Ask the Costume Goddess
Ask the Costume Goddess:
Making a Ghawazee Coat
by Dina Lydia
Dear Costume Goddess:
I want to make a ghawazee coat, but hate to buy expensive
patterns for every new garment. How do I convert another pattern
to make the front of the coat look right? I have several vest
and bodice patterns.
Thank you for providing this info. It's great!!!!!
The Costume Goddess Responds
A ghawazee vest or jacket, for those who don't know, is cut
out under the bust to show the decorative bra or blouse underneath.
It looks good on almost anyone, and is perfect for those occasions
when a cabaret-style bra is just too bare. The jacket is generally
long and flared; the vest usually midriff length.
|No need to buy a separate pattern, if you are an accomplished seamstress. To convert a regular fitted jacket or fitted vest pattern to ghawazee, make a cheap muslin mock-up using the original pattern pieces, Make sure it fits snugly, with front and back darts. Then draw a line with marker (easier with a friend to help) starting at the top of the shoulder, then curving out around and under the bust. (See illustration, click on it to see more detail).
Cut fabric away on this line, then try on mock-up with costume bra, making sure the edge of vest or jacket comes just above bottom edge of bra without showing extra skin. Make corrections if necessary.
Now you can use this piece as a pattern, remembering to add a half inch or so to the edge as a seam allowance. Finish this edge on the final piece by staystitching on seamline to prevent stretching, then adding a facing, a lining, a bias binding, or simply serging or zigzagging the raw edge, and covering it with decorative trim. Don't forget that like any curved edge, it must be clipped in order to lie flat when turned under.
--The Costume Goddess
Other articles on this web
site related to making a Ghawazee coat 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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