How to Make a Belly Dancing Costume

    by eHow Contributor

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    Belly dancing, the sexy performance dance originating from the Middle East, now ranks as a popular dance for American women for both exercise and for entertainment. The flowing skirts, billowing pants, beaded earrings and veils that comprise belly dancing costumes lend to its mysterious aura. Here is how to put together your own belly dancing costume.

    Things You'll Need

    • T-shirt
    • Leotard
    • Chiffon

    Make a simple practice outfit by scrunching up a T-shirt under the front of your bra and using a brooch or pin to decorate the bust line. Then wear a pair of tights and tuck a few yards of chiffon in the waistband as a makeshift skirt.

    Prepare a pair of billowy belly dancing pants or pantaloons. There are several patterns for these pant available. They are usually made of opaque fabric. The waistline should fall far below the belly, and the back of the pantaloons should rest half an inch above the cleft of your buttocks. Extra fabric should flow or balloon out from the sides of the legs while the pantaloons are tied or sewn closed at the ankles.

    Fashion a midriff blouse out of muslin or cotton, or modify an off-the-rack "belly shirt" for dancing. The fabric should move with you and not bunch up, so long-sleeved tops aren't recommended.

    Add a hip band made of stretch sequin trim. Attach beaded fringe or a belt of fake coins to an elastic band underneath the hip band. Middle Eastern clothing stores in larger cities sell fringe and sequins for belly dancing costumes.

    Construct a circular skirt out of tissue lame, georgette, chiffon or china silk. Circular skirts hang lightly at the waist but are fuller at the floor. Check at your local fabric store for a pattern. You can also cut and stitch together three half-circle drapes of your favorite fabric. Gather the fabric at the waist and stitch it to elastic for a comfortable fit.

    Finish your ensemble with a head scarf, veils and dainty, colorful sandals. Long chiffon scarves can be used as veils. Look for toe rings, beaded earrings and armbands at costume jewelry shops to top off your outfit.