Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Coin Wrap to Bedlah Sew Along Introduction and Task 1

Introduction: First and foremost, this WILL NOT be a simple beginner style costume with some strategically placed hip wraps masquerading as a Bellydance costume. We will be making an actual bedlah (Bellydance bra and belt,) using the coin wraps to embellish the design.

With most sew alongs there is usually a pattern that everyone works from using the same materials and same set of directions. In the case of this sew along there is no pattern and supplies will very based on each person's budget and style. Think of “coins” as the overall theme to this sew along. I chose to make a bedlah from coin wraps because I won't have to hand bead all of the coins or make fringe, thus saving some time. You DO NOT have to use coin wraps but any coins, charms, or similar items will work. Use the embellishments YOU want. Make this YOUR costume.

With each sew along update I will give you a task to work on, show pictures of my progress, and give you tips and ideas as you sew along with me. I will start with the bra followed by the belt. I will also be re-purposing items from around my house into the construction of the bedlah. You may want read each week's update for ideas before purchasing new fabric, etc. I have made a supply list that includes every item I will be using to create my bedlah. Use this list as a guide to help get you started on your own costume.

I have set up a Flickr group for us to share costume pictures. Take lots of pictures! I have learned so much over the years by looking at pictures posted by other costumers. Feel free to whine and cry in the comments section when you are having a hard time. We can help each other get past those rough spots. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but taken in small chunks, I know we can create some great costumes!

One last note, I'm not sure if these will be weekly or biweekly task updates. I've never created a sew along before. It will be a learning experience for us all =)

Task List:
  1. Design and gather supplies
  2. Build a bra base
  3. Cover the bra base with fabric
  4. Cutting the coin wraps, layout and design check
  5. Decorate
  6. Decorating and adding shoulder straps
  7. Lining, hooks, and finishing
  8. Make a belt pattern
  9. Build a belt base
  10. Cover the belt base
  11. Decorate
  12. Lining, hooks, and finishing
Supply List:
  • 2 matching coin hip wraps
  • 8mm sequins
  • Rocaille beads
  • Seed beads
  • Sew-on gem stones
  • Hooks and eyes
  • Bra cups (with underwire)
  • Base fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Felt, interfacing, buckram, denim, canvas, equivalent and/or combination of these
  • All-purpose sewing thread
  • Beading thread, Upholstery thread, or equivalent
  • All-purpose sewing needle
  • Beading needle
  • Scissors
  • Pins and safety pins
  • Tape Measure
  • Pattern paper, newspaper, or equivalent
  • Tailor's chalk/fabric marker
  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • Scotch tape
  • Fabric glue
  • Thimble
  • 20g Jewelry wire*
  • Sewing machine, (everything can be hand sewn)*
  • Additional coins, charms, fringe, trim*
  • Patience


Task 1: Design and Gather Supplies

Before you begin you need to have a rough design of the final costume in order to gather the corresponding supplies. This means to pick your colors, fabrics, and decide on the shape of the bedlah. What style costume is this, Cabaret, Tribal, other? What is the color scheme? Do you want a straight or V-shaped belt? What is the strap placement? etc.

Gathering my embellishments, coin wrap, rocaille beads, seed beads, sequins, sew-on gems.

My bedlah will be made with a red base fabric covered with red and gold drapes from the coin hip wrap. The bra will have beaded shoulder straps and a V-shaped belt using coin drapes in place of fringe.  The upper edges of the bra and belt will have gold beads and sequins to match the gold coins and additional gem stones for bling. I also want a matching necklace and maybe some cuffs if I have enough coins to spare. I might add some sort of broach or appliqué in the center of the belt for added interest (depends on what I can find.)

Most of my non-coin embellishments will be sequins and gem stones. If you are leaning to a more Tribal style, try using shells, metal or wood beads, yarn tassels, or other embellishments. Steampunkers could use cogs and watch parts, maybe some velvet and lace. Goth gals could use their favorite rivet-head jewelry, grommets, leather or vinyl. And by all means, use what you already have lying around the house. Sketch out your design on a piece of paper. You don't have to stick to it but it will be your jumping point into construction.

This is a super cheap coin wrap I received as a gift. I have another I won at a raffle that I will use for the belt.

Looking for cheap coin wraps around the $20 mark?

I'll wait 2 weeks before posting Task 2. That will give everyone some time to design and gather supplies. I will have a Sew Along link in the menu in case you get lost.

Supplies needed for Task 2: Build a bra base (online Aug.22nd)
  • Bra cups (with underwire, I am using an old bra that has bad elastic)
  • Felt, interfacing, buckram, denim, canvas, equivalent or combination of these
  • All purpose sewing thread
  • All purpose sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Pins and safety pins
  • Tape Measure
  • Pattern paper, newspaper, or equivalent
  • Tailor's chalk/fabric marker
  • Thimble
  • Sewing machine, (everything can be hand sewn)*


Najla said...

jHmmm, it didn't occur to me that we'd be doing a similar project, but I'm in! I'm off to scrounge through my supplies and to see what I need to go buy. This will be fun!

Anonymous said...

of course i have 6 other things to sew but this looks like fun---and not so overwhelming cause you break it down into steps.


Kis said...

Wooo!! The only things I need to track down is some old hip scarves...

imposterpockets said...

I have been slowly attempting to build a bedlah using your previous costume photos. So far, I'm just in the reinforcing the cups stage, but maybe I'll pause and wait to go through it with your insights.


Looking forward to your next installments.

Kalirah said...

The last item on your list is "Patients"... since we're performing surgery on our hip scarves, do they qualify as our patients? :)

Naima said...

@Kalirah HAHAHA! why yes they are. I fixed it. Hey, I've got here vs hear and there vs their memorized. That should count for something =P

Amaranta MRO said...

I'm very late because I read all about the sew-along when it's finished, but I've joined that gang anyway. Right now I've not posted anything about it in my blog due to a backlog, but I'm posting pictures in the Flickr group. :-)

Naima said...

Awesome! I look forward to seeing them.

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