Westerners coined the name belly dance for Middle Eastern dances such as the Raqs Sharqi and Raqs Baladi among many others. From its origin, belly dance costumes have varieties but the basic parts of the belly dance costumes are the: cymbals, circle skirt, veil and bra. Most belly dancers have the circle skirt as a favorite part of the belly dancing costume because it enhances the movements of the dance.
To make your own belly dance circle skirt, follow these steps:
- Gather your materials. Prepare your materials before anything else. You are going to need a ruler that is at least 45” long, some dressmaker’s pin, tape measure, shears, fabrics, thread and needles, dressmaker’s chalk and other stuff that you can use for decorating your skirt.
- Choose your fabric. The outcome and the effect of your finished product will depend on the type of fabric that you will use for your circle skirt. For instance, a China silk can make an attractive drape. A foil silk, however consists of metallic surface that will reflect the light and will add a good effect to your steps,. It also drapes beautifully and flows with your movements but it can be difficult to sew and the fabric is quite expensive. Cotton broadcloth is affordable; the effect that it will give to your look will be somewhat earthy.
- Choose your color scheme. You have to keep this in mind when buying your fabric. Decide which color you want for the veil, vest, or other parts of your costume and make sure that they will complement each other including the circle skirt.
- Do the measurements. Get the measurement of your hips. If you are going to make the other parts of the costume, also measure the other parts of your body relative to these.
- Make a smaller sketch of the pattern on a paper and then apply these to the cloths. One pattern should look like a half of large circle with half of a smaller circle inside. This should look like big, bold C. Make three similar patterns. Combining these three would make a doughnut shape. The circumference of the smaller circle should be equal to the measurement of your hip and the radius of the area of the circle outside the smaller circle should be equal to the measurement from your hip to your ankle or to where you want the finished length to be. This should be the measurement when you apply the patterns to the skirts. Draw the patterns to make an outline to guide you in cutting the cloth.
- Sew the three cuttings. Sew them along the radius of the big circle to connect the three of them and make a big, whole circle. Make a casing on the smaller circle. This casing will be the tunnel of your skirt in which an elastic band or a drawstring can be inserted so you can wear the skirt on your hip.
- Hang your unfinished skirt. Prior to wearing it, hang your skirt for a long time to allow for the fabric to stretch so that it would flow elegantly.
- Finish your skirt. Finish the hems of the skirt.
- Decorate your skirt. You can use beads, some sequins or even shells to decorate your circle skirt. This will depend on how you want it to look like. Make sure that it complements the other parts of your costume.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your product, you can always consult a friend who is good at tailoring so she can help you with your circle skirt.