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Narah ~ Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Performer and Instructor

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  • Patterns  (click to decompress the list)

    1. Aziza Sa'id has directions for making basic "harem pants", which could be used for making the typical 4 yard pantaloons.  Use the "inside seam" version and 4 yards of fabric.   I usually pleat the top to reduce bulk, then sew down the pleats to make a smoother casing for the drawstring/elastic.  

    2. Choli 1-  

    3. Choli - Not the pattern I use, but this will get you started.

    4. Choli info - I got some information at ? from Bhairavi ( maybe I found it on the SCA India list?  Email's listed on the info sheet ...) on choli history. 

    5. Beladi dress - Another old Veil and Drum article Neefa wrote.   Fabric recommendations:  linen, raw silk, cotton

    6. Aba - A diagram from another old Veil and Drum article.    I've added notes at the bottom for general construction.  Makes a great cover up for Tribal dancers going to a performance or something to keep SCA folks warm in ME garb.  Fabric recommendations:  raw silk, cotton, wool, linen, line with muslin, china silk, etc

    7. Egyptian tunic - Pattern I've drawn out and described the steps to making.  It is based on a 1315 drawing and a friend's  research she shared with me.  I also base it on all the other rectangular construction I've seen for many period garments. 

    8. Persian tunic - Add enough length to the Egyptian tunic to make it ankle length and wahla!  You have a tunic such as those worn in 8th and 9th C. Persia.  Later on, fitted coats were worn over these. 

    9. Circle Skirt - Shira has given details on how to make a circle skirt.  Note that she specifies different fabric for Tribal costuming.   I use 4 half circles and 10 yards of fabric for my circle skirts. 

    10. Tiered Skirt - I wish I remembered who the generous lady who posted this somewhere on an internet list/tribe was... If anyone knows, please tell me so I can credit her here.  Rayon, cotton gauze and haboti silk (8 - 10 mm) work well.

    11. Shalwar - Picture and directions I put together.  Shalwar were (and still are) worn in India, the Near and Middle East and North Africa.

    12. Ottoman Women's Clothing

    13. Cowrie shell tassel tutorial  http://www.tribalbellydance.org/resources/cowriefalls.html

    14. If you aren't familiar with Middle Eastern patterns, stick with solids. I personally think jewel and earth tones work best- pastels work better for cabaret style costuming.

      * A note about friction: especially when thinking about the pants and skirt, consider what materials will stick together, and what materials will slip next to each other. You do want your pants and skirt to slip next to each other (trust me, when all that fabric gets stuck together, it's bad), so you do not want to use 2 sticky fabrics, such as cotton or raw silk for the pants and cotton gauze for the skirt. You do want to use either a sticky fabric and a slippery fabric or 2 slippery fabrics. So, good combos are silk pants, silk skirt or cotton or raw silk pants and silk skirt or silk pants and cotton gauze skirt. Clear as mud?  The hip scarf should usually be sticky.   It will help your other hip adornments stay in place.  The same concepts apply with other layers, but are really most important to think about with the skirt and pants.

  • Materials  (click to decompress the list)

    1. I love using natural fabrics, and cost (you'll see some things aren't as expensive as you thought) and availability shouldn't be an excuse not to use them (again, just a happy customer):

      For black or white raw silk, china/haboti silk, silk and cotton gauze, etc. see Silk Connection
      Haboti silk dyes wonderfully on the stovetop, and cotton gauze in the washing machine. See a Rit dye chart for mixing colors you usually don't find in the store.  Also see Jacquard acid dyes at www.dharmatrading.com.

      For other colors of haboti and raw/noil silk (and more), go to Thai silks

    2. I haven't purchased anything from them, but this is a good price for linen:

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