Oldies, part 6: renewing a saidi dress

In 2008 I renewed my first saidi costume. I had not worn it since my first performance in 1997. None of my dancers had any costumes that would go with this one, and I had no use for a solo galabeya of this kind. Yet, I loved the fabric.

old saidi dress

This is where I took off. The galabeya had a very small neckline, but otherwise it was quite nice.

old saidi dress pinned up

I decided on cutting it open in the front. Headpins are a girl’s second best friend (safety pins are the best, by the way).

old saidi dress about to be cut

This is the part which takes some courage. After taking the scissors the costume will never be the same again.

old saidi dress cut open

Had absolutely no idea, how low to cut the dress. So I did some cutting, and…

trying on old saidi dress when cut

… tried it on. Looks just about right – less cutting wouldn’t show enough of the bra underneath, but more would go too low.

Next I sewed some fabric underneath to make the turns nice and firm. Would have been easier the other way round – first sew on fabric and then cut it open – but would have needed to know in advance how low the cutting would be going. A bit trickier this way, but worked out fine after all.

The final touch was to cut the sleeves open from the top to make them more open and up-to-date.


Part two was making the bra underneath.

old saidi dress

Bought a bra I thoght would look nice when covered with fabric.

old saidi dress

Sewed fabric by hand on the bra and round the straps. Should have done some inlining, too, but didn’t have enough time at that point…

old saidi dress

Sorry about the terrible photo.


performing in the renewed saidi dress

Photo copyright Sami Perälä 2008.
This turned out to be quite a nice saidi costume for solo performances, too.

One thought on “Oldies, part 6: renewing a saidi dress

  1. Pingback: Oldies, part 1: ancient dance costumes – Cranberries and Cattleyas

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