My First Sewing Sales

When I first got into belly dancing, and I checked out the prices of the costumes online, I decided to make my own. A roommate saw me wearing an outfit and said, “You could sell that!” We decided to sign up for a booth in the upcoming ren fair.

I had a month and a half to make enough clothes and jewelry to fill the booth. The tent was a lunch pavilion from Wal-Mart or something, and was so much smaller than the tents around it that even I walked past it while looking for it. Luckily, we wound up right next to the drum booth, so that made it easy to dance to try to attract attention.

I now know why dance costumes are so expensive when they’re freaking covered in jewels and dangly things. Now I have no idea how they can be as *cheap* as they are (the answer is slave labor wages in other countries). But I was in college, where rent can be as low as $200/month, and $90 on groceries is living large, so actually showing up to your minimum wage job can make you the wealthy one in the group. (Also, I hung out with hippies.)

Here is my very first booth, with my very first sales, with me wearing an orange panne costume I made pre-serger, and before I figured out that those crappy little leather straps you get at craft stores are not to be used as structural elements.

This is the first booth I had back in the 1890s, though why I sold costumes rather than time machines, I still don’t remember:

My troupe was also the main dance troupe at the fair, so we got a lot of stage time, as well as a near-monopoly on the field. The photo quality is terrible, because, kids, this came from way back in the day when a 1.4 megapixel camera was actually impressive.


Yikes, will I ever be that thin again?

Or have the posture that only a year of pilates classes 3-4x per week can provide?


And it’s good.


Belly Dance Costume

One day, feeling particularly bored with all my have-to-do sewing projects, I decided to play with some of my some-day belly dance costume fabric that I accumulate for myself and then don’t do anything with. I put this together with a skirt design that I had come up with before, then draped the top and invented it by pinning and tucking. The veil came from some fabric that had the same pattern but was printed on a sheer, net material.

And here’s me dancing in it:



Old photos of clothes

I came across this while wading through my stash of photos on facebook recently. The yellow part was intended as a sleeveless ghawazee coat to be worn with a belly dance costume. I like incorporating belly dancing clothes into regular wardrobes, and a lot of my ready-to-wear designs are based on dance ideas.

I had never gotten around to adding a clasp, so I put it on with a brooch. I found the boots on the side of the road and recently gave them to my chi gong teacher because apparently we both have large feet.

Potunia Photoshoot

I’ve been written up twice in a local Vietnamese fashion magazine called Potunia.

Diana Souza and Ava Carmichael came over to take some photos of my fashions and of me hanging out and looking sewy in my old studio at the Continental Gin building. I’ve posted a gallery of the photoshoot here:


The Project: masks for a masquerade


I *transformed* a pair of Optimus Primes with some bling. Hot glue melts this plastic, so there’s a trick to it.

I found a broken mask at a thrift store with a lousy eye mask and the feathers falling off and gutted it for its iridescent feathers to add to a silver one for me:

The giant bag of mixed plastic gems I got for this project had about 10 large purple beads, 10 small purple beads, 10 large blue beads, and 40 each of nearly every other freaking color. We emptied the entire bag and flipped them all right side up to discover this. I had intended to make my mask with only purple gems, but it was not to be, and it wasn’t worth forcing it by going on a midnight search of craft stores. I still remember when these types of beads could be bought in separate packages of each color and size without having to send away.

I also blinged this butterfly mask for someone who wound up not able to make it to the event:


D. Didn’t want to set his mask on fire:

Masks on (the boys decided to rent tuxes to match their masks:

All the way on:

::Pointing:: I have a chin! Wait, at that angle, I have two! Yay!

I made that cape in college. It was the project I learned about nap on, the hard way. Bought the necklace broken and repaired it. The earrings are some pendants I put on some pierced-look clips.

Hair art: