From Sashes to Bedlah – Quick and Easy Bra and Belt Part 1


Taking a moment from the production of my new collaborative book project, Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage.  I’m going to be performing at a show on April 10, and am thinking of whipping up a quick bra and belt set and considered using some assiut.  However, I should be working on items that can appear in the upcoming book, so I’ve switched gears and am making a simple bra and hip belt out of a trio of affordable coin belts which just arrived in the mail.  This hip sashes transformed into bedlah set is of the easiest “first costume” projects.  I’ll be taking photos of this project for the new book, and we will be including directions in chapter 10 of the upcoming book. We’ve already made Sara Shrapnell’s version, which she has affectionately dubbed her “Treasure Chest” costume and with luck, each of us authors will have a version of this costume by the time this book project is finished!Sara-HipWrap-BW-WEB

Quick and Easy Bra and Belt Set

Materials Needed:

2-4 hip sashes for the outer covering
1 lingerie bra to use as a base for the finished costume bra
1 yard buckram for belt base
1/2 yard of fleece for belt base
5 yards of grosgrain ribbon to reinforce belt base and make straps
Fabric Glue to prep the embellishment for cutting into pieces
Thread to match the color of the hip sashes
Hooks and eyes for closures
Sewing Kit – Scissors, hand sewing needles, thread conditioner, pins, thimble, dark and light marking pencils
Sewing equipment – Sewing machine, ironing board

Step One – Find Inspiration & Do Research
When you decide that you are going to make this style of costume, your first step is to research your options, in other words, go shopping.  Find a point of inspiration.  For me, I’ve already been working on putting together a purple, black and silver costume.  I have two, fluffy and full tiered dancing skirts one in purple and one in black with purple stitching.  These two existing skirts are underutilized in my wardrobe, so I searched for three matching hip sashes to craft a bedlah.  The internet is a vast, vast place.  Shop your favorite belly dance vendors, at your local mall, and digital outlets like ebay, etsy or even

Step Two – Assemble the Materials
Once you have a design in mind, and have sourced the materials and supplies, it’s time to make a shopping list.  Be sure to “shop your stash” for things you may have in your collection already.  If you are working under a tight budget, be sure to keep your bottom line in mind!  As a professional costumer, I buy grosgrain ribbon, buckram, and closures in wholesale quantities and prices, so I’ve always got these items around. But if you’re picking things up at your local fabric store, try as much as possible, to capitalize on sales and special offers.

Next week, I will continue working on this project,
Until then ~ Happy Costuming and Dance,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
April 1, 2016

PS – Be sure to visit Sara’s website for more details about our upcoming book!




Cover_Design_2015 WEBComing Soon!



Window Shopping – Post Rakkasah West 2016

Just a few short weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Rakkasah West 2016.  One of the ensembles I spotted, and absolutely fell in love with, were the costumes worn by troupe Neshee Dolu.  This troupe is directed by my friend Sara Shrapnell, belly dance instructor and my co-author for the upcoming “Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage.”   What I fell in love with is how simple and elegant these ensembles look on a wide variety of body types.  Since I know her troupe will be wearing different costumes next year, I think I may have to pick up one of these ensembles for myself.  If you find this ensemble appealing for yourself, or your troupe, scroll blow this image for click-through links to the Dahlal website.

Happy Costuming,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina



Belly Dance - Window Shopping



Costumer’s Notes Magazine Moves to a New Home

Hello Gang!

Just a little bit of news today.  We have moved the 2013 special edition of Davina’s Costumer’s Notes to the platform.  This is a great place for finding, reading, and sharing magazines and great features allowing folks to flip through magazines and enjoy the visual content.  Issuu now also offers a print option, and we made the choice to move from our old hosting service because it offers more versatility and more options to print in color or black/white, in two sizes, and either as a book or a magazine.  I want to help my readers get the best value possible!   But really, it’s just so pretty to look at and easy to read on the Issuu site, I had to move it.

It is my hope that you will enjoy this magazine and come back for future projects that I will be sharing via the Issuu site in the coming months!

Thank you so very much for your continued support and readership. Enjoy!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Feb. 29, 2016