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Battle of the Hip Bulge

by Dina, The Costume Goddess

Dear Costume Goddess,

I have well-padded hips and rudimentary sewing skills. I am a dab hand at sewing simple skirts and harem pants with elasticised waists, but zippers are way out of my league! Can you give me any tips about how to produce an elasticised waistband that doesn't push my generous hip padding up and over the top of the skirt, resulting in the "overflowing cappuccino" or "muffin top" look? It can be quite attractive in a coffee cup or pastry shop, but tends to detract from a bellydance performance costume!

---Generously Hipped

 

Women of all sizWomen of all sizes can bellydance! Try it even if you think you are overweight!

Dear Hipped,

Yes, tight elastic will cut into soft flesh, creating bulges where we don't want them. This is true at the hip, midriff, back and upper arm (see Flabby Arms article). If it's a problem, we have to find another way to fasten our costumes, or design them differently.

I can think of several alternatives. Making the skirt elastic looser might help, and if it feels like it might slip down, you might sew it or pin it to your hip belt or scarf.

Or avoid elastic altogether, and make a skirt closure as illustrated without a zipper. Make a casing as usual at skirt edge, but first leave an opening at seam long enough (three or four inches) for skirt to slip over hips. Use non-stretch ribbon instead of elastic in the casing, and pull it through to make your gathers, then stitch one end to casing. Try on skirt, pin opening shut, and adjust this ribbon until the skirt sits on your hips where you want it. Then stitch the other end to casing.

Skirt Closure Diagram

Now you have an open seam in your skirt. Neatly narrow hem the opening by hand or machine by turning the edge under twice. Use hooks and eyes, or flat buttons and loops to close the slit. Your hip scarf or belt, and the folds of the skirt will cover this.

Ideally your hip scarf or cabaret belt will cover your hips at an angle as illustrated, with some kind of decoration at center, and this will minimize the appearance of hip bulge, if I may call it that.

Hip Bulge Do's and Don't's

I hope some of my ideas help!

--The Costume Goddess

 

Women of all sizWomen of all sizes can bellydance! Try it even if you think you are overweight!

About the Costume Goddess

To learn about the Costume Goddess and her bellydance costuming books, please visit the Costume Goddess' own web site.

 

Women of all sizWomen of all sizes can bellydance! Try it even if you think you are overweight!

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