For those of you new to this blog, I pole dance. I'm not a stripper, meaning I don't pole dance to make money and I don't remove articles of clothing while dancing with the intent of becoming partially or fully naked. (Some lovely acts involve costume changes while dancing, hence the 'naked' qualifier at the end.) That aside, there are plenty of similarities between what strippers do and what I do, and it would do them a huge disservice to pretend that I am 'better' than they are--because I'm not. Pole dancing in any situation is an extremely athletic act, and many modern moves were born in strip clubs rather than being adopted from Chinese pole or mallakhamba. I have nothing but respect for strippers--hanging from one knee is difficult enough, let alone having to do so while wearing 6" heels and possessing the customer service skills of a waitress or hospitality industry person! Anyways, that's not the point of this post but I felt it needed to be said. I understand the impression most people have of pole dancing though and I'm not offended if you are uncomfortable with it--feel free to skip my pole posts! I'm performing in a Halloween showcase in a week, alongside many other lovely ladies and I just had to go full throttle...by making my own costume! Today was our dress rehearsal so I snagged some photos afterwards.
Armed with this great printed spandex from Spandex House, my favorite source for stretch fabrics, I immediately went back to my comfort zone of sewing--aka, making shit up. There are a few practical considerations for making a pole costume, primarily in terms of coverage. Obviously I wanted something secure enough that it would stay on as I spin and invert, but you also need a certain amount of skin exposed to ensure better contact with the pole. Your knees and inner thighs are used while climbing and sitting on the pole, respectively, while your waist needs to be bare for certain inverts. In short, sex appeal is not the only reason why pole dancers wear what they do!
I used an existing pair of booty shorts as my 'pattern' for the proportions and shape of these ones, but added in the open side panels with elastic strapping. You can't see it in these photos but the butt features that scrunch butt ruching that is very flattering. ;) The top was harder since this was my first time using soft bra cups and I found them really hard to place properly in the lining--mostly because the strappiness of the top meant I wasn't able to really try it on until it was fully assembled, and I needed to put the lining in before then! Luckily, I have a small chest so I didn't need anything more than the cups and a thick elastic bottom band to keep everything supported. The center of the bust is also gathered to match the shorts and create a more flattering neckline for my shape. And that strappy back (or backless)....perfection! Exactly what I was going for, and incredibly comfortable it turns out.
Now I just need to practice my full bracket grip until Friday!