Earlier this year, I shared my Plus Size Belly Dance Costuming Guide which became a very popular post on Sparkly Belly. 🙂
One of the tips I included there was what I call the “Belly Drape” – It’s a design created with fabric that drapes from the bra and provides light coverage over the top of your torso. It’s really easy to make and creates a fancier look.
I wanted to create a simple costume design that incorporates this belly drape, so in the next 2 videos, you’ll see how to make an outfit inspired by lace. And in creating this outfit, I’ll be hacking my own patterns from my Belly Dance Costume Workshop. 😉
In this video, I’ll show you how to make DIY belly drape. Let’s get started!
Click here to check out the Belly Dance Costume Workshop (enrolment is limited!)
To make the DIY belly drape for belly dance bra, you need:
1/2yd (1/2m) of lace – Stretch lace is easier to create a belly drape with than non-stretch, and you can use the same stretch lace for making the matching skirt.
Belly dance bra (or make one)
DIY Belly Drape for belly dance bra
First have your bra ready or make a bra base and cover it with fabric of your choice. I made this bra using the exact same pattern and method as one in my Belly Dance Costume Workshop. If you want to know how to make a perfectly-fitting belly dance bra like this, check out the workshop before enrolment closes!
Measure the width of the bra loosely from the side to side, and add 8in (20cm) to the measurement.
Make a triangle on your lace by first measuring bra width + 8in (20cm) at a 45 degree angle from a selvage edge. It’s easy to do if you place the corner of the fabric at the bottom, so you have a 90 degree corner at the bottom. Cut out the triangle. We are cutting the fabric this way so that the triangle is cut on the bias, which creates a nicer drape.
Fold about 1/2in (1cm) from the top edge to the wrong side, and do a straight stitch to keep the fold in place.
Take it to your bra, and place the top across the bra cups, not too tightly but not too loosely either. Secure it in place with pins.
Create 2-3 folds at both ends so that the panel drapes loosely along the curves of the bra. I created about 1/2in (1cm) wide folds at both ends. Pin the folds in place. Take your time and create a nice drape. 🙂
If you don’t have a dress form, you can wear the bra, stand in front of a mirror and adjust the folds. Don’t try this on a flat surface, because the bra is not stretched out on a flat surface, and the drape won’t look the same when you wear the bra. The drape can end up being too tight.
Make the folds and adjust the tension of the fabric so that the lace lays along the curve of the bra cups and down to the belly section naturally and smoothly.
Once you like the shape of the belly drape, decide how you want to trim down the edge and create a guideline with pins. But here, we won’t be cutting in straight lines.
Take the bra to a flat surface and following the guideline created by pins, cut along the patterns of the lace. I love lace because if you cut along the patterns, you can create such a beautiful and unique edge. If the pattern is not quite along the line, just be creative and it’s okay to go in and out of the guideline. But where there are clear motifs, clean up the edges as best as you can, so the shapes show cleanly. It doesn’t fray, so you can leave the edge as it is.
Then at the ends, tuck the excess fabric to the wrong side. Take your hand stitching needle and matching colour thread, and stitch the folds to the bra. Keep the stitches small, and try to grab the fabric from under the folds so that stitches don’t show on the front.
Trim the excess fabric, and put the bra back on your dress form or try it on again, and adjust the folds, and stitch as you need to keep the folds and drapes the way you like.
And that’s it! Now you’ve got a gorgeous belly drape on your bra. You can decorate it with beads and rhinestones, and I think the lace design adds complexity and class to the costume design. 🙂
In my next post, I’ll show you how to make this color block lace side panel mermaid skirt that matches this bra. I’m very excited about this skirt – it’s comfy, airy, yet classy. So stay tuned!
Hope you like the Belly Drape DIY, and if you did, please share with your dancer friends!
Again, you can learn how to make the perfectly-fitting base bra in my Belly Dance Costume Workshop, which you can check out from the link.
And if you want to hear about the matching skirt when it comes out, sign up for the Sparkly Belly newsletter from the below link.
Thanks for reading, and keep sparkling!
P.S. Pin this image for your future projects 😉