How to draw a dance costume

How to Start Making Dance Costumes - Beginner’s Guide to Dance Costume Making Part 1

by Mao on  in DIY Belly Dance Costume Blog, Uncategorized • 1 Comment

Many years ago, I came up with this brilliant idea to make my own dance costume.

I already loved dance costumes and I was excited. 😀

The only problem was, I knew nothing about costume making.

I didn’t know what a dance bra top was made of, I didn’t know types of fabric, and of course, I didn’t know how to operate a sewing machine. I didn’t have one.

So naturally, I was very overwhelmed and frustrated.

Sound familiar?

When you’re just starting to make your own dance costumes, it can be very confusing and overwhelming. 🙁

So in this video and next one, I want to help very beginners get started. In this post, you’ll see what tools you need and easy projects to try. Let’s get started!

Sign up for Sparkly Belly newsletter so you won’t miss Part 2!

My site is specialized in belly dance costume making, but you can apply basics to other style of dancing as well.

Now, if you’re new to sewing, you’d want to avoid it as much as possible. So the common question a beginner costume maker asks is…

Can I make a dance costume with hot glue gun?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. I don’t recommend hot glue gun for a few reasons.

First, the glue can melt or get weak with your body heat as you dance in the costume. What happens if the glue melts? Your costume will fall apart. Not a good idea. 🙁

Second, the heat of the glue can ruin your fabric.

And third, we use a lot of stretch fabric for costume making, and your hot glue may not stretch. The seams may come apart as you put it on.

Of course, hot glue can be great for making halloween costumes. But a dance costume needs more strength and durability, so in general, I don’t recommend hot glue.

Do I have to sew then?

So for most part, sewing is better than gluing. But there are exceptions.

For example, for decorating your costume with small rhinestones, gluing works just fine. Be sure to use appropriate glue like gem tac. (There’s a great tool for gluing rhinestones!)

There’s also fabric glue available. If you really don’t want to sew, you can try fabric glue. But based on my experience, fabric glue is never as strong as hand stitching, and again, it doesn’t hold stretch fabric well, even stretchable fabric glues I’ve used.

So instead of wasting your money on fabric glue, I recommend you learn how to use a hand sewing needle and thread 🙂

What do I need to start making costumes?

For beginners, all you need to start making costumes is:

  • Hand sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape / Ruler

You probably have these things at home. And just pick up inexpensive fabric and thread to get started.

You can upgrade tools as you go of course 🙂 But for now, I’ll share with you projects you can work on with the above tools in a minute.

Do I need a sewing machine?

Not for beginners. It’s definitely nice to have a sewing machine if you want to make a skirt.

But if you’re just starting out, build your skills and confidence by first tackling easy projects like ones I’ll share with you next.

Where can I learn how to start making dance costumes?

I have over 100 dance costume tutorials on my blog, which you can find summarized here 🙂

But if you’re new – first try no-sew projects like this overskirt or crop top.

These projects don’t require much sewing, and even where sewing is required, it’s just a few stitches. You can even use safety pins for the time being. The important thing is, you get used to measuring and cutting fabric.

Then you can move onto making fun accessories like this armband and foot accessory.

And try decorating costumes by using this ruching or pleating technique, or beading.

Without sewing machine, you can make beautiful things like this Swirly Belt.

You can find the catalogue of all my tutorials like these here 🙂

Now the next big confusion is, how do I pick the right fabric for making dance costumes? In my post, I’ll show you common types of fabric used for dance costumes and how to pick them.

So make sure to sign up for my newsletter from the below link, so you won’t miss the next video!

Sign up for Sparkly Belly newsletter so you won’t miss Part 2!

And if you know a dancer who is struggling with costuming, help them out by sharing this post with them. They will appreciate that your love 🙂

Thanks for reading, and keep sparkling! 🙂

P.S. Pin this image for future reference! 🙂

Like what you read? Want to make more costuming bits yourself?

Sign up for my newsletter here and get my free email course, Belly Dance Costume Making 101!

How to Make a Dance Costume - Part 6 - the GRAND FINALE!

Written by Roxanne Lopez in Free Sewing Projects

Table of Contents

Start to finish

Whether I am making a lyrical costume, jazz costume, musical theater costume, or ice skating costume, or any costume, the design process starts with a concept, brought to me by the dancers. I then researched the theme and developed a sketch. After the sketch was drawn, I was ready to choose the base pattern to use. Next, I sampled and sourced the fabrics and trim, researched the best methods for attaching the fringe. I then sketched some more and presented three design options to my clients. Once the design choice was finalized, I cut the paper pattern to their measurements and modified the design lines to match the desired look.

Paper sketch to fabric

Next, I cut the pattern out of the fabrics, sewed it together, hand-trimmed the mesh cutouts, and held the initial fittings. After the initial fittings, the girls had an idea of what the fit, feel, and look of the costume would be. I took some more measurements to determine the placement of the fringe and to make the gloves with. Then, I added the elastic and fringe trim. I also drafted a pattern for the gloves, cut them out, and sewed them. Lastly, I added the rhinestones to the costumes! The result was a pair of finished costumes, as promised!

Plans change though…

The final results were a couple of stunning duet costumes! I did end up changing my original plan – which was to design and sew the costume base and then only decorate with the sew-on, larger stones. The plan was then to hand them over to the dancer’s moms for rhinestoning, but after all those hours of research and design, and all the thought I put into them, I couldn’t hand them over. I really just wanted to see them through to completion. Has that ever happened to you? You start a project, work on it like crazy and then become attached to it?

You learn along the way

I couldn’t hand the costume over unfinished, and I really wanted to try my hand at the final stage of its design – the rhinestoning. I had never rhinestoned anything before these costumes, but I did my research, and felt confident that I could take it on! Even though it took longer than I thought it would to get into a rhythm and figure out my technique, after seeing them transform before my eyes, I have no regrets! In the end, I carefully affixed over 2,160 rhinestones to each costume! They really do shine bright like a diamond!

All the sparkly details

For the rhinestoning, I used a mix of Swarovski crystals, and Preciosa crystals (their slightly lower-cost competitor brand, also from the Czech Republic). I also used a sprinkling of some small no-brand stones here and there. All the stones were the color known as Crystal AB, short for aurora borealis. We decided against the use of different colored stones, like champagne or light gold. Also, my cat Paprika tried to eat a couple of rhinestones. Luckily, I was right next to her when it happened and helped her spit them out. She knows she is the princess of the house, and I guess she feels that you are what you eat. When I told my son what Paprika had done, he said that was cat logic.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed coming along on this process with me! Have you made or rhinestoned costumes? Did this inspire you to try your hand at it? Did it help you along the way? Let me know if you’d like to see more posts like this in the comments!

Materials and Patterns:

  • Jalie Jade pattern:…
  • Gold mystique fabric:…
  • Chainette Fringe: https://www.…
  • White Milliskin Tricot Fabric:
  • Nylon Stretch Mesh: (no longer available in lt. nude color I used; link is for darker nude; also can be purchased in white & dyed to the nude color needed)…
  • White 3/8″ Knit Elastic: 1440pcs 4mm (SS16)
  • Crystal AB Flatback Round 16ss Rhinestones:
  • Swarovski Crystal AB Flatback Round 20ss Rhinestones:
  • Swarovski Crystal AB Flatback Round 30ss Rhinestones:
  • Preciosa Crystal AB Flatback Round 30ss Rhinestones:
  • Preciosa Crystal AB large sew-on oval crystals:…

Recent Posts

link to How to paint a wood and laminate chest of drawers

How to paint a wood and laminate chest of drawers

Welcome to the first of what I hope to be plenty of tutorials in the "make" department of my blog! In this case, I won't so much be making something, as re-making or upcycling. For this project,...

Continue Reading

link to How to sew a quick swayback alteration

How to sew a quick swayback alteration

As much as I love sewing up a garment from scratch, when I find an interesting ready-to-wear item for a good price I get excited. I like to find clothing that is off-the-rack and adjust it to fit me...

Continue Reading

Secrets of the stage costume Online edition "Elements of Dance"

Outward entourage of dance performances for many is not the last argument to start dancing. A stage costume is a pass to the world of beauty and harmony for some, an opportunity to create a certain image for others and a way to show the dignity of your figure for others.

Choosing a dance costume is not so easy. It is not enough just to buy a beautiful dress. In each dance direction there are unspoken requirements for clothing, and in sports ballroom dancing there are strict rules at all. On the one hand, it is necessary to focus on them. On the other hand, you need to know a few secrets that will help you choose a costume that is ideal for the place, dance and person.

Is it important that the suit fits?
The stage costume has several tasks: to match the character of the dance and its style, to help reveal the intended image, to draw attention to the performance and make it more spectacular and memorable, to hide figure flaws and present the dancer in the most beneficial way.

There are many peculiarities in dance culture. One of them is the use of special clothing during the performance. Each direction has its own model range, traditions and even colors. Therefore, we so easily distinguish a representative of one dance style from another. Agree, it is difficult to confuse a b-boy with a classical dancer. Modern dances are strikingly different from ballroom or classical dances, not only in music and a set of movements, but also in clothing. Each type of dance involves the use of different fabrics for the stage costume and different shoes. Tango or waltz costumes have nothing to do with hip-hop clothes. The fabrics from which the outfits for oriental dances are sewn are completely different from the materials for go-go or, even more so, from the notorious jeans.

- Why does the stage costume have such a pronounced character?
- Women's and men's dancewear is part of the culture of the people, has its own history, closely related to the history of dance, its aesthetics and philosophy.

A bit of history
Take, for example, costumes for ballroom dancing. The history of the dances themselves began when interest in Latin American culture arose in European countries. Prudish England and frivolous France unexpectedly discovered a lot of interesting things in women's clothing, customs and culture of Latin Americans. And they found that the emotionality of their dances, plasticity and powerful energy deserve the closest attention and imitation. Having set the standards for ballroom dancing, Europe and the clothes for them were scrupulously designed, combining their own conservatism with the characteristic features of Latin American culture. Everything was carefully thought out: from styles to accessories.
The European costume for a partner was originally a short dress with a fluffy skirt. Light, airy fabrics were used for dresses, and nylon petticoats were used to preserve their shape. The costumes were decorated with sequins and embroidery. However, it was uncomfortable to dance in them, and European dancers very quickly realized that such clothes were not suitable for performing a fast dance. It was extremely inconvenient to take a quick step in it. The skirt, over time, became longer and more adjacent to the silhouette. But, the style lasted long enough - from the 20s and up to the 60s of the twentieth century.
Dresses, expanding to the bottom, appeared only in the early 90s. A long, flared skirt was sewn with frills and numerous frills, and to give shape, they were equipped with a petticoat with a fishing line. It turned out that feathers also hold the shape of a long fluffy skirt well, so they were often sewn on the bottom of the skirt. The most luxurious were considered ostrich feathers. Later, plumes were preferred to feathers.
And only recently the skirts of the partners have become as narrow as the performance of sports dance generally allows. Costumes were decorated with patterns of beads, embroidery and faceted stones.

The secrets of a spectacular ball costume
Preparing a suit for modern competitions is a very responsible task. The partner's dress plays an important role in highlighting the couple not only "against the background of the parquet". Since men's costumes are mostly the same, the entire responsibility for attracting and holding the attention of spectators and judges during those 2 minutes that the dance lasts lies with the partner's dress.

The choice of dress for performances largely depends on the rating of the competition. You cannot enter a prestigious competition in a cheap dress, this is considered a violation of the rules. The dress for the European program consists of several layers. The wordy skirt reaches full length (that is, to the ankles). The dress can have not only narrow sleeves, but also “wings”, and also be decorated with a train. Shoes must be matched to match the dress and decorated similarly to it in order to complete the set. In adult groups, it is allowed and even encouraged to decorate the dress with stones and rhinestones so that it sparkles under the bright beams of spotlights. Many dancers prefer to sew costumes for performances on their own and, with a certain talent, the most inimitable, unique things are obtained in this way, since the dress fully reflects the face and taste of the dancer and is distinguished by an exclusive design. Ballroom dancing provides one of the few opportunities for a woman to wear a gorgeous, feminine, flamboyant dance dress.

The main nuance is that the partner's dress for the European program must accurately reflect the style of the whole couple. If a couple is characterized by a smooth "English" performance, then a dress in the Spanish or gypsy style should not be chosen. This is where a classic dress comes in. A more temperamental "Italian" style will also require an appropriate style of the competition costume.

The main choice for the standard partners have to make from 5 styles:

Regular cut with year-round skirt. The most popular and common style, as it fits almost any figure and type. As a rule, plain fabrics are chosen for classic dresses or they are combined in similar colors. The basis of the silhouette is a strongly flared year skirt. The main fabric in it is combined with wedges from more airy, lighter fabrics. There are a lot of variations of the top of the dress. It can be a short open bodice with straps. The neckline should be shallow, or it may be a fitted, full-length dress with long sleeves. The bottom skirt can be decorated with feathers, rhinestones, voluminous ruffles, or not decorated at all.

Very showy dresses in Italian/Spanish style look great on temperamental brunettes. A dancer in such a dress is inevitably associated with Carmen. Characteristic features of the costume are lacing, corset, flounces, frills, lace and colors - red, black and white. A dress in the Spanish style should be with a V-shaped classic neckline on the back, with sleeves or even a stand-up collar. The image of a burning Spanish woman must be supplemented with an appropriate hairstyle, makeup and jewelry.

Many performers love gypsy style , which also suits mostly brunettes. Gypsy-style dress is made of fabric in a small floral pattern. Colors are black, red and purple. The peculiarity of this style is that the main fabric of the bodice covers the top of the skirt of the dress. Sleeves can be fitted or voluminous.

Drop-top dress. In this cut, the elongated bodice smoothly passes into the skirt, or the skirt is simply inserted into it with wedges. As a rule, in this style, the bodice of the dress should be different from the color of the skirt or be with a large pattern. The cut is “uncomfortable” for those partners who are tall relative to their partner and thin, as the elongated bodice visually stretches the figure.

Another style to be careful with is high waist dress . It is far from suitable for everyone and is more often chosen by partners, much lower than their partners. For such a dress, you must have an impeccable posture and a proportional figure. If there is even a barely noticeable stoop or the shoulders are a bit wide, then the dancer will look like a woman in an interesting position. However, if there are no such problems, then a rather rare style will favorably distinguish a couple from the rest. As a rule, the most striking detail of such an open-top dress is the ornate belt located under the bust.

For the Latin American program dresses of a completely different kind are chosen. They are united by seductiveness, emotionality, brightness and eroticism. The dress is required to emphasize the dynamism of the dance, which is facilitated by moving elements (fringe, frills, asymmetrical bottom) and a shortened length. The style of the dress, its decoration and color are dictated by the current ballroom fashion. Due to such subtlety as color, professional dancers can change costumes dozens of times during the year.

The color of the partner's dress largely determines the impression of the whole couple, so you need to choose it wisely. While adhering to fashion, you still can’t go against your personality and you need to focus, first of all, on colors that suit the type of appearance, and also take into account the structural features of the body and posture.

So, bright “felt-tip” colors (orange, lemon, light green, raspberry) are not for everyone. They can both add temperament to the partner and “kill” her individuality, draw all the attention to themselves, leaving no chance to appreciate the character and style of the dancer herself.

The red color, on the contrary, suits almost everyone, both brunettes and blondes, girls of a dense physique and thin ones. But, because this color is so versatile, it is also the most loved and chosen often. Therefore, having decided on a red dress, you run the risk of getting lost on the floor among the ladies in red. In qualifying rounds, this is not particularly beneficial. Although there is a way out. The designer can find the original model and choose an unusual shade of red, since there are many of them, as well as add interesting details to the dress.

One of the most capricious is orange. It is suitable only for partners of the oriental type, swarthy brunettes with bright makeup. Therefore, it is rarely chosen for younger groups of dancers. But for adult skinny girls, orange can be used to give the illusion of volume.

Peach, yellow and yellow-orange shades look good on almost everyone. But especially they go to slender blondes with different eye colors and skin types.

Raspberry and purple can be chosen for partners with a bright appearance and temperament. Green and blue are very expressive. Green "emerald" is universal, but other shades of green need to be selected individually. Blue, being a cold and conservative color, suits many people and looks great in competitive dresses.
But black and white colors are rarely chosen. Black is too strict, white is not practical.

When choosing the color of the competition dress, it is important not to make a common mistake - you cannot choose colors that are close to the color of the parquet. Sandy, beige, brownish shades are good on their own, but on the floor they make the partner faded and invisible.

It is necessary to look for your color thoughtfully and it is better to resort to the help of a designer.

bellydance costume, what to look for

Any dance costume should be comfortable and reliable. Not in the sense that it should be as strong as body armor. It will be enough that the suit is made of durable fabrics and tightly sewn. Indeed, in the dance the dancer moves (strange, isn't it?) The straps can break off and the seams come apart, in general, during any dance. But oriental costumes are distinguished by the fact that thin and capricious “creeping” fabrics are often used for them.
Rule one - it's better not to buy costumes for bellydance in resort towns in tourist shops. Behind external beauty, low quality is most often hidden here. If you are lucky, then such costumes will “crumble” not during the dance, but after the first wash. Make your choice in a specialty store or have a custom-made suit.

Please note that the quality of Turkish oriental dance costumes is better than that of Egyptian ones. At the time of purchase, be sure to check the presence of a wire frame in the bodice. Without it, the bodice will lose its shape very quickly. The size of the cup should fit you perfectly, only then the dance will look great.

An important detail in oriental costumes is the quality of fastening of finishing materials. If sequins, rhinestones, pebbles and beads are not firmly fixed, then from the characteristic dance movements they will crumble in front of the audience.

When choosing a belt for bellydance, it is very important to evaluate its weight. It is he who creates the load on the muscles during the dance. The more weight - the more serious the load, however, a belt that is too light does not make it possible to feel the work of the hips.

Modern dance costumes: stage wear or everyday wear?

Modern dance is different in that most dancers do not separate the style of their daily life from the chosen dance style. Accordingly, they accept and love the style of clothing that accompanies this direction. In fact, it is not only a stage costume, but also everyday wear. Jerk followers wear skinny jeans and bright accessories, C-Walk is distinguished by plus size clothing, white t-shirts, plaid shirts, bandanas, hip-hopers look “baggy”, and R&B accompanies glamour. In choosing any costume, it is important to capture the nature of the dance and follow its traditions.

Dance group "Together with the sun"

Dance is an art! Dance is life! On the stage, dancers paint a picture with the help of movements and convey the art of movement to the auditorium - the viewer. Dance can express a feeling that cannot be expressed in words.

Dance is a guide to the human body. By learning to dance, everyone finds their own key to discovering their health and personality.

Dance is emotions! Emotions transformed into movements that we can express without hesitation. The emotions of each person can be bright and not very, suppressed or not. Dancing, a person has the opportunity to feel like a hero of various fairy tales and adventures!

Our team "Together with the Sun" will be 3 years old on March 21! During this time we have become 1st and 2nd degree laureates and diploma winners at numerous regional, Russian and international competitions and festivals.

Since March 1, 2020, our dance project has been implemented with the financial support of the Presidential Grants Fund as part of the project "Just Like You" of the CITY of HOPE.

I would like to introduce you to our friendly team.

Schipilina Daria

Our Dashulya is the most radiant and emotional girl in our team, she has been with us from the very beginning. Our lighter. Dashulya lives by dancing and the stage, giving the audience an extravaganza of positive emotions. Her charm leaves no one indifferent. In addition to dancing, Dasha goes to school, attends the creative workshop "Steps" and visits the model school with great pleasure. Since September 2019 Dasha has been a model of CELEBRITY MODEL GROUP. We are all sure that our Dashenka will definitely have many victories.

Ivan Vovchenko

Our Ivan is the most colorful, inquisitive and versatile member of our team. He does not like to sit idle, even when he eats, the other hand creates! His main quality is haste, he wants to do everything quickly. Ivan is also a big dreamer, lives in a fairy tale and dreams of becoming a captain. Ivan takes care of animals, helps his parents with household chores. With great pleasure mastering the computer and skiing. Dancing for Ivan is part of his fantasy, surrounded by brilliant girls he is immersed in another fairy tale! Every time he feels like a prince at the ball.

Maria Bessonova

Our Masha is the most serious and responsible girl in our team. Masha lives by dancing and gives herself entirely to them. She loves to perform and looks forward to every appearance on stage. In addition to dancing, Masha goes to school, attends Sunday school, loves to sing karaoke, read, travel, swim. Masha has three brothers with whom she loves to play dress-up, dressing up in various costumes, and playing entire premieres. Masha takes classes very seriously, and we believe that her skills will reach the highest results.

Ksenia Golunova

Ksenia is the most gentle and shy girl in our team. She has been dancing for a little over a year. She is the youngest of the girls. At first, she did not show much interest in classes, but a year ago, when she first saw the performance of her friend Lyosha in the “Cats” dance, everything changed: Ksyusha said that she wanted that too. During this year, thanks to dancing, Ksyusha matured, became more disciplined, realized that sometimes you need to make an effort and continue to rehearse, even when you don’t feel like it anymore or don’t really like the dance. She found new friends in the team who help her and support her. During the year, Ksyusha performed on stage six times and participated in one of the competitions. This is not much, but this is already her victory - it's not so easy to go dancing in front of the audience. Dancing is not Ksenia's only hobby: she works out in the pool, and began to master skiing. Like most children, Ksyusha loves to draw. She willingly helps her mother in the kitchen - she especially loves to bake something and treat her friends. Ksyusha has great potential, she becomes confident and independent. We have no doubt that she has a great future.

Prutskova Vera

Vera is the most disciplined and kind girl in our team. Everyone is friends with her. Verochka has been in our team since the very first day. For Vera, dancing means a lot, she loves to dance and perform. Vera learns to overcome fatigue, fear and everything in order to go on stage and dance. Vera has a full, happy, active life: she sculpts pictures from dough, learns music, draws, decoupage, learns to cook, loves to play on a tablet and with dolls, building complex plots, speaking for them in different voices, goes to school, knows how to read , write, count. And most importantly, she has many friends both among ordinary children and among our “special” children. Vera is a smart and talented girl who makes those around her happy.

Nashaev Musa

Musa is the most active boy in our team. He is constantly on the move, very fond of rhythmic music and dancing. Musa has been dancing in our team for a year. During this time he has learned a lot. Previously, Musa danced from the heart and it doesn’t matter if it’s right or not, the main thing is that he was happy on stage. Now he has become more disciplined, attentive, learned to listen and perform - this is very important for any child. Musa attends rehearsals with pleasure, tries and waits for new performances. Musa's interests are not limited to dancing, he learns to swim, goes skiing, goes to school, loves to read and, of course, box with his older brothers. Musa is a very gentle boy who loves his mother and all his loved ones very much. Musa has many more achievements and victories ahead.

Alexey Petrov

Our Alexey is the kindest and calmest member of our team, he has been studying for a little over a year, but he already successfully performs at events and even participated in the competition. After the first applause of the audience, he could no longer be held back, he did not want to leave the stage at all. Lyosha performs with great pleasure, but how he began to like dressing up in bright dance costumes! At home, he arranges chairs next to the impromptu stage and invites everyone to the concert again and again. Lyosha has a younger sister Nastenka, he loves her very much and constantly takes care of her. In addition to dancing, Lyosha is engaged in a creative workshop and attends school, goes skiing. Takes on new things with great pleasure. Always looking forward to meeting his friends from the dance group.

Dolkowska Maria

Our Maria is the most versatile girl. Masha has been in our team for a long time. She goes to rehearsals with pleasure, quickly grasps all the movements and repeats them very well. While Masha lives in stage fright and she is very afraid to perform. But we believe that she will cope and nevertheless will go on stage with us. Everyone has their time, you just have to wait. Our Masha not only loves to dance, she goes to school, decoupage with great pleasure, learns to play the piano, swims, draws, learns to cook.

Anastasia Danilova

Anastasia is a very positive girl, she is always in a good mood. Nastya quickly joined the team, learned all the dances and already performs with pleasure. Nastya loves dancing very much, she can dance for hours in front of a mirror. She is extremely happy that she got into the solar team. When she performed for the first time in front of the audience, she was in seventh heaven with happiness. Nastya goes to school, also goes to the pool, learns to play the synthesizer. She loves to meet her friends and play with them. In good weather, he likes to ride a bike and a scooter. We are confident that Nastya will continue to shine on stage with success.

Alexander Gutov

Sasha is a very kind and musical boy. Sasha has been in our team for a little less than a year.

Learn more