Arts and Design
Making Belly Dance Costumes
Updated on November 12, 2014 Rae Schwarz moreContact Author make YOUR ultimate belly dance outfit!
This page will help you find patterns, sewing tips and suggestions for making your own belly dance costume, including how to make tassels or how to sew on mirrors for your belly dancing belt. Not only is making your own dancewear a good way to save money, but it allows you to create the exact belly dance costume you picture in your mind.
There are also links to sites that sell ready-made belly dance costumes for those who want to embellish or only make part of their belly dance outfit.
From Turban to Toe RingMany of these books specialize in one aspect of creating a belly dance costume but here’s one to get you started on everything. Many dancers take ready-made pieces like bra and belt forms and then cover and embellish them to create the appearance they want, which can save a lot of time and effort if you aren’t a sewing pro.
Buy Now Pattern Links – find just the pattern you need!
Belly Dance Costuming
In this section are websites that contain directions and patterns on making Belly Dance costumes and websites that sell Belly Dance patterns. Have fun creating your own costumes.
habithat.co.uk sells sewing patterns including national costumes, medieval costumes, Dancing Patterns.
Choli Pattern, adaptable to many sizes
ethnicpatterns.com – Belly Dancing Sewing Patterns
Ethnic and worldwide sewing patterns.
Costumes: Harem Pants text-decoration:line-through” oncontextmenu=”return showBrokenLink(46261523, false);” onclick=”return showBrokenLink(46261523, false)”>frankencholi tutorial
make a choli out of a fitted tee shirt – great for bellydance, yoga, or a summer day
Making and Decorating Your Tassel Belt
Free “How To Make Tassels” Instructions from Fiber Images
Very simple and clear technique for tassel-making with illustrations.
(auralynne) how to make a tribal tassel – tribe.net
directions and illustrations for making your own tribal tassels
How To Make A Hip Scarf
This link is a PDF on how to make a hip scarf, so if you click on it, your browser will begin to download a file.
How to Make A Cabaret Belt
Caberet Belts are best used in a nightclub setting and for most private parties.
Corset Belts: The Pattern
Tempest’s Corset Belt is a unique costuming element and corseting system for the hips that allows for a close, comfortable, and firm fit that truly conforms to your body and stays put!
Tassel belts, a variety of colors and forms.
Tassel belts are an integral part of an American Tribal Style Belly dancer’s costume wardrobe. They can be almost any shape, the only limitation is your imagination.
How to make a Tassel
How to make yarn tassels, with great instructions for making the pattern/guide so you can make a whole bunch that match.
Try Your Hand at Tassels
Instructions for making tassels using rayonette fringe.
Let Your Hips Ring with a Coin Scarf – the classic belly dance costume accessory
I’ve learned there are two types of dancers in the belly dance world: the ones who buy bags of accent coins and sew them onto hip scarves, and those who buy coin scarves from the people patient enough to sew them. For those of you who aren’t into the sewing part, eBay can provide the finished scarf. For those of you into sewing, keep an eye out for bags of the loose coins, ready for you to sew onto whatever you wish!
Beautiful Accessories Don’t Have to Break the Bank
Homemade Panel Skirt
My homemade panel skirt is a great example of how a fun and funky belly dance accessory can be created from thrift store finds and with a minimum of sewing skills! What you see here is the inside and outside waistband of my panel skirt.
The panels are from a table runner/fringed piece of cloth I found at the Goodwill for less than $1.
The waistband/hip ties are scrap fabric that was leftover from a pillow project my mom had sewn.
The silver dangles were earring/accents I found at a neighborhood jewelry store when they were having a clearance sale. Each packet of eight dangles cost me about $2.50.
The silk “yo-yos” were found at a street fair and were 12 for $10. I picked interesting blues, taupes and grays and improvised from there.
Altogether, that puts my materials costs somewhere in the $16-17 range. The waistband required that I know how to sew in a straight line and the dangles were sewn on by hand afterwards. Total construction time was maybe an hour, and I did the hand sewing while watching a couple of DVD movies at home.
How easy is that?! Keep an eye out for bits and pieces that you can assemble and it’s very easy to make parts of your own dance costume very cheaply.
Construction and Sewing Tips These links are for construction and sewing, focusing on tops (choli), pants and skirts.
Learn to Dance – Learn to Sew
Not long after I started belly dancing I discovered three fundamental principles of costuming: (i) costumes are expensive, (ii) no matter how high the quality, constant repairs to the beading and sequins is required, and (iii) some things (e.g. great
Sewing for belly dance | sewing and tailoring
making belly dance costumes for the beginner.
Belly Dancing: Costume Corner
Tons of how-to articles on Belly Dance costuming
make a choli out of a fitted tee shirt – great for bellydance, yoga, or a summer day
TUTORIAL: Shirt into Peasant Shirt – a set on Flickr
This top has adjustable sleeves and an adjustable top so that it can be worn for dance or any piratey/ren faire costume event. This top is created from a secondhand shirt. Depending upon the type of/size/fabric shirt you use your results may be diff
HSC Online – Indian textiles
Shisha is the traditional name for mirror embroidery, as found in India and the Middle East. It was thought to help trap and/or ward off the “evil eye.” Here are some great instructions for how to do Shisha.
Sugar Petals Dance Accessories Home Page
A great source for belly dance costume items. Sugar Petals carries costume parts for the do-it-yourself dancer as well as finished items.
Belly Dance Costume we have it all here for you. If you want to do some creating on your own, we have some tools to help you do that also. Please let me know if I can help you in
Costume Sites – For those who would rather buy a belly dance costume
Here are links to ready-to-wear belly dance clothing and costumes. A very vibrant community of “one woman” sewing operations are thriving online and selling at regional events.
Belly DancingTribal and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Costumes
by Marisa Wright17
Belly DancingCostumes for Sinuous Bellydancers
by Ilona E4
Belly DancingHow to Learn Belly Dance at Home
by Marisa Wright8
Costumes height:75px” class=”thumbphoto”>Sewing PatternsFree Decorative Oven-Door Dress Pattern
by Loraine Brummer5
Sewing Patterns27 All Free Doll Making Patterns
by Loraine Brummer6
Sewing Patterns25 Free Curtain Patterns to Sew
by Loraine Brummer2
Costuming Tips and Comments
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sendingBelly Dance 3 years ago
I make my belly covers using crushed velvet and a teeshirt you take the reality cut off the arms rip the side seams make a shape where you’e bra will be then pin to fabric outline with chalk unpin put the two pieces of fabric rightside in and sew with a zigzag stich .
Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA
What a fun costume, I have not sew anything in a long time.
AuthorRae Schwarz 3 years ago from Seattle, WA
@salsa-dancing: Costuming takes as much effort as you want to out into it.
Salsa Dancing 3 years ago
Seems like it takes a lot effort! But the results are very nice.
AuthorRae Schwarz 4 years ago from Seattle, WA
@WeeCatCreations1: Just like belly dancing, sewing takes time and practice to master.
Susan Caplan McCarthy 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA
I tried to learn to sew specifically so I could make costuming. Alas, my sewing skills are too poor to create what I envision in my mind.
I think the belts are so cool, especially. 🙂
Belly dance costumes are great start into great party. Fun lens!
brynimagire 5 years ago
Interesting information ! Wonderful lens !
Great lens, I’m also a belly dancer and I’ve made some belts and bra’s for my self but this is really useful…I’ll try to make some more with new ideas. Thank you!
The frankencholi link is down. Does anyone have a link to it somewhere else?
dreadnaughtdarling 5 years ago
KaylahLena 5 years ago
thank you for all the useful information and beautiful costume pictures 🙂
JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago
Great ideas and DIY information. Thanks for the fun costume lens.
GypsyLyric LM 6 years ago
Okay, I know now how to make my outfit — I only need to learn how to belly dance. 🙂
miaponzo 6 years ago
Wow.. thanks for all these dance costume links and all this info! Great stuff 🙂
LouiseKirkpatrick 6 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom
I don’t dance myself – but I know someone who does! A superb resource – blessed by this Squid Angel as part of the “Back To School Bus Trip”!
manfield3 6 years ago
These look awesome..
@GioiaMulas LM: You can do it, you can even begin learning in the privacy of your own home! Check with your Public Library, see if they’ve got a Belly Dance DVD you can check out. I live in a very small town & even in “cowboy country”, we’ve got some good ones. Also, a Bellydancer (5 yrs) & a Polynesian dancer (28 yrs); I can “secret” to moving your hips is in your knees, bend the knees! GOODLUCK! 🙂
Amy Fricano 6 years ago from WNY
Delightful. Instructive. Thanks.
AdeleW 6 years ago
Great, fun lens. I used to belly dance, it was a brilliant way to get fit
WorldVisionary 6 years ago
This is such a fun lens! Belly dancing is really interesting to me! Blessed by a Squid Angel
dahlia369 6 years ago
Not something I would attempt but I definitely enjoy the final results. Nice lens!! 🙂
GioiaMulas LM 6 years ago
I spell in front of the TV when I see dance belly dancing … And ‘magic and I would like to be able to learn, but I feel awkward and stiff as a stick: (
I’ve always wondered about learning to belly dance because I love the outfits and all dancing is good for us. You have great design ideas!
Rose4u 7 years ago
Wonderful lens, i also enjoy belly dancing and dedicated one of me lenses to this dancing art. 🙂
inkedskin 8 years ago
i think it would look more authentic if belly dancers sport some tribal tattoos. those costumes really looked awesome though.
beachbum_gabby 8 years ago
Lovely outfit. very interesting to try.
Belindance 9 years ago
Great len’s about bellydancing costume design. Lot’s of resources, I have a len’s about bellydancing 101 so I favorited yours!