

Dina Lydia Showing Off Cleavage

Keep in mind that this will work only if the bra cup is one size too large. If you're a 32A and have bought a costume with a 38D bra, I have bad news for you. You don't use a bushel basket to display an apricot. Sell the costume and look for a smaller one, sadder but wiser.

--The Costume Goddess



Related Articles

Other articles on this web site related to the needs of thin dancers 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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