Black and Silver Old School ATS bra and belt, Mermaid Skirts and Cholis

Black fusion costume

Black fusion costume

Last week we had a belly dancers party night at the local restaurant, and that usually means showing off whatever I’ve just finished. This time it was doubly interesting, as my friend L was wearing a chocolate mermaid skirt and off-the-shoulder-choli that I made for her, and I was using my Old School ATS bra and belt, and the black velvet mermaid skirt for the first time. My friend didn’t want to bother with a body-stocking, so went with a cami under her choli, and finished it all with her belt. I used a bodystocking and bolero from

The off-the-shoulder-choli was made simply by removing a bit off piece B and D on the FCBD pattern, to create the “strap” look, and not stitching the top part of the sleeve piece, although depending on your shape, you might need to take some of this in, or adapt it. As usual with this pattern, YMMV and always do a test run to make sure everything is looking the way you want it to look.

Chocolate Velvet Costume

Chocolate Velvet Costume

I’ve mentioned before that the mermaid skirts, when cut properly and carefully, allow to make a full choli with leftover fabric. Three metres of stretch velvet was enough to do both pieces, I marked both patterns before cutting to make sure pile and fabric stretch would be the way it needed to be. I’ve made a similar one in black for myself to match the skirt and to go with ATS costumes. Both cholis include the extra wide back piece D to cover up bra straps, and a “tube” to go over the bra band for a neater look, although mine will be finished with more of a sweatheart cut, as I think it favours me better than the V neck. I hope I can get photos wearing it next week during the ATS residential.

Click on any of the photos to see a bigger version, and please excuse de decapitated photos, as I wanted to preserve my friend’s anonymity.

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6 Responses

  1. Sandra says:

    Good job!

    For that Sweetheart look: do you just gather the fabric vertically between the breast or do you actually change the cut?

    • Arien says:

      Thank you! I gather the fabric, as I’ve found that even purchasing what appears to be the same fabric changes slightly from batch to batch, and when you’re using what are effectively scraps, a wrong cut can make the difference between being able to make a full garment and having to throw it all out.

      I’ve got a dress form now, and I am hoping that as soon as I can get it all set up for my exact shape, it will be possible to set up new patterns to get these modifications worked out towards a universal pattern that I can use instead.

  2. vikinghorns says:

    I love the chocolate brown mermaid skirt, I might have to make myself one in that colour!

    • Arien says:

      it is a lovely colour, very rich and luxurious, but sadly, browns very VERY rarely work well on me, and I endured 12 years of school wearing brown as part of my uniform, so I’ve got a bit of a negative bias towards it. I think it’s a great colour for showcasing rich belts and bras, I could see cool bronze and golds with olive and other rich autumn colours on it, but still, not for me.

      There’s a photo of the back of the skirt on the previous costume bunnies update, it flows wonderfully, and also FINALLY I think I’ve got something that has the same feel and finish of a purchased piece.

  3. vikinghorns says:

    I see your mermaid skirt has a slight train at the back – it looks fab but doesn’t it get in the way when you’re dancing?

    I rarely wear brown because in my mind brown equals boring . . . but in reality chocolate brown velvet is sumptuous and luxurious, as you say 🙂

    • Arien says:

      It doesn’t when you’re moving forwards, and adds a certain old school elegance to it. When going back, you need to get used to stepping back doing a semi-circle with your leg (pointed, of course), that kicks the train out of the way. it’s not that long, but helps elongate the figure so much that it’s worth it.

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