The two belly dance costumes that I bought in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey in July 2000 both had an edging made of cup sequins and rocaille beads along the edges of the skirt and veil. One of these is shown in the photo to the right. I made a pair of pantaloons to wear with the skirt, and added the edging to make them match. Here are instructions on how you too can put this quick-and-easy trim on your own costumes.
Click on the photo to the right to see this costume in more detail.
Photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.
This edging is so easy that even someone who is new to sewing can quickly master it!
- Rocaille Beads or Seed Beeds. Size 8 or 10 (this is the size sold in the plastic packages labelled as rocaille or seed beads). Look for these in craft stores such as Michael's, or the craft departments of fabric stores. They're also sold in stores that specialize in supplies for making beaded jewery.
- Sequins. My costumes were made using the faceted cup-shaped sequins, 8 mm in diameter. I suppose you could use the flat style or a different size if you wanted to, but I really liked the effect of the cup-style and 8 mm size, so I encourage you to use the same. Look for these in craft stores such as Michael's, or the craft departments of fabric stores.
- Thin Needle. It needs to fit through those tiny beads!
- Thread. Any thread will do, but for strength you might consider nylon beading thread, called filo.
- Beeswax.This is optional. Its purpose is to prevent your thread from tangling and knotting. If you don't sew very much it's a good idea to use this because it'll make your thread easier to manage. It is sold in the "Notions" department of fabric stores--ask a store employee to help you find it.
How to Do It
Cut a length of thread no longer than about 24 inches. Thread the needle. If you choose to use beeswax to prevent tangles, run your thread across the edge of the cake to lightly coat it. Knot the end of your thread.
Starting at one edge of the garment, poke the needle into the wrong side of the fabric and draw it through to the right. Thread the underside of the sequin onto the needle, followed by 4 rocaille beads, followed by the top side of a second sequin.
Poke the needle through to the wrong side of the fabric about 1/2 inch (or 15 mm) away from where it emerged.
Bring the needle back to the right side about 1/4 inch (or 5 mm) away from where it passed through before.
Again, thread a sequin, 4 beads, and another sequin, and send it back to the wrong side.
Continue in this manner until you've covered the entire edge of the garment.
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