Well, here it is, folks. Here's my costume; a pink silk shirt. It is a puzzlement, isn't it? This doesn't look very belly dancer-ish. But, I'm hoping it can be because this is a very special shirt
This blouse is one of only two presents my Grandpa ever bought for me. Shopping for gifts just wasn't his thing. Christmas and birthday presents were always bought by my Grandma and labeled "From Grandma & Grandpa." When we got older Gramps started giving all of us grand kids an envelope with money in it. Let's face it, to a bunch or adolescents a crisp $50 bill is a damned good present!
Anyway, shortly after he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer he and Grandma took one last trip together up and down the West Coast. In a little jewelry store in San Fransisco he bought a gray pearl necklace for me, and a boutique in the Pearl District of Oregon is where he found this blouse.
So why would I want to turn it into a belly dance costume and not just continue to wear it? Because, the last time it came back from the dry cleaners it had yellow stains around the bottom and a small reddish, watery, looking stain on the back. You can't see them in the picture, but trust me, they are there. At first the dry cleaner told me that my shirt seemed to be lost and offered to reimburse me for it, provided I had a receipt. The idea that it was a gift never really registered with the manager or the owners. Then, about a week later they called and said it had been found. To this day I still think an employee or someone associated with that place took it and wore it. They didn't tell me about the stains, either. I had to discover those for myself. My shirt was ruined. I have never been able to get the blotches out and over the years I have repeatedly tried.
I've come to terms with the fact that it's unwearable, but I still can't part with it. So, I have two, possibly three, ideas. The first you already know about, a belly dance costume. I'll have to consult with a local costume fairy to find out if this is a good fabric to use as the base of a bra and belt or if there will be enough after the stains are cut away. The second idea is to turn it into a beaded art doll and the third is to have it made into a purse. Either way I'll still be able to my Grandpa's gift.
And in closing I'd like to say that I have reached Day 200 of my belly dance practice and will be celebrating with pizza and gelato!