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The Gilded Serpent presents...
“Adventures In
Belly Dance Costuming”
by Stasha Vlasuk, Vol 1
book review by
Robin Alnisa Wood

"The Golden Gate Bridge reminds me of belly dance costume bras --a delicate suspension, perfectly balanced, offering a dramatic view.”

I love this quote from volume one of "Adventures in Belly Dance Costuming,”by Stasha Vlasuk. This is a good book for both sewing veterans and beginners alike. This volume covers bras, belts, "cheater bras", and vests (with or without sleeves). Stasha has included patterns, as well as a lot of information, and this is all very helpful. One of the features I really liked was a materials list for each project so one can gather everything one needs and plunge ahead. There are many good hints including beading techniques, the use of 'pop beads' as a great and inexpensive decoration (along with how much to buy), the use of buckram to reinforce parts of vests that tend to curl, and very exact directions on how to fit and adjust your costume pieces. As a veteran costumer myself, I was glad that she mentioned lots of try-ons when working on your own costume - I am not alone! I did wish there were illustrations for the sleeves, but I suspect that the directions are clear once you're working with them. I would add one hint of my own: when using a front closing as suggested, use - double fasteners.

All in all, I found the information good, the directions clear, and the anecdotes fun. Stasha is a well-known performer---I did not know until now that she was so knowledgeable about costume construction, and I am sure that her other volumes contain many more good hints.

ed- To purchase Stasha's book, contact her directly at

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