Want to try my tutorials yourself but don’t have the tools?
On this page, you’ll find all my favourite tools and vendors for costuming making! 😀
*Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links. This means that at NO additional cost to you, I will earn some commission from the vendors if you make any purchase. This does NOT mean I list some random products here. I want to have a resource page that is truly helpful to you, and so I am going to list only products that I have used or are very similar and most importantly, ones that I found helpful. My being an affiliate also means I get coupons and discounts from the vendors that I can share with you. The little commission I earn from here helps me run this website (pay for hosting, technical support, fabric and materials I use in tutorials etc…) and keep the contents free.
Having said, no pressure to purchase anything from the list below. These are just my recommendations based on my own experience for those who want some guidance 🙂
- One of the simplest, modern sewing machine you can find
- Inexpensive (I bought it for about $80 CAD)
- A great beginner sewing machine. 🙂
I tried to find the picture of this exact model online, but wasn’t able to find it. But the picture to the right (Brother XL2610) is a very close model as mine, but my machine had even fewer stitching options.
Then I upgraded my machine to Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 and I ADORE it!!!
- This one runs very smoothly
- Comes with a whole range of presser feet – I particularly love the narrow hem and walking foot!
- and an extension table – super useful when sewing long skirts!
- Easy to thread
- Lots of fun stitch options
If you are in the United States, SewingMachinesPlus.com is a great place to shop and compare sewing machines. Use coupon code “fivepercent” to get 5% off your purchase 🙂 (But I’d also check Amazon to see if I could get a better price!)
Measuring and Cutting
Rotary Cutter & Mat – I LOVE my rotary cutter! Cutting fabric is my least favourite things to do when making costumes, because I am terrible at cutting a straight line or following a line.
- Makes cutting fabric super easy & fast!
- Cut nice straight lines
- Save money by getting Rotary Cutting Set. It comes with a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and a clear ruler.
Clover Wonder Clips – I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned these clips on my blog and inside my courses!
- Use these clips in place of pins
- Keep the layers of fabric flat (unlike pins that make fabric wavy)
- Great for when you try on a costume in progress – they hold pieces temporarily, and don’t poke you. Plus it’s super easy to make minor adjustments!
Gem-Tac Glue – I often get asked what glue I use to glue on small rhinestones. My absolute favourite is Gem-Tac!
- Dries hard and holds rhinestones really well.
- Dries clear.
- No weird smell
I used to use E6000, which is good too, but now I prefer Gem-Tac because it doesn’t smell like E6000 does 😉
And I highly recommend you use Gem-Tac with…
Glue Syringes – Hate how messy glue gets? Pour in some Gem-Tac in a glue syringe, and you’ll have a much easier and clear time applying rhinestones!
- Easy and clean to use
- You can apply the right amount of glue precisely
Recommended Online Shops for Beads & Rhinestones
Dreamtime Creations – Looking for rhinestones? Dreamtime Creations has Swarovski, Preciosa and their very own Spark, all of which are great quality for dance costume making.
- Great selection of rhinestones – Swarovski, Preciosa, Spark
- Good pricing (if you are looking to buy small quantities)
- Fast shipping (FREE with over $75 purchase in the US, otherwise $2.99 for the US & Canada!)
Har-Man Importing – Running a costume making business? Need hundreds of rhinestones? Then you may find better prices from a wholesaler 🙂
- Great pricing for bulk orders
- Amazing selection of Swarovski rhinestones
- They also sell quality beads!
Belly Dance Costume Making 101 – If you’re new to the world of belly dance costume making, you can find all the basics to get started in my FREE course!
- Beginner friendly projects!
- Make an easy top, accessory, skirt….and more 🙂
Professor Pincushion – Her YouTube channel is awesome if you want to know specific techniques like how to sew a rolled hem or how to work with chiffon. Nice quality videos.
Shushanna’s Bellydance Costume Tutorials – I have already mentioned Shushanna’s website a few times on my blog, but I have learned so much from her tutorials before I started Sparkly Belly. Her approach is very precise, complete with all kinds of formulas that help you make your costumes perfectly and professionally.
Shira.net – The amount of information on Shira’s website blows me away. In addition to tons of detailed information and tutorials on costumes, this website has many articles on belly dance techniques, music, cultures…everything.
Sparkly Belly’s Secret Studio – This is a page where I share all of my free patterns and other resources, and only Sparkly Belly subscribers can access the page. Sign up below and get access!
Sparkly Belly’s Premium Courses – Want to create a more professional-looking costume? Something more elaborate? Want a bit more challenging project?
- Make more professional & expensive-looking designs
- More challenging projects – explained step by step
- Get lifetime access to the course content
Check out Sparkly Belly’s Premium Courses and learn to make perfectly-fitting, professional costumes!
DIY Website & Online Marketing for Belly Dancers
From time to time, I get asked questions about creating websites and online marketing.
If you are a belly dancer building online presence or going professional, you need a website 🙂 Here are my recommendations for making your own website.
My DIY Website Tutorial 🙂 – I tried my best to explain website making in a plain language. Set up a website in 4 simple steps!
Belly Dancer in Business: Practical Tips on Online Marketing & Business for Artist Oriented Minds – You know you need to build an online presence to be a successful, professional belly dancer today…but not sure how?
- eBook packed with practical and actionable tips
- Learn how to build an online presence and create a following
- Learn how to add income streams to your belly dance business – so you can keep doing what you love and make a living!
Have any other suggestions or want to see other recommendations? Comment below 🙂
And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you get access to the subscriber-only Secret Studio and get new DIY’s and costuming fun in your inbox!
Thanks for reading, and keep sparkling! 🙂