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Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Better that than have it be too small!!!

I had a Balady dress made recently. The costumer, fortunately, did a muslin mock-up first. She wasn't sure if it was going to need a zipper or not, so she had me try it on. It barely fit over my HEAD, forget about my shoulders!!!!!

Time to drop back 10 yards and punt! She went in an entirely new direction as a result - and the dress turned out fine in the end.

But by the time that dress got through with me, I was a broken man! It went through 2 different costumers, the first, the second, and then BACK to the first; and about six months to get it done. Which wasn't as bad as the petticoat I had commissioned for a non-dance "Brolita" costume - which took darn near a year!
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
It was a comedy of errors. She actually is a very experienced seamstress and costume maker (and dancer!), but what threw her was the fact that A) I'm male with a male's proportions, and B) she was working from a vest pattern that fits me. What got her in trouble was my wide male shoulders and the fact that a vest goes around same, whereas a dress goes over. I wasn't able to help her much as I have very little experience with dresses, skirts and tops are a heck of a lot easier to deal with! Who can blame her, she had made exactly ZERO Balady dresses for guys - surprise! :lol: Her eventual solution was expedient - and creative!
 

Daimona

Moderator
A week of sewing by hand.
Yes, it could have been worse. Now I just have to decide how to make it fit...

Zorba: Happy it turned out well for you. :)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
My name is Shanazel and I like to sew by hand.

Seriously, one of my favorite parts of sewing is the hand basting. Weird. huh?

Zorba, how did your seamstress solve the problem? I assume she managed without a zipper since you mention a creative solution. By the way, oh dancer with broad shoulders, my class is one more male to the good this semester. :)
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
So do I....
That makes three of us. I just don't have the precision necessary for me to be happy with the results. Kinda ironic because I can spend hours on a drawing or painting but you put a needle in my hand and I become impatient.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
The site managed to lose my rather long winded reply; but in short, she found a red caftan, cut the bottom off of it, and grafted it onto the skirt. The whole affair started as a skirt and separate top - the skirt fit like it was made for me, the top - not a chance! So we-as-a-team decided to make it into a Balady dress. The beading on the new top was cut out of the original and grafted on.

Zorba_043-24.jpg

The cane once belonged to Nadia Gamal - its my pride and joy!
 
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Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
As for hand sewing, I'd rather spend 30 minutes setting up my sewing machine for a 5 second burst, than I would sewing by hand for 10 seconds! I even machine sew my zill elastics!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I hate sewing zil elastics as much as I used to hate sewing ballet slipper elastics. (insert gacking smilie) That's not hand sewing- that is finger torture.

How did you come by Nadia's cane? (Sits down with popcorn in hopes of a good story.)

I've gotten in the habit of copying all my longer posts before clicking "Post" since the site times us out so quickly anymore.

I'm trying to decide how to inexpensively fake khaleeji dresses for my dancers who don't want to buy one. I'm thinking big rectangular caftans made from a single length of chiffon or georgette with a square cut from the bottom of each side to simulate the sleeves and a session with the glue gun and glittering trim. The really hard part is our local fabric store closed in June and we are left with quilting stores, Wallie World, and Hobby Lobby. None of those is exactly a hotbed of chiffon and fancy trim, though HL carries some trim. Closest garment fabric is now in Cheyenne, two and a half hours away. How can a city of nearly 60,000 people not have at least a Joanne's???
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
No real story to Nadia's cane - I was in the right place at the right time. There was a website that was liquidating her dance estate - I actually bought BOTH of her canes. You can see them in action in some of her videos - her energy is still in them, I swear they twirl themselves! Knock on wood, I've never yet had an "accident" with either of her canes - never dropped, never flown out of my hand, nothing!

And now I'm spoiled - the canes are made of balsa wood - very light, very strong, and about 5/8" diameter so they're not too fat! To the very best of my knowledge, you can't buy canes like these anymore - several old skool dancers of my acquaintance remember them, but don't know of any in current production.

They're a treasure! They are a bit too short for me, Nadia was a short little thing and I'm five foot twelve myself! But I "make do" with them, even if I *do* have to explain to people why my cane is so short! :lol:
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I'm trying to decide how to inexpensively fake khaleeji dresses for my dancers who don't want to buy one. I'm thinking big rectangular caftans made from a single length of chiffon or georgette with a square cut from the bottom of each side to simulate the sleeves and a session with the glue gun and glittering trim.
This is similar to what we're doing for some Saudi dresses. I ended up with some kind of thin lacy material for mine - its REALLY pretty fabric, but difficult to work with, even for a simple garment like this. I was going to serge the hem - uh, no. The Serger just will NOT work with fabric this flimsy. Gotta do a rolled hem instead. Oh joy - but at least I don't have to hand sew it! One of my (many) vintage sewing machines will knock that out in short order with a wide hemming foot.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I hate sewing zil elastics as much as I used to hate sewing ballet slipper elastics. (insert gacking smilie) That's not hand sewing- that is finger torture.
Here's what I do: Attempt at your own risk!!!!

It takes some strength, I hold the Zill in my left hand right up against the left side of the presser foot, while stretching the elastic under and PAST the needle with my right. Then I Zig-Zag back and forth a couple of times. Its can be a challenge as you really need 3 hands, one to hold the Zill, one to hold the stretched elastic, and the third to lower the presser foot and manipulate the reverse lever! I've found that with practice, I can (while machine is stopped) let go of the Zill briefly, letting the presser foot hold it, while I do what I need to do!

I do this for my Zildjians, and my Zildjians ONLY because their slots are HUGE, and they're very heavy Zills. I use 5/8" ("too wide") non-roll elastic ("Bra Elastic") on them. That lasts a bit longer than the "regular" ribbed elastic. Its kinda hit and miss as to finished size - if the Zill is too loose, you can simply stretch the elastic a bit more and re-do.

For my other Zills (Saroyans), I side step the whole problem by using small diameter hair ties/loops ("Schunchies") by carefully fitting them through the Zill's narrow slots - you end up with 2 loops sticking up topside. I learned this trick a few years ago from a dance sister either here or on Bhuz. It works, and it works well. The hair ties last almost forever - MUCH longer than flat elastic ("regular" or "Bra Strap"), and they're tight enough to where I don't worry about finger vs. thumb elastics - all 4 Zills end up with the same size elastics anyway. The only trick is to find hair ties that are on the small size as to over all diameter, I'm now out and need to find some more!

Now I have another quandary: About 2 weeks ago, I was again in the right place at the right time and acquired a set of Zills that belonged to the retired male dancer, Kamaal. These things are HUGE. Dunno who made them, but they have narrow slots similar to Saroyans, so the hair tie trick should work - BUT - they're at least has heavy as the Zildjians, maybe even more so - so I'm not sure the hair tie trick will work or not, but I intend to try it...
 
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Shanazel

Super Moderator
All information merits great interest- thank you. Alas, the thumb on my left hand is the victim of moderately severe arthritis and there is no way I could manage that machine technique anymore. I use hair ties whenever possible. My Zildjians found a new home with Farasha a year or so ago; their discordance drove me nuts but she seems to like it.

Could you attach hair ties to elastic or thick elastic to thin elastic to conquer the heavy zil/narrow slot problem? Or maybe even a plain woven cord of some kind to go through the slots and then attach to wide elastic to go around your fingers. (This is definitely one of those "easier t show than explain" techniques.)
 
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