How to add more coverage to your belly dance bra – Part 1

written by Guest Blogger on October 6, 2014 in Costuming for any size with 2 comments
How to Add More Coverage to Your Belly Dance Bra Part 1 - tops of cups

Mao is a belly dancer, belly dance costume lover and founder of SparklyBelly.com

Editor’s note: this is a two-part article written by guest blogger, Mao. This article is about the top of the cups and part two will be about the side of the cups. Enjoy!

Is your belly dance bra not fitting you well?

Gap between the bra cup and your chest?

Or your cups runneth over?

Hi everyone! My name is Mao, I am a belly dancer, belly dance costume lover and starter of SparklyBelly. The other day, I was reading an article called “Costuming for the Well-Endowed Belly Dancer” by Oriana here at BellySizeatAnySize.com. It is full of great tips and advice, but two of them stood out for me.

3. The biggest issue I have is that my cups runneth over with cleavage. There is a fine line between a little cleavage and the feeling that you are going to fall out! You can either find matching fabric or beaded trim and add strips to the tops of the cups or see if the costumer has a matching headband/ spare fabric that you can use.

4. Side boob. Either do the same thing you did for the cup tops or use a cute bolero/Turkish vest. Although I have to say, extra cleavage on top is pretty common but side boob (or under boob) is a definite sign that your bra doesn’t fit correctly.

Well, I am not a well-endowed dancer…in fact, I am always on a petite side, but I often feel the need to add coverage on my costume bra cups to hide those gaps between the cups and my chest. As for side boob…well, sometimes you have to live with a costume bra that doesn’t fit you correctly, right?

So, I thought this topic of adding more coverage applies to dancers of all body types, because it’s about how good and secure you feel in your costume, which is really important. Over this series, you will see her methods as well as my ideas that help you tackle your belly dance bra problems, and make you feel safe and supported as you shine on the stage. In this video, you will see 4 ways to add more coverage to the tops of your belly dance bra cups, so you feel more secure in your costume and move around on the stage without fear!

Method 1. Add strips of matching fabric / beaded trim.

Method 1. Add strips of matching fabric or beaded trim.

This is a method suggested by the author of the article, Oriana. Basically, take matching fabric, or if your costume comes with headband or arm bands that you don’t use, take those apart and add strips of that to the tops of your bra cups. Or you can try beaded trim as well.

Method 2. Add ruffles.

I love ruffles. This is a method I tried recently and really liked the look. If you are not sure how to make ruffles, check out my video on how to make ruffles here.

Place the ruffles along the top of the cups with pins and hand stitch the strip.

Method 3. If you can’t find matching fabric, use different type of fabric that compliments the costume and add it to other places so everything has a balanced look.

Method 2 and 3

This is basically the same technique as methods 1 & 2, but I often encounter times when I just cannot find matching or even same type of fabric. So in this case, I take different type of fabric that may work with the costume, and add pieces tastefully to different parts of the costume to give it a balanced look.

For example, for my red bedlah, I decided I want to add ruffles, but I did not want to add any more solid red fabric. So because I had this red and white chiffon, I took this fabric and created a strip of ruffles. After adding the ruffles to the top of one cup, I just cut small pieces and hand stitched them on to the other cup. And I also added a ruffle sleeve type of decoration here, which I will show you how to make in the next article. I also added ruffles to the belt too, so this fabric doesn’t look like a stranger on this bedlah.

Method 4. Straps/beads/rhinestone chains going from the cups diagonally to shoulder straps.

If your bra cups are a bit too big on you, sometimes there is that gap between your chest and the bra cups that make you feel uncomfortable especially when bending down. You can pad the cups, but padding is a tricky business. There is an easier solution.

You can improve this by making straps with matching fabric or taking strands of beads or rhinestone chains. Pin one end to the center top of the cup at an angle towards the shoulder strap on the same side. Then try on your bra, and take the strap diagonally until it meets the shoulder strap. You should feel that this gives extra tension and closes the gap. Pin the end, and just hand stitch to secure the ends.

Straps/beads/rhinestone chains going from the cups diagonally to shoulder straps

You will notice that the straps give you more coverage and comfort without adding too much fabric visually. Straps are fun to play with on your costume. You can run the straps other ways or make a thick strap running across your chest to give more coverage. And feel free to decorate the straps.

Straps/beads/rhinestone chains going from the cups diagonally to shoulder straps

Hope these methods will make you feel more comfortable in your belly dance bra. In the next article, I will show you how to tackle the extra flesh that shows up on the sides of your shoulder straps and cups. Stay tuned!

Mao is an aspiring professional belly dancer, costume designer and blogger at SparklyBelly.com where you can get tips and ideas on how to make DIY belly dance costumes. Questions? Contact Mao at mao@sparklybelly.com

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