Sewing for belly dance

sewing and tailoring

How to make a basic dress

This dress is made out of glitter dot two way stretch fabric, lurex lame, and tassles.  Very easy starter project.  But you will need a friend to help with fitting


You will need:

enough glitter dot fabric to measure from your shoulders to the floor (twice that if the fabric doesn't reach around you on the cut end)

enough lurex lame (or chiffon, or any other attractive fabric for the inserts) to co-ordinate with glitter dot, to measure from about 3 inches above your knee to the floor.

1 meter of 1 in wide non-roll waistband elastic


safety pins ( for fitting)



First make the straps.  Cut off two and a half inches of fabric.  Make a long narrow 1 inch tube with this piece, turn it right side out, insert the elastic into the tube  and then cut it in half.  The elastic gives the fabric enough body to hold the dress up without making the straps too stiff.  Sew the ends of the finished strap piece to keep elastic in place, then sew across the center 1/2 inch apart  , this is where you cut to make two straps.


Sew full length of glitter dot fabric to make a tube.  The red is the glitter (right side) of the fabic for all illustrations.  The blue is the glitter side turned in to the body.   Be sure with all stretch fabric to stretch as you sew or the thread will break when you try to wear it.  If you find it too hard, sew the line, then strectch the fabric so you break some threads, then resew the line while stretching it.  The first line of stitching should have enough stitches still caught to keep it together while you sew.  For larger sizes.........Sew two lengths of fabric together at sides to make tube , follow the rest of the instructions, your fittings for shape will be on the side seams.  You will not have a back seam.

Roll the top down 1 inch two times.  Roll , then roll again.  Sew around the edge as you would hem a pair of pants.  Be sure to stretch as you sew.

Now get your buddy.  It's time for fitting. Pull on the tube inside out, just like it is.  The seam you sewed is in the very center of the back. Mark the center of the front.  Pin on straps  to cover your bra straps.   Get your friend to pin the sides with the safety pins to fit your body under the arms to taper off nicely at the hip ( what you are actually doing is making large darts down the sides of the dress for fit).  You are pinning  parts with no seams so be careful to keep it as even as possible .  Keep checking the back seam to make sure it is hanging straight.   Keep adjusting the straps  so they stay over the bra.   Slide the dress off once or twice to make sure it is not too tight.  It should fit something like a tube top , but not as tight, the straps are holding the dress up.  See what I mean about needing a friend!!!!!

Sew these side seams as pinned ( making sure you can get the dress on and off first).  Serge or zig zag about 1/2 inch from stitch line and trim excess fabric.  Next sew across the straps at top of dress and at the bottom of the rolled down part of the tube front and back as in diagram step 2.   

Put on dress right side as you would wear it , fold down center place marked in front to give V-shape in front and sew up and down in that spot, the length of the rolled down part.  Hand stitch tassels in place, following the V.  Get your friend to pin the length of the hem on bottom.  If you hem it now the dress can be finished. 

If you want the inserts mark a point above your knee where you want the insert to end ( remember if you use sheer fabric try to keep the inserts low in the dress as you will see whatever is behind, I personally like to keep "whatever" not to mention my "behind" to myself!).   Use a measuring tape to measure from hem to marking on thigh.  Go to Inserts on purchased dress page of this website.

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