Ask the Costume Goddess
Ask the Costume Goddess:
by Dina Lydia
Dear Costume Goddess:
My gauntlets keep falling down as I dance. What's the problem?
--Falling In Fallbrook
The Costume Goddess Responds
What could be more distracting than being obliged to tug repeatedly
on any part of your costume as you perform? The gauntlets must
either be elastic all over, as Powernet or stretch lace, or have
a half-inch elastic in a casing at the top which is tight enough
to stay in place, but not so tight that it functions as a blood
pressure cuff! Replace the elastic if necessary, safety-pin it
in place and practice. If still too loose, adjust the tightness.
When it's correct, stitch the ends securely and tuck in.
Keep in mind that heavy fringe will tend to drag the gauntlet
down if it's not elastic and tight all over. (Tip: the elastic
can be dyed or colored with permanent marker to match skin, if
For those with more sewing skills, consider alternatives:
Some gauntlets work better just above or below the elbow instead
of at the upper arm. Or make a full sleeve reaching shoulder
level, using a fitted sleeve pattern, cut a bit out under the
arm, and attach it to your bra strap at top only, about three
inches either side of center. Keep trying on and adjusting until
correct, as always.
(About the photo: Dina is modeling velvet gauntlets with a
chiffon scarf attached that matches her pantaloons.)
--The Costume Goddess
Additional Comments from Shira
Some dancers use adhesive products to hold costume items into place. The disadvantage of using these is that the sticky residue can accumulate on the garment. Therefore, it is best to first try other options such as those Dina suggested above.
One product that many dancers use to keep gauntlets, bra straps, and other costume pieces in place is toupée tape. This double-sided tape was originally created for men to use in holding their hairpieces in place, and therefore is designed to be kind to the skin.
Another product used by some dancers is a roll-on liquid body adhesive called "It Stays".
These products are sold in drugstores. Or, if you would like to purchase them from Amazon, use these links:
"It Stays" Body Adhesive
Other articles on this web
site related to costuming for the arms include:
About the Costume Goddess
Dina has been sewing for more than twenty-five
years (yes, she started as a toddler!)
She's also an artist (Maryland Institute of Art) and perfected
her sewing techniques apprenticed to various designers, freelancing
for small theaters, restyling vintage garments, and altering
Dina fell in love with belly dancing costumes upon her very
first lesson. Now the pleasure of wearing her own designs, and
seeing others wear them, offers as much pleasure as dancing. She's
become expert as well in altering those troublesome ready-made
Egyptian costumes, and modifying designs to flatter individual
She holds workshops in Seattle to teach design and construction
of cabaret costumes, and analysis of figure characteristics.
She will also give private lessons, or resize or repair a secondhand
costume. She's thus earned her Costume Goddess title.
The Costume Goddess Tells All Costuming Books
Dina has published six books of her own on belly dance costuming
as well as writing nearly all the costuming section for The
Belly Dance Book. For information on her series of books, The Costume Goddess Tells All, see her web site at www.costumegoddess.com.
For reviews here on Shira.net of some of her books, see:
Costume Goddess Photos
To view a photo gallery featuring pictures of Dina, costumes
she has designed, and her friends, either click on the choices below or visit her web site:
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