Bedlah Baubles and Beads

Product Details:
Ibexa Press
Pub. Date: 
ISBN-10: 0615507042
ISBN-13: 978-0615507040
Book Size: 8 x 10 inches
Page Count: 138 pages
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
Color: Black and White
MSRP: $22.95 USDBuy from Amazon.comBedlah Baubles and Beads back cover
Bedlah, Baubles and Beads
By Dawn Devine and Barry Brown

Bedlah, Baubles and Beads is a book about designing and crafting the elaborate bra and belt sets worn by contemporary belly dancers. Also known as “dance oriental” and “raks sharki,” belly dancing has numerous sub-styles that are defined not only by their movement vocabulary, but also by their distinctive costuming.

The first part of the book provides a conceptual framework by starting with a history of this costuming style and its origins here in the United States. From there, it concentrates on introducing the reader to design principles, methods, and techniques for developing figure-flattering styles.

The second part presents the materials, tools, and processes for putting together an elaborately decorated bra and belt set. Step-by-step illustrations for applying beads, a fabric shopping guide, and directions for constructing the bra and belt bases are all illustrated with descriptive diagrams to aid the reader.

Finally, the book finishes with a portfolio of styles and ideas for expanding the performance wardrobe. From skirts to accessories, these chapters introduce the essential garments that transform the bra and belt into a complete costume.

Detailed topics include:

  • Overview of history of belly dance costume in the US since the 1890’s
  • Design portfolio of today’s most common styles.
  • An introduction to the principles and elements of design and how to use them to create the best costume for your figure,dance technique and performance style.
  • Directions for making high-quality bedlah, from concept to finished costume.
  • Detailed directions for creating covered bras and belt bases that fit perfectly, are sturdy and prepared for further decoration.
  • Instructions for doing surface beading and making beaded fringe including supplies list and technqiues for developing design motifs and patterns.
  • Step-by-step illustrations of beading techniques, including back stitch, couching, tambour beading, scatter beading, and more.
  • A catalog of costume parts and pieces to pair with your handcrafted bedlah sets to create a complete ensemble.
An extensive bibliography and a list of mail-order resources is included.


About the Author – Dawn Devine
Dawn Devine is a costume historian and belly dancer living in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. She has been dancing for over fifteen years and has been designing historical costumes nearly all her life. She has degrees in both Art History and Fashion Design.

For more information visit her website: