Me time!

Apr. 20th, 2016 03:57 pm
mekyria: (Default)
Today is my first me-time day in a month. The dog and Eliza are at day care and I am home alone. It is kind of sad that most of my day consists of errands that I want to get done, it's so much faster to do stuff when I don't have to watch Eliza or the dog. On the other hand, I did squeeze in some dance 😄

Eight hours of me time are filled with:

1,5 hours for pumping breastmilk
1 hour for laundry
1 hour of gardening (planting, potting and rearranging)
0,5 hour sitting in the sun having lunch
0,5 hour grocerie shopping
1,5 hours costuming and fixing the buttons on my spring coat
1 hour loitering around on facebook and writing a blog
1 hour of bellydance veil practice

Man, I love me-time. Can't help myself but it feels too quiet around the house and I feel a bit lost without our happy little girl and up to no good dog.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Since I've moved all the costuming posts to, I haven't posted much on lj. But I want to, because here I can tell you about all the personal stuff that doesn't fit into the public blog.

I have unearthed the bra and just finished beading the bra. It is a modern, sparse design but chunky beading still eats up a lot of time. I also remade the skirt so it’s back is mostly made of the patterned lycra, and the front is mainly blue. I wanted to take the patterned fabric to the front and ended up appliqueing a couple of flowers on top of the blue for a light, creative effect. Depending on my mood it looks fun and flirty, or like I have two pockets on my hips.

Another change is that I made the skirt in a larger size, by adding an extra panel in the middle back. The original plan was made with my pre-pregnancy, pre-married weight, which is roughly three sizes down. The extra panel adds another 4”/10 cm to the overall size of the skirt, and I’m glad I went that route. I am also glad that I have a lot of pictures from that time: it’s hard to believe I actually was that slender and toned.

My big plan is to wear this costume this Friday at the Raks Ava hafla (Ava Fleming, that is). I’ll be travelling to Leuven tomorrow for four days of workshops and dance fun. I am a little sad because some of the dancers I know from previous years are not coming this year. Artemisia made an evening program and she’s great at creating a safe learning environment that makes her events always a pleasure to be part of so I am very excited to do this intensive. It’s also a bit of a goodbye gift to my ‘old self’. I love dance, I will continue dancing, but it will be different with a little one in our lives. I don’t see myself going away for a week here and there because it wouldn’t be fair to E. to run off and leave him with our daughter. I also emotionally don’t want to: this nesting things is powerful stuff. And I’ll miss my baby, my husband and my home far more compared to the past.

Today during lunch break I went to the Big Bazar (the Dutch equivalent of the dollar store) and I bought matching green feathered earrings and blue bangles. With all this focus on the costume, I should not forget to actually prepare and practice my song. It’s a four minute version of Lamma Bada, from Nesma’s album. It’s absolutely stunning and I like playing around with the 10/8 rhythm. I also like the dreamy mood, because I notice how I am no longer into strong pops and locks. It’s flowing moves all the way!

Back to the costume: I’ve been working hard all evenings past week and I need to do a bit more tonight and tomorrow morning and then it’ll be ready for its debut. My frantic costuming is also a parting gift to my old life. I am making as much costumes and dance clothes now, because I don’t expect to have the energy or the time next year. I want to have something to wear in the next year that is adjustable to whatever figure/size I’ll be post pregnancy. Just because I’ll be a mum doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have nice things to wear.

A third big project is that I need to declutter in the next three months, in order to make room for family stuff. Looking at the huge amount of clothing, furniture and toys we already gathered for our little one, our house will be in constant state of chaos for the next two decades. I look forward to it as out little one is so welcome, and at the same time I need to consciously say goodbye to the way things were in order to fully embrace this new life phase.

And with that note I'll finish my post with this vieo of me dancing the moongoddess performance at 20 weeks pregnant.

mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
I have been working on the moongoddess costume, which is half finished. I have two nights and half a day on Friday to get it done and I am positive. Ofcourse I also need to bring my camera to the hafla, rehearse with my students, create a play list for social dancing and bring my laptop, but all in all it feels a lot less busy.

I finished the double layered white chiffon circle skirt for the costume this weekend, took me ages to hem because it is over 12 meters of hem. It looks good though. I also made a double layered chiffon circle skirt in the gold toned fabric and I cut the purple with gold sheen fabric so it is ready for assembly.  The dog loves pattern paper and tried to tear the pattern to pieces. I scotch taped it back together. Sewing with a young, active dog running around is not easy and I assume that having a baby in the house will also make things harder. My grand plan is to do as much sewing as I can in the next five months or so, so I'll have plenty of stuff to wear in the year after giving birth. My plans include making wrap tops from shiny holographic gold lycra that will fit me no matter what my bust size is.

I had dinner with my intermediates yesterday and by now the group is very diverse and fun. Dancers from different years are coming together and still seeing each other. It warmed my heart that five people raised their hands when asked if they wanted to take bellydance classes next september. I am slightly sad that I won't be teaching for the next eight months but also relieved. No pressure to prepare classes and show up on Monday nights! weehee!!

I did a quick post about finishing seams on my costuming blog and I'll add updates on the moongoddess costume later. I am also dreaming up plans on creating and selling pdf patterns through my website, as this might actually generate some income. I am pleased with the response on the article on BDaaS about body acceptance and am now entering the phase in the pregnancy where I gain roughly one pound per week. I will take pictures next Saturday at the hafla and at the end of August at the beach party. My last performances are scheduled in September with the Dalla Dream Dancers, and then I am free to be at home and feel uncomfortable and heavy at my leisure.

I am glad that I can take time off at work but we are also reorganizing and things are looking crazy over here. I probably have a job to get back to, but with another boss, in another unit, with different coworkers. It's going to be an interesting time.
mekyria: (Kyria met theepot)
This might not come as a suprise, but due to circumstances I haven't done a lot of costuming in the past three years. Yesterday I did a costuming marathon to make a new bra for the vintage black and multicolor costume and I felt great.

That feeling when it is finished and I can sit back and enjoy my work
The thinking before, about the design and structure of the costume
Carefully picking out materials

I am however, more cerful with my time and I covered the bra and belt base in black sequin fabric. Works like a charm and I got the whole base set done (bra, two piece belt and armbands) within four hours. Booya!
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
I wrote about the costumes that A. gave to me and this is the post where I can actually show you what they look like. First I will rant a little about the quality of my mobile phone camera. I am going through my archives and I am going to use a lot of the pictures that I took in the past decade with my fance schmanzy SLR camera (which is by today's standards, is very low at pixels with 6 million). Those pictures are great quality. I can cut and edit to my hearts content. The iphone pictures? Nope, often a bit blurry, doesn't work well with bad light, can't edit much because of the file format. In the past year I took most of my pictures with my phone, but I don't want to use blurry pictures on my websites and in my printed photo albums (oldfashioned, I am). But soooo convenient and easy to carry with me. I have to find a way to combine the two.
using a cut because of lots of costume pictures )
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Remember when I said I had a huge digital archive? I found a lot of english pages of my previous website and I thought that it would be neat if other dancers could see more of my costumes online.

But I don't need the stress of managing yet another website or adding regular updates. I decided to reuse and repurpose (after all, that's what I like to do with costumes too!). I opted for creating a free wordpress blog on I quickly learned that most of my LJ posts can be copy-pasted into wordpress, including the pictures. That made things a lot easier. I also learned how to make a portfolio.

My tutorials and the old images are from my old website. I have better images from my book that I will include. The page on making an easy belt and the lycra mermaid skirt already had a makeover. In the next couple of months I will improve the tutorials when I have the time. I just wanted the stuff I made to live on the internet once more.

With a bit of pride, this is my English website on costuming:

Please let me know if there are structural things I need to change. I already noticed that my writing has gotten better through the years and there are a lot of typos in the blogpost. For some reason my tags aren't working the way they're supposed to, but maybe that's because I am logged in. Once I am happy I will start posting about the website on social media and such. And Andalee, if you need more material for bellydance at any size, let me know!
mekyria: (naaigerei)
I posted a couple of pictures on buz and facebook but I felt nostalgic and want to write more about the proces on LJ. Hi, my name is Kyria and I'm a costuming addict. It's been almost a year since my last costuming project. And the last projects didn't count, as they were small repairs like lining a coin bra and fixing a beaded applique. I made a red satin dress for a bellydance-burlesque performance  in december 2013 but that wasn't really bellydance.

Time for a new costume! I did a fabric swap with Bea a while back. She sent me the remnants of turquoize lycra that she used for beledi dresses. I sent her red lycra I think, can't remember exactly. Bea included the leftover beads and I neatly put all of this away in my fabric stash. That must have been two years ago. about a year ago I bought two Dina style bra bases through facebook (can't remember the seller) and once again, put it neatly in my stash. Now that I am rekindling my activity in the dance community I want to wear something new and I am starting with this.

First time working with this type of bra base. Observations: it holds it shape very well yet is easy to penetrate with a needle (something I worried about). I give it a thumbs up and intend to buy more bra bases. I took the bra straps off to cover the base. The straps are very basic. I'll keep the neck straps but I'm not sure about the ribcage straps. They are made of covered elastic and after two years, they are probably losing elasticity. It would be a shame if the straps would not give sufficient support once I am finished.

The second epiphany was that Bea sent me large seed beads with large holes. This is awesome. I've worked with Gutermann seed beads before and even the larger beads have TINY holes, causing needles to get stuck and such. Big seed beads means that rope beading the edge takes less time, one more reason to break out a bottle of red wine and celebrate. The contrast fabric is printed lycra from my local fabric market. I got a lot of this with the idea that it could be used for troupe costuming which I totally should not do. For my december production, I bought 60 meters of a lighter turquoize chiffon with a subtle paillette and a lurex thread in the fabric. It is gorgeous and doesn't match the lycra. Go figure.

mekyria: (gothic girl with tanktop)
I like to draw and did a lot of drawing when I was in high school. I even graduated with arthistory/drawing as an offciail course and considered going to artschool. I chose to do psychology instead. I kept on doodling in the margins of my notebooks and I got to use some creative juices on my costuming website (RIP 2001-2013).

I have always seen myself as more of an illustrative artist: strong lines, I love ink and watercolor. Something about the perceived strongness in ink black lines combined with the fluid quality of watercolor and festive feel of bright colors intrigues me. For my first costuming book in 2007 I made black and white line drawings, with the intention of coloring them some day.drawings behind the cut )I'm adding drawings of dancers of color, girls and older women, pregnant dancers, different sizes and male dancers. However, for display purposes a standard mannequin is easier. I also have a couple of drawings that are more like artwork then illustrative but I wonder if people who use this book need to see this diversity or are better off with standard drawings. What type of images would you like to see in a costuming book, besides the traditional how-to tutorial images of patterns and explanation of how to construct items?
mekyria: (naaigerei)
I am continuing to go through my 'small sewing chores' pile. I bought a white costume in 2008 on bhuz which had two straps going across the belly. To keep everything in place, the previous owner added a gold beaded applique in the center. The applique was in bad shape when I bought the costume because it had no backing.

Removing the applique from the costume was easy as it was practically falling apart. I added white felt to the back and stitched the beads and sequins to the felt, then reattached to the costume. One more chore is done!

I am contemplating my next sewing chore and I feel like doing a full costume. Fromt he top of my head, my options are:

1. I have some lovely blue lycra that Bea send to me two years ago and a contrast lycra that looks fresh and vibrant together. It would be a modern Egyptian style assymetrical design

2.I have a black velvet and purple/lilac mesh pants costume that has been lying in my closet since 2004. It is close to completion but I wouldn't have an occassion to wear it. It doesn't have enough bling for performances and is too showy for regular classes. However, the design is nice and sleek, assymetrical lines and drapes, strass buckles and nice beading.

3. I bought a worn down gold Eman costume with gold metal mesh. I need to make a new skirt/bra base and transfer the metal mesh parts. I am not very excited about this one, as it is a refurbish instead of an original creation. But I can't sell it as is, have worn it twice with a veil to cover up the part where the holographic print is worn away. Sell as is, or refurbish.

4.I bought a whole bunch of small round mirrors with the idea of making a mirror costume, probably on a teal holographic lycra background. You can guess how long the mirrors have been in my possession. This would be a great costume, a bit heavy and prone to damage, but the gluing of the mirrors shouldn't be as time consuming as doing a full blown out beading.

What project would you love to see me do next?
mekyria: (Default)

Our house is startint to look really great! We finished painting the indoors woodwork and I moved on to painting the upstairs radiators and we did the backside of the stairs which was dark brown. Things are white, whiter, whitest.

I will blog soon about my extensive adventures in yoga (spent over 30 hours on it in the last three weeks), after a two year hiatus I started writing again for the dutch belly dance magazine (will be out tomorrow) and I am working through my pile of to-do sewing stuff. I haven't planned moving all my stuff to the new house yet, but my untention is to reduce clutter as much as possible before moving.

I mad this coin bra in 2007 as a part of my old school cabaret costume. Paired with pink chiffon harem pants, a purple satin circleskirt and a purple brocade turkish vest, it was cute as a button. It also was unlined and had the original elastic bra straps because I was pushed for time. You know how these things go, why change something that works? Last year I pneeded a bra underneath my low cut beledi dress, and I noticed that the elastic straps really weren't working any more.

Thus I replaced them with grossgrain ribbon straps and I am now in the proces of adding the lining. 2014 will be a fine year for costuming and I will post more about my costuming adventures on a regular base, both here, on bhuz and on facebook.

Do you have plans for costuming in 2014?

mekyria: (strass stenen)
My dance friend is turning 55 on December 11th and we are doing a semi-sexy boa dance. You can guess that the whole concept of semi sexy walking around while holding a boa is so not belly dance, though I admit to doing such a thing at a gothic fashion show a couple of years ago while wearing a leather skirt and a james brown type of top with feathered edges.

But I digress! It has all been great fun and I hope that nobody will ever tape this performance because I will be forced to break in and destroy the evidence. To make things even more interesting, the costume choice is a long red satin dress with half circle skirt. The upper edge could have red feathers along the edge and there will be a black insert in the slit. The hip area will get a ruched red satin part for a small hip accent.

I got the main outline for the dress from Marjan and yesterday I made the bodice (Halterstraps are my addition) and put it on my mannequin so the fabric can hang and I can hem the skirt in a week or so.

It looks rather long in the torso but that is because the weight of the skirt is dragging the bodice down, I have more boobs then my mannequin and also more neck. First time for cutting satin on the bias, and I tell you IT IS HELL. It does drape very nicely though, bodice has no zipper or buttons but can be pulled on over the head. It has a slinky effect that makes it sort of cling to the body without being tight fitting and it is very unflattering due to being all red and shiny and not form fitting but we will look great together on stage.
mekyria: (strass stenen)
 Amulya asked about a post to gather all the costume entries for the Pink Turkish costume. It is also an excellent opportunity to show you pictures of the finished costume. I have worn this costume six times since I finished it and it is holding up great. I'm a little bit concerned about the holographic foil print turning silver over time, but so far, so good. I haven't written about making the accessoiries: there is a matching upper arm band and a triangular hand decoration. They were fairly easy: I used a paisley medallion, added to a strip of fabric and edged in beads/sequins. The necklace is my multi-color butterfly necklace that also matches my Pharaonix butterfly. Come to think of it, it matches most of my costumes as it is multi-color. I highly recommend investing in a multi-color jewelry, as it creates an extra bit of visual interest. Rhinestone jewelry just didn't cut it for this costume.

This is a picture of our duet. Hadyr is wearing the Bella I sold her earlier this year, which was the reason why I needed a costume to match it's magnificent blingy-ness. Picture by Merijn van der Vliet:

And here's a close-up from a later show in Bussum. Picture by Michael van Schijndel:

And here is a rather dark video of our duet, taken at a hafla in Wageningen. 

The history:

1 - feb 20th: The materials
2 - feb 21th: belt pattern and base
3 - feb 22th: covering the belt base
4 - feb 24th: rhinestones everywhere
5 - feb 25th: paisley medallions
6 - feb 26th: Vanilla glitter
7 - mar 7th: a whole lot of bling
8 - mar 22th: Fringe!
9 - mar 24th: help me pick a skirt
10 - mar 29th: the bra base
11 - mar 31th: covering the bra
12 - april 7th: beading and fringe on the bra
mekyria: (strass stenen)
 Warning: this post contains images of extreme amounts of rhinestones and may cause temporary blindness due to all the glitter.

In part 4 you could see the progress on the front of the skirt, replacing the old beading with new beading. I'm not extremely pleased with the beading on the front, as I think the middle curl is too small. It would look better if it was bigger, but then again I vowed to myself to finish as many projects as I can in 2011. On January 1th 2012 everything that is left from my fabric stash, sequins, rhinestones, etc, will be given away to people who will make good use of them. My standards of what a finished costume should be have been lowered so I can get away with making more costumes this year. 

Read more... )
The only thing left to do is making gloves/armbands and a headband, edged with gold seed beads. I also wanted to add a waist strap to the skirt, starting at the indentation in the waistband on the left hip, traveling around the waist and back to the waistband. For now I'm going to let the costume rest, as I have a student recital next weekend and my students might need to borrow skirts from me. I have two huge pieces of chiffon like fabric that I want to turn into skirts. To be specific, I've had those two chunks of fabric for over three years now, with the intention of making skirts. It's a good thing I'm making an extra effort to use the stuff in my stash this year!
mekyria: (strass stenen)

It's been a while since I've updated on the green velvet costume, but I assure you that there have been tons of things going on. I finished the bra about one or two eweks ago and posted a close-up on bhuz, but I didn't post it here because I wanted to give you a full update.
Read more... )

More on the back of the skirt tomorrow.
mekyria: (naaigerei)
 The dress rehearsal on Thursday as great, it's looking great! Here are two pictures taken earlier this week. Keep in mind that the jackets have flowing half-circle sleeves and we are holding chiffon handkerchiefs in the finished version. This is Roos, showing her jacket and the pants + skirt:Read more... )
mekyria: (lolita stairs)
 A couple of my friends and I took a workshop Muwashahat with Farida Fahmy last year. Roos Belinfante is having her annual student show on May 15th and we wanted to do a new group choreography, since practicing for the RonDom Buikdans show worked really well

In the past five weeks, we've made the choregraphy and learned the steps. We still need to refine and adjsust stff to ge better synchronisation, but it is looking good! Second project was our costumes: this is the first time that we are making matching troupe costumes. 6 people, different body shapes and various color preferences. We took a long, hard look at the video material from Farida Fhamy and decided that we wanted jackets, chiffon skirts/sleeves/handkerchiefs and matching pants. Here is a snapshot of Farida:
Will we finish our costumes in time? Will the man at the fabric market have matching chiffon or do we have to make do without? And how about the jackets, will they be ready tomorrow? Stay tuned for the next episode of Costuming marathon: Muwashahat!
mekyria: (Default)
 I've blogged about the green velvet costume and how it started out with a skirt in 2006. I beaded the skirt in January 2011 and let it rest, as I needed to finish the pink/gold Bella like costume before the start of April. In the back of my head, the green costume was still haunting my dreams. I was halfway already: so close to actually finishing the costume! I prepared a bra base last week and started working on the bra in the past couple of days. The good news: it looks amazing. The bad news: it looks amazing because I used a different beading technique, and I need to redo the skirt.
Read more... )


The rhinestone chain was left over from the Bella project. I need more gold beads as I finished my stash:  they are Güttermann beads, high quality and expensive, but worth it. My plan is to finish the bra this week, then let it rest so I can build courage to tackle the skirt.

mekyria: (Default)
 Several anxious dancers asked me on april the third if I had finished the costume on time. I did finish it on time, I put the lining in on Friday. What I might not have mentioned yet is that I was the event organizer for the show, together with the lovely Arya. In addition to organizing the event I was also performing three song in the show: a solo, a duet and a group performance. 

Read more... )
mekyria: (Default)
 In my last costume update, you've seen the bra base. In order to make those funky shaped cut-outs keep their shape, I needed to add metal wire to the bra cups. I prefer to cover the bra base first, and stitch the metal wire on later.
read more... )

read more... )

That's all for today, tomorrow I'll post the pictures on the beading and adding the  paisley appliqué's (the same one as the center medallion on the bra).

mekyria: (strass stenen)
 When people commented on the pictures of the belt, one of the most often asked questions was: 'will you do cut-out on the bra too?'. In this post I'll show you how I converted a basic bra into a bra base and made a couple of cut-outs in the bra cup. My lack of posting the past couple of days is because I've been practicing my ass off for the show next Sunday. I can't wear a pretty costume when my dancing is not up to par.

be prepared for LOTS of pictures )

That's it for today, tomorrow I'll post pictures of the process of covering the base with fashion fabric. In case your wondering: this costume needs to be finished for the weekend and my lj posts are behind ont he facts. So rest asure, this costume will be ready on time in all it's shiny glory :)

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