In a few months or so Farasha, Anaan and Henna will be doing another Tribal Fusion Night at Cosmos.
Last time they presented three stages of dance, including live music and the vocals of Momo...and I was helper elf.
You know what help elf has learned over the last few months? Dancers are generally overwhelmed by small acts of kindness and organization. Little things, like bottled water with names written on them so no one wastes time looking for the right refreshment between sets, gets you disproportionate amounts of love. When I do this for The Afet Collective they remember, when I did it for Momo I got one of her grandly translated emails of thanks. This in general is tied to the whole problem of getting respect, kindness, and monetary compensation when you're an artist. Water with your name on it shouldn't be a biggy.
So, our brave trio are starting to prep for the next Tribal Fusion Night and part of prep for the trio involves costume ideas. Anaan, she's an idea girl in this respect (which is why I enjoy making the occasional item for her birthday) but she's not yet a full fledged execution of ideas in fabric in a timely manner girl. Last time she made the trio some good belts, but there had been more planned. I'm told there was an aborted attempt to cover bras...Of the three Anaan is the strongest in sewing skills and arguably has the most time. If Anaan can't do it, they others can't either.
They all agreed that there must be an easier way to do this: it involves flattering me until I accept a commission.
I've thus far poo-pooed anyone looking to commission me for costumes. It's not because I want to deprive the local community of my skill, but most of what I make is too time intensive to price in a manner that if fair to me and within reason, and because I am primarily good at making things that fit...me....and buying supplies at retail prices.
I've been getting over that. My tribaret bra and belt in progress has shown me that that sort of items I COULD produce in a timely and cost effective manner. The tribaret, in fact, exists to test my abilities.
So, Anaan...the only local dancer to own two Ozma originals, wrote me:
Me, Henna and Farasha love the halter top you made and we were wondering of
you'd be interested in making some for us? Of course we would pay you
whatever you asked and we don't expect buddy discounts :-)
It's just that none of us can sew that well and we'd rather spend more money
on something that's been well made by a real artist. We'd also like to
support a very talented, up and coming costumer :-) Have I flattered you
enough yet??? :-P
And really, what artist doesn't like to hear the words "We would pay you whatever you asked."
I gave a tentative yes and asked for more details, like what fabric and treatments. If I'm pounding grommets and hand embroidering edges, the price goes up after all.I trolled around on-line to see the going rate for such costume (mostly handmade) and also checked the generally over-priced local tribal suppliers. Basic, no embellishments. Anaan sent me a fabric swatch
(fabric, from the aborted bras).
Anid it gave me pause. It is stretchy with the sort of easy to melt shimmering top-coating of black on black sheen. The fabric I made my halter out of has NO stretch, as very sturdy, I can iron the hell out of. I consulted my Vogue sewing guide, which is horribly out of date but useful, and did some futzing.
And yesterday, after much thinking and a trip to the fabric store, I figured out how to do it. Anaan and Henna are in my size range (I've bought bedlah from both of them...) so I modified my original pattern and made one figuring it would fit one of them. I plunked in a DVD, from the collection, and got to work.
It's pretty fucking sexy. I'll post pictures later, but keep in mind this is urban-tribal and it'll look less sexy-naked with the addition of accessories.
keep in mind the hooks aren't actually in it yet, so it's being held at the back with big clips, which makes the rib cage strap look more wonky than it should.)
I brought it out with me last night, where I'd be meeting Henna for pre-Meera show coffee and chat and seeing Farasha after she danced (opening for Meera and being a back-up dancer).
They were overjoyed by the product. People who don't sew or craft either have no clue what effort goes into making something, or they have tried and failed and thus have amazing respect for the simplest details. Henna, Farasha and Anaan, respect mon.
"This is so much nicer than anything we could have made!...it's lined!" said Henna, and I smiled...while also repressing images of what a sweaty-nipfest-of-dangerous-potential any attempt to make an unlined hand stitched halter in the fabric would have been.
Anaan's should fit much like Henna's does. My last challenge will be Farasha. She's tiny, so I'll be slightly scaling down the rib-cage band to keep her costume proportions looking clean and making some modifications so that she doesn't need to stuff the halter. She brought me a halter top she's used before to help me with the reductions.
So, I guess I am somewhat open for buisness.
I am the bestest helper elf.