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Making Belly Dance Costumes

Updated on November 12, 2014
Nisha, with a great velvet gawahazee robe and belt.
Nisha, with a great velvet gawahazee robe and belt. | Source

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 Ring
From Turban to Toe Ring

Many 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.


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

Making a Panel Skirt
Making a Panel Skirt

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.

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.

Costuming Tips and Comments

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    • profile image

      Belly 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 “U” shape where you’re 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 .

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      What a fun costume, I have not sew anything in a long time.

    • schwarz profile image

      Rae Schwarz 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @salsa-dancing: Costuming takes as much effort as you want to out into it.

    • salsa-dancing profile image

      Salsa Dancing 4 years ago

      Seems like it takes a lot effort! But the results are very nice.

    • schwarz profile image

      Rae Schwarz 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      @WeeCatCreations1: Just like belly dancing, sewing takes time and practice to master.

    • WeeCatCreations1 profile image

      Susan Caplan McCarthy 5 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.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I think the belts are so cool, especially. :)

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Belly dance costumes are great start into great party. Fun lens!

    • profile image

      brynimagire 6 years ago

      Interesting information ! Wonderful lens !

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The frankencholi link is down. Does anyone have a link to it somewhere else?

    • profile image

      dreadnaughtdarling 6 years ago

      Wonderful Page!

    • KaylahLena profile image

      KaylahLena 6 years ago

      thank you for all the useful information and beautiful costume pictures :-)

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

      Great ideas and DIY information. Thanks for the fun costume lens.

    • GypsyLyric LM profile image

      GypsyLyric LM 6 years ago

      Okay, I know now how to make my outfit -- I only need to learn how to belly dance. :)

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Wow.. thanks for all these dance costume links and all this info! Great stuff :)

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      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"!

    • profile image

      manfield3 6 years ago

      These look awesome..

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @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 profile image

      Amy Fricano 6 years ago from WNY

      Delightful. Instructive. Thanks.

    • AdeleW profile image

      AdeleW 6 years ago

      Great, fun lens. I used to belly dance, it was a brilliant way to get fit

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 7 years ago

      This is such a fun lens! Belly dancing is really interesting to me! Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 7 years ago

      Not something I would attempt but I definitely enjoy the final results. Nice lens!! :)

    • GioiaMulas LM profile image

      GioiaMulas LM 7 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: (

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      Rose4u 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens, i also enjoy belly dancing and dedicated one of me lenses to this dancing art. :)

    • profile image

      inkedskin 8 years ago

      i think it would look more authentic if belly dancers sport some tribal tattoos. those costumes really looked awesome though.

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      Lovely outfit. very interesting to try.

    • profile image

      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!