Belly Dance Costume Make-over!

A couple of mornings ago I woke up real early, rolled around in bed stretching and mediating  about my work-load for the day - my latest morning routine. I had no classes to teach, no meetings, no one that I had to see, no laundry I had to clean. YES! I had the sudden itch to do some make-over work on a costume bra I've been meaning to give more life to. It was perfect timing. I had my bra I was going to transfer over materials on-to and it was prepped with fabric stiffener from a day or two before. 

De-constructing to re-construct was a valuable and required lesson that you learned in art school, something that's good to do in any field of work. Usually my costumes are ordered ready-made from Egypt  - so durable and beautiful, far from the hand-made look. They feel like "armor" since the material of the bra's are tougher than cardboard and the skirts professionally embroidered like no other. Belly Dance bra's are especially fun for me to de-construct. It's a scary feeling at first if you're not sure if you should do that to your bra or not, but once you start, it's like opening holiday or birthday presents. I become a child with butterflies in my belly! I get to see all of the layers underneath and wonder how the workers in Egypt make these beauties, what materials they use, what comes first, what comes after... all of those tactics and patience.

I was so excited to work on this bra! I began with the basics - thinking about the process of course! Hehe! With my hands and eyes, I turned the original bra soon-to-be-de-constructed around and around, then began to take off the layers, undoing the stitching while being careful of the beading, saving most of it from falling apart. There was also glue helping it all stay together, which I had to rip apart. 

I had all my sewing tools and glue gun to re-construct. I started by covering the outside of the bra and worked my way inwards. The whole process was meditative and thoughtful. After two hours I wasn't nearly finished but felt so appreciative of the workers who make these costumes. I realized all sorts of little personal things as well - like how I've been so stuck on how to work my finances, moving to a new apartment, painting ideas, blog ideas... it was a perfect opportunity, doing these mundane actions of sewing, to welcome all my troubles for tea, say hello... and let them go.

The work is intense - and I'm just working on an "easy" bra! My breathing helped the whole way to be consistent and not get frustrated. This is fun for me anyway, so it was hard for me to even get frustrated. The meditation continued through so many thoughts - on people, life, work, to my own funny little habits that make me laugh. I breathed and sipped tea all day, listening to music that helps me work (usually Pandora stations like "Les Nubians" or "Relaxation"). I did yoga once and walked Nyah at short breaks. 

My patience goes so far when I'm working on my passions. Art is my trade, but I do my best to not think of it as such while I'm in a state-of-process (a.k.a. while I'm creating). I hope that you find love in a creative act that helps you breath and smile. In an act that makes you stop to take a look at what you have, an action that requires steady momentum and no thought, no feeding of the mind. Get excited to be surprised - it's one of the best ways to learn about yourself.

Nearly done with the costume now! I'll be performing in it at this year's Miami Belly Dance Convention, Friday, August 26th. <3 Hugs all! Thanks for reading!