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BD Patterns, 735 East Washington Avenue, El Cajon, CA 92020
3. Canadian Shantell Powell has a book called The Omphalo-Stepses Belly Dance Costuming Book. Shantell shows you how to make a variety of skirts and veils, as well as basic belt, harem pants, Cleopatra Headpiece, and Turkish-Macedonian Vest. To see a detailed description of Shantellís book and even some free patterns, check out her web site. I havenít seen the book myself, but the patterns on her web site are clear and easy to understand and should be good for the beginner. Iíve included a direct link to her costume page below. Each book is $10 CAD plus shipping.
Shantell Powell, PO Box 20201, Fredericton NB, Canada E3B 7A2
4. MEDANZ is the Middle Eastern Dance Association of New Zealand. Iíve included this web site because if provides free patterns, including a hard-to-find pattern for a khaleegy thobe. MEDANZ also provides general information on costuming ideas and various styles.
5. Dawn Devine Brown is probably the best known author on Middle Eastern costuming.
Costuming from the Hip, her breakthrough book, is a detailed reference for all types of Middle Eastern dance costuming. It includes instructions on designing clothes and making your own patterns. Topics include ethnic, folkloric, tribal, cabaret styles, and a special section on menís dancewear.
From Turban to Toe Ring is focused on Tribal Dancewear. It includes sections on designing cholis, decorating bras, and making pants and skirts. There is also a large section on tribal jewelry and henna mixing and application.
Bedlah, Baubles, and Beads is her newest book, focusing exclusively on the "cabaret" style costume. This book is a good reference for designing a beaded bra and belt. It contains hundreds of tips, hints, and directions to help you make a professional beaded bra and belt costume.
Each of these books is $20 US and available at numerous vendors.
Dawn Devine Brown, PO Box 221, Roseville CA 95678-1312
6. Julie Elliot, better known as Shira, has created an amazing web site, The Art of Middle Eastern Dance, full of information on Middle Eastern Dance. Shira has a special section entitled Costume Corner which includes the history of costumes, how to create your own costume, sewing tips and an "Ask the Costume Goddess" section by Dina Lydia. You will find numerous free patterns and ideas for making your own costume, as well as links to other costuming sites.
In my opinion this is one of the best, if not the best, web site on Middle Eastern Dance. It is packed with information on "everything" that Julie has researched and double-checked for authenticity. Definitely worth checking out.
Donít worry about buying the "right" pattern. Patterns for particular styles do not vary that much. A circle skirt pattern is the same no matter who provides it. Itís the style that differs - e.g. circle skirt and petal skirt. Thatís why I suggest printing out the free patterns provided. Once you have these patterns or create your own from their directions, thereís no need to buy. Experiment on cheap material first, such as muslin, to iron out any complications or problems, and donít forget to keep your pattern for next time.
Good luck and happy sewing!