Saturday, February 26, 2011

Creating a Simple Burlesque Costume - Part Three: Making Fabulous

I wrote this for a workshop I taught at Theatre Unleashed in 2008 and revised parts of it to post here.  Please do not republish without permission, but feel free to link back to this blog entry.  I'm sharing this information because I know I have readers who are burlesque pioneers who need a little guidance.   These are instructions for making a very simple burlesque costume, and are a good guideline for beginners.  :)
This is the really fun part of the process.  I've been told by several instructors and performers that if you think you've done too much embellishing, keep going.  Look at sample costumes to find ideas of what might work best for you.

Tools for making fabulous:
  • Fabric glue that dries clear and is somewhat flexible (like Fabri-Tac)
  • Trim glue that dries clear and is somewhat flexible (like Gem-Tac or E6000)
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Tweezers, a toothpick or a matchstick with tape on the end for placing rhinestones
Take the time to try different looks with your embellishments before gluing anything down.  (In the beginning, I glued trim on my costumes.  As I continued in burlesque, I started hand sewing embellishments so that I could easily remove them and adjust the look of the costume or transfer the trim to another foundation.  It's a lot harder to reuse trim when it's covered in glue.)  Make sure you like the placement of each aspect before you break out your glue.  Buy enough trim to do what you want plus some -- in case of emergency.  Try layering different trims and try different rhinestone and sequin placements to see what looks best on you and accomplishes the most flattering look for your body.

Fabulous potentials:
  • Apply beaded trim in layers to the lower half of your bra cups to make your boobs look full and for nice movement when you shake.
  • Apply beaded trim in layers to the entirety of your bra cups to make your boobs look very full and give even more m,ovement when you shake.  Be sure the cups are strong enough to handle the weight.
  • Make designs on your bra cups with rhinestones, sequins or fabric paint.
  • Add fringe to the band of your bra.  be sure to stretch out the bra when you sew the fringe around the back band.
  • Put rhinestones or trim on the straps.
  • Put rhinestones on the closure to make it easy to find.Remove the closure of your bra and add ribbon ties for ease in removal.
  • Layer the trim on the bra and shimmy belt and accent with rhinestones.
  • Drape trim off your panties - either across the leg holes or from center front to center back.  He sure to cut each side individually since our bodies are a little uneven.
  • Sew trim to the waist or leg holes of your panties.  Be sure to stretch them out as you sew.
Please feel free to email me photos of your projects (msredsnapper gmail).  I hope this serves you well.

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