Following up on my sewing skills post from last week, I thought I would delve a little bit deeper into padding those dance bras. I realized that while I might be well versed in all of the different padding methods, my readers may not be. In this post, I am going to go into all of the types of bra padding that I am aware of and give a little bit of detail on each. I will speak to my experience and to those of others that have confided in me. And so, I give you, the different ways to pad your bellydance bra!

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– My favorite way to pad a bra is using cotton batting. This was introduced to me by Thalia Hamdi, a local baltimore dancer and seamstress. She also took me through my first cutting of the lining and inserting of this fabric. Cotton batting is what is used to fill quilts. You can get it in a bag and it is easy to pull apart. So in the process of adjusting the amount of stuffing you can pull it out in pieces, almost like cotton candy, and fill as you go. It is easier than getting it in a roll since you don’t have to be exact and use scissors to cut out squares.

– Shoulder Pads. Now, don’t laugh, shoulder pads have come a long way! I am not talking about inserting the bulky ones from the 1980’s into your costume bra. Although, I guess you could if you wanted to. The shoulder pads that you can get now that are from stores like Joann fabrics are much easier to use. There are a few sizes that you can choose from ranging from 3/8 to 1/2 inch. You can use them as is or you can fold them to your desired thickness. Shoulder pads also come in a few different shapes so you can choose which one works best for you and the amount of padding you want to add. These can be inserted under the lining or sewn in on top of the lining.

– Foam. I know this may seem really easy to find and there are some types of foam that are used for pillow stuffing, but these are harder to work with. I have also opened up some costume bras to find foam that is thin, yet still used for packaging by the postal service, inserted into the bra. Please try to stay away from this, especially if you plan on selling your costume. It will not mold to you and it is really hard to change out later for the next dancer.

– Glue. Yes, combined with the above I have seen this used for filling out a costume bra. Please, please don’t do this one either!
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– Bra cups. Not only can you buy unfilled cups for lining that fancy prom dress that you can’t wear a bra with BUT you can also buy bra cups that have gel in them for padding. I have used these on occasion when I haven’t wanted to sew or when the lining doesn’t look easy to remove. I always pin or sew the corners of these to make sure they stay in place. They are a great option for padding your bras and being able to move them from costume to costume.

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– “chicken cutlets” These are the affectionate name of the all silicone cups that can be used for padding. I have heard that they do stick better to your skin but my issue is that I have heard more than one horror story of them sliding right out of the cup and onto the table or floor. They are not amenable to pinning or to sewing into the cup so you are always going to have the chance of slippage. I supposed that you could use seamstress tape but I don’t know how that would affect the silicone over time.

I hope that this blog post has been informative and that you have learned more about the ways to pad your bellydance bra. By all means if I’ve missed anything or if you know of more, please comment with them below. I would love more things to try!