Tools & Resources for DIY Belly Dance Costumes

Toos & Resources for DIY Belly Dance CostumesWant to try my tutorials yourself but don’t have the tools?

 

I thought it would be helpful if there is a resource page that you can always come to or refer other dancers to when making belly dance costumes. I will update this page as I learn more. So it would be a good idea to bookmark it or add to your favourite list 😉

 

*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 🙂

 

Sewing Tools


Brother sewing machineSewing Machine
– I use Brother LS-2020. I bought it as my first sewing machine, because it was the most inexpensive option I had at the time, and it has been working great! The only downside is that my local shops don’t carry bobbins for this machine, but I can order online (see below). 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 has even fewer stitching options.

 

If you are in the US, SewingMachinesPlus.com is a great place to shop sewing machines. Use coupon code “fivepercent” to get 5% off your purchase 🙂

 

www.sewingmachinesplus.com

 


E6000® Craft Adhesive
 – I usually like to sew on things like rhinestones, because it is most reliable. But if I must use glue, for example, to stick small rhinestones with no holes, I use E-6000. This glue is used by jewelry makers, and once dry, it holds very well. It can be found in Arts & Craft stores.

 


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. I saw a YouTuber using one of these, and had to get a whole set of Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set. It comes with a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and a clear ruler. It is cheaper to buy them all as a set.


Marking Pen
 – For some reason, it took me a while to find a marking pen that I was satisfied with. Some did not leave clear marks, and others broke quickly. Then recently I picked up Singer Dual Point Disappearing Ink Marking Pen, and this one works great! The ink is purple and disappears after a day or so. It comes with a regular point and thin point, which is a bonus.

 


Tape Measure – Any tape measure would do, but I use this Singer 60-inch Tape Measure because it has both centimeters and inches.

 


Iron – I bought my iron about 10 years ago, and I have no complaints about it. It is a version of Black & Decker Quickpress Iron with Smart Steam Technology and Stainless Steel Soleplate.

 

Ironing Board – I bought this IKEA tabletop ironing board several years ago, just because I didn’t have room for a large one, but it has been big enough for ironing blouses and pants and even my costume skirts.

 

Organization Tools – coming soon!

 

 

Online Shops for Tools

Etsy – I buy bobbins for my sewing machine from SewGoodCrafts on Etsy. Great way to support small, independent sellers and designers 🙂

 

 

Online Shops for Beads & Rhinestones

Dreamtime Creations – If you want Swarovski crystals and rhinestones, you have to check out Dreamtime Creations. I love the fast, $1 shipping to the US & Canada! See the huge selection of Swarovski Flatback Elements at Dreamtime Creations.

 

 

Fire Mountains Gems and Beads – Great selection of beads, including hex cut seed beads like ones used in high-end costumes! Fire Mountains has rhinestones too, so be sure to compare prices between Dreamtime Creations and Fire Mountains if you are looking to buy sparkly stones 😉  Check out their lovely selection of hex cut seed beads!

 

 

 

Sewing Classes

Craftsy – Learning proper sewing skills can save you hours, and I am all about spending time efficiently. I have found Craftsy classes very useful and easy to follow, and you are taught by industry professionals. I will list my recommended classes here in the future, but for now here’s my favourite class so far! 🙂

 

Sew Better, Sew Faster: Advanced Industry Techniques

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Pinterest – Not quite sewing classes, but I am building boards where you will see a collection on sewing tips and DIY belly dance costume inspirations.

 

Patterns

Modern Sewing Patterns – Amazing collection of free patterns! Many can be modified into a belly dance costume like this long skirt or this long fringe skirt without the fringe.

 

Craftsy – A great resource for patterns! I haven’t tried their garment patterns yet, but I have tried this “Bionic Gear Bag” pattern which turned out amazing! This bag holds a lot, and comes with 4 zipper pockets, so it is perfect as a performance-day bag to keep my make-up, jewelry, a mirror, hair pins, safety pins, and all the other little things! They also have lots of free patterns too 😀 If you like to support independent designers, this is a good place to shop patterns.

 

 

DIY Belly Dance Costume Sites

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 over the years. 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. If you want to sign up, click the button below!

 

Click here to access the secret page!

 

 

DIY Website

 

If you are a belly dancer thinking to create your own online portfolio or go 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!

 

Bluehost – To start a website, you need a hosting company (unless you use free platforms which don’t appear very professional). I’ve been using Bluehost ever since I started my first website a few years ago. They offer great customer service, and they helped us very quickly when we encountered problems. What I like most about Bluehost is that you can purchase a hosting plan, a domain (your website address), and install WordPress (you’ll see more of this below) in 1 go! I think this is the simplest solution for starting your own website 🙂

 

You can first check to see if yournamebellydance.com is available with this interactive banner below ↓↓ 😉

 

 

WordPress – Learn to use WordPress, and you’ll have full control over your website. It is a place where you can build and edit your website, and it is available online. If you use Bluehost as your hosting company, you can install WordPress right when you purchase your website address, so that’s way easier than downloading things from different websites 😉

 

Have any other suggestions or want to see other recommendations? Comment below 🙂

  13 comments for “Tools & Resources for DIY Belly Dance Costumes

  1. October 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Do you have any sources for appliques to recommend? A friend recommended one source for appliques, on Etsy, but I’d like to find more. I have some very beautiful appliques that I only have 1 or a few of, and would like to find similar ones. Could I bead and sequin it? Yes…I started with Native American/First Nations beading techniques after all. 🙂 But, appliques are faster. 🙂

    • Mao
      November 3, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Shakira! Good question. So cool that you know First Nations beading techniques! They are so beautiful.
      Unfortunately I don’t know any particular source… I’ve picked up some from a local fabric shop, but I’ve been making my own mostly. Having said, I’m thinking to sell appliques in the future, so that may be added to the sources 🙂 In the meantime, if I find or hear about a good applique vendor, I’ll add it here.

    • October 26, 2016 at 6:41 am

      http://www.sewbizfabrics.com has appliques, this is a close out place so they may not have the quantity that you want but I always find great appliques and trim there at a reasonable cost

  2. Tamara
    December 18, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Check this place out! They have a number of different appliques available in different colors and even some really beautiful rhinestone appliques. http://www.glitzonline.com/

    • Mao
      December 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Tamara! This is a great resource 😀

  3. Kim
    October 22, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Thank you for sharing these precious info with belly dancers around the world, Mao.
    ♡♡♡ You are g-r-e-a-t !!! ♡♡♡

    • Mao
      October 23, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Aw thanks so much, Kim! It’s my pleasure! 😀 Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see on my site.

  4. May 6, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Hi Mao, I’ve recently joined your followers and am loving it! My comment to you today is that I am not able to find the free Craftsy class on Mastering Zipper Techniques. 😕 I’ve found one for a fee, is that the same class? Thank you. I look forward to all the great advice you can offer me!

    • Mao
      May 6, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Tina! And thanks for letting me know about the course. Looks like they’re not offering it anymore 🙁 But if I remember correctly, the one with a fee (http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=472576&U=1029974&M=29190&urllink=) appears to cover more zipper styles than the free version 🙂 I’ll update the list above.

  5. June 28, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Mao, love your site and all of your ideas and generous sharing of resources. I am trying to find a site that can help me fit my costumes to my body– in terms of proportions. One of the main problems I have is bras: I gotten ideas on how to fit the bra so it doesn’t gap— but what can I do About costumes I have purchased ( for a lot of money) when the bra width is just too long. I’m petite and the bra goes from my neckline to the middle of my ribs. Also I have 2 Bellas bedluhs— and the top is also too long. Thanks for any help you can suggest!

    • Mao
      June 29, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you, Judy! Let’s see… first, you may find this post useful: http://www.sparklybelly.com/4-fixes-for-gaping-bra-cups-belly-dance-bra-alteration/
      For bra cups that are too wide, if the appearance of the bra cups bother you, you could add thick shoulder straps that continue down across the cups to the bottom of the cups. These can offer a bit more coverage and support, which would help close any gaps around the area.
      Send me photos of your bedlahs to mao@sparklybelly.com and I’ll be able to better explain or offer more ideas 🙂

  6. August 1, 2017 at 8:49 am

    hi dear,thanks for share,
    is it possible to sewing the lace trim on the clothing that i want to DIY by myself.
    cause i saw some good lace trim on https://www.dglace.com
    it give me some ideas for the diy clothing.

    • Mao
      August 2, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      My pleasure! Yes, definitely. You can sew lace trim on clothing by hand or sewing machine. That’s one of my favourite ways to add fun to my clothes 😀

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