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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Costuming Links


Table of Contents



General Costuming

  • Shira's Costuming Corner. It's here on, but if you missed it, take a look now!
  • Omphalo Stepses. Instructions for making several costume items, including circular veil, pantaloons, Turkish-Macedonian vest, anyut (baladi chemise), and more.
  • Elaine's Page. Offers instructions for making a circle skirt, a panel skirt, a flounced skirt, a two-thirds circular veil, and a headband made from scraps.
  • Tala's Middle Eastern Dance Homepage. Online patterns for Ghawazee coat, shalwar, blouse, and hip belt.
  • Raqs with Kashmir. Instructions on how to make a circle skirt, how to make harem pants, and how to make a Khaleegy thobe.
  • Middle Eastern Dance. Instructions for making a bead/sequin crown like the Egyptian ones that were popular in the 1990's, information describing options for shirts and bras, instructions for making several styles of belts (tassels, coin, bead/sequin), and a description of different types of jewelry with illustrations.
  • Meira, the Joyful Dancer. Instructions for making crocheted hand covers, dresses and tunics, coin and bead trim for hip scarves, and necklaces. Also instructions on how to make a headdress for the Guedra ritual of the Tuareg Blue People in Morocco.
  • Bab's Designs. Sells assorted belly dancing costumes, both sparkly and folkloric. Also includes several articles that Shelly (the owner of Bab's) wrote for the Canadian magazine MID-Bits, including recommendations for costume design for different body types, care and cleaning of costumes, suggestions for getting the most out of your costume budget, how to make a simple bra/belt skirt costume, and tips for a student costume.
  • Celebrations Bellydance by Nita Collins. Instructions on how to make circle skirt, pantaloons, straight skirt, handkerchief skirt, and baladi dress. Also comments on underwear, see-through fabrics, and lingerie pieces.
  • Ruric-Amira. Includes articles with advice on making circle skirts and folkloric baladi dresses.
  • Seven Veils: A UK Belly Dance Web Site. Tells how to make your own costume bra and circle skirt.
  • Sheikhani Middle Eastern Dance Troupe. Has instructions for making harem pants, a circle skirt, a full-circle cape, and an accent overskirt. Very helpful for new dancers who are just starting out making costumes!
  • Dawn Devine Brown. This is the web site for Davina, author of several books about belly dance costumes: Costuming From The Hip; Beads, Baubles, & Bedlah; From Turban To Toe Ring, and others. Look under the Costumer's Notes header for Dawn's online newsletter with costuming ideas, tips, and advice. Under the Articles heading, you'll find her report on costuming trends at Rakkasah 2000. Under the sections for Costuming From The Hip, and From Turban To Toe Ring you'll find sample pages from the books with costuming information you can use.
  • Farfesha. Instructions from Michelle Morrison and her troupe Farfesha in New Mexico for wrapping a turban, making tassels, dyeing silk.
  • Madame X: Patterns. Offers instructions for making a circle skirt, pantaloons, and simple belt. Includes tips on how to hold up a body stocking. Also sells patterns developed by Madame X and pre-made belt forms.
  • Middle Eastern Dance Resource Guide. Kimberly Cyr's web site has a section with costuming FAQ's (frequently asked questions) on costuming and care tips, finger cymbals, dance shoes, costume headgear, henna, and customs of make-up and decoration. Also a number of vendor links.
  • Oriental Dance in Norway. If you can read Norwegian, you may enjoy the instructions for making several different costume pieces, including: panel skirt, circle skirt, handkerchief skirt, two variations of mermaid skirt, harem pants, gauntlets, three different sleeve variations, sleeveless midriff-baring blouse, simple full dress, slim dress, and belt.
  • Sewing Stash. Sewing and crafts links & resources.



News Stories



Historical Resources

  • Oriental Costumes: Their Designs and Colors. Online edition of this book by Max Tilke which was originally published in 1922. Wonderful photos of many garments from the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Pre-17th Century Middle Eastern Headwear. A historical research paper by Narah bint Durr that addresses veils, turbans, caps, hats, and royal headwear.
  • Costumes Of The Levant. On the Al-Mashriq web site. Collection of illustrated articles describing the traditional garb of the eastern Mediterranean region (Lebanon, Syria, Israel, etc.)
  • Traditional Lebanese Costumes. Also on the Al-Mashriq web site. Five photos from an airline magazine.
  • Folkwear Patterns. Look in the "Caravan" category for sewing patterns for several garments from the Middle East and North Africa.
  • The History Of Costume. Web-based version of a picture book titled The History Of Costume, which was published in Germany by Braun & Schneider around 1861-1880. Although primarily focused on Western Europe, it does feature some illustrations on the Middle East: ancient Egypt, ancient Near East, ancient Greece, Moors, Arabs in the 4th through 6th century range, 17th & 18th century Turks, late 19th-century Egypt, and late 19th-century Near East.
  • Notes On Islamic Clothing. Comments about historical Islamic clothing. This is a web version of an article that originally appeared in print, and unfortunately does not have the illustrations.
  • Morocco: Exhibition Of Traditional Costumes. Photos of traditional Moroccan clothing.
  • No Question of Costume. Why Egyptians have not adopted a national garb.



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