Ahlan - Welcome!  This month we have simple instructions, with lots of pictures, on how to make a dance costume suitable for all ages and all sizes; news of a fun workshop; an easy to enter competition and more so please enjoy!
Make your own
Greek Goddess

Inspired Costume
This month I was honoured to be invited to be the Guest Dancer at Arabesque Nights - a themed monthly hafla in London.  The theme was My Big Phat Greek Night. Wanting to incorporate the theme into my performance I found myself, the night before, making a Greek Goddess inspired costume - luckily it was a SUCCESS and proved popular.  A few people asked me how I made it, so I decided to share my method in this month's Zameena - ENJOY !!  

Let's Make A Greek Goddess Costume!

What you'll need: 

This is a really easy costume to make and requires very little sewing skills. You will need: 5-10 meters (depending on your size and whether you need to double up to stop transparency of flimsy fabrics. I used 5 metres of chiffon and used it double but there was none left over) of white material,  waist elastic, a tape measure, pins, scissors, sewing machine, thread and needle, a plunge bra and a carpeted floor/rug.
NOTE: If you need to Zoom into the pictures just hold down "Ctrl" & "+" keys on your keyboard and then "Ctrl" & "-" to zoom back out.
Making the skirt: 
1) Measure from the floor to your hip. This is your "FLOOR LENGTH" 
2) Then measure around your HIPS. Divide that number by four and take away 2" or 5cm if using metric - this is your "WAIST LENGTH"
3) Add your "FLOOR"  & "WAIST LENGTH"  together and roll out that amount of material and pin it to the floor.
4)  Then fold the material back over itself and then back again - so you have 3 layers of the material pinned to the floor in a rectangle / square. 
5) Cut off the excess material. 
6) Then on the right side of your rectangle of material also cut along one of the folds (leaving one fold)
7) Pin your tape measure to the the left top corner of your rectangle (as a pivot) then slide your tape-measure around whilst sticking a pin to mark your "WAIST LENGTH" and "FLOOR LENGTH" along the way - do this all the way around. 
8) Cut away the material out side of the pins - you should be left with one large half circle and then a smaller piece of material (You may want to hem the sides at this point - or seal then with a candle flame do practice on scrap material first)
9) Sew the two sides of the small piece of material to the larger piece BUT only sew down  about 20cm or 8"  as this will give you two slits at the front of your skirt. 
10) Loop a piece of elastic around your hips so that it is slightly TIGHT (when the material is attached it's weight will pull and make it bigger) then cut the elastic and sew it together WELL
11) Put the elastic around YOU (I have used a dummy to make taking pictures easy) and pin the slit seams on to the elastic  so that they sit above the centre of your legs.  Also pin the centre of the big piece of material to the centre of elastic at your back.  Then tuck the skirt into the elastic all around so gathers are evenly distributed and the the length is the same all the way round and pin it in place. 
12) Sew the skirt to the elastic, being sure to PULL THE ELASTIC TAUNT when sewing it together. 
SKIRT MADE !!  (If you need a double skirt, repeat steps 1 - 9 and put two skirts together as in  my double layer chiffon skirt.)
Make the bra: 
1)You need an old white bra that has a lunge shape and that FITS YOU WELL. Always, when making costumes, use a bra that fits you well - you must feel secure in it and look good for your performance. Cut the straps off at the back and then tie them around the back of your neck so it gives you a good cleavage. 
2) Take a long length of material (double it up if needed) that is wider than your breast by about 1.5x (if you want more gathers use wider material) then tuck the material under the cup of the bra and arrange the gathers. Pin in place.
3) Then pull the length of material around your neck and tuck under the other cup of your bra so it is tight around neck.  Again pin in place 
4) Take the bra off and sew the material TUCKED Into the bra on to the inside of the bra - I sewed this by hand. 
5) Cut away excess material. 
6) Use left over material to make two tubes wide enough for the two sides of your bra back  to go in and use them to cover the sides of the bra with or without gathers aswished and sew in place making sure to cover sides of bra cup.  
7) Customise your bra by sewing rows of beads, pearls and chains to the sides of the cups to form a drape and one row to the centre of the bra.  (WHY not use Christmas beads they are cheap - gold or silver!)
Then add a pure coin belt (GOLD OR SILVER) from Zara's Zouk and some pearls or a crown to your head to get a Greek belly dance look.... (crown from Sharie-Marie Tiaras
Alternatively you could team it with a Pharonic belt and collar  set  from Zara's Zouk to give you an Egyptian Queen look!! 
coin belts
Coin Belts from 
Zara's Zouk
made in Egypt these belts are so versatile and really make a costume look great!
ONLY £18.99

Zara's Zouk accessories
Pharonic Sets and accessories
all hand beaded -

Treat yourself and become an Egyptian Queen -
Starting at only £6.99
how can you not !! 
The dance of the people for the people...

My Shaabi Workshop will be coming to London this October! 
Not only will you be learning a fun upbeat choreography, this workshop will be exploring Egyptian Shaabi dance styles from its origins to the styles that have been happening on the streets since the revolution in Egypt.  This workshop will also teach you the natural audience interaction techniques, that are key to a show stopping Shaabi performance but will also be an invaluable tool for any of your performances.   Shaabi is fast becoming a popular bellydance style so get learning and add a Shaabi number to your repertoire! 

The workshop is ONLY £20 book now 
This is excellent value for money, for 2hrs packed with so much!
All welcome: Some parts of the choreo are harder than others but all levels will benefit.

20th Oct  2- 4pm - The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London  WC1H 9PY 

workshop Shaabi book now

"I personally learnt so much from Zara; not only the thrilling and brilliant choreography itself, not only dance skills to use in any choreography, but also and perhaps most importantly, how to tap into one’s personality to use in performance. To truly feel like you when you are dancing. I cannot recommend Zara enough - she truly makes you believe you can be the dancer you dream to be and for that she is a blessing."  Hannah (Suhana), Oxford

Watch a video of Zara dancing Shaabi

This Shaabi choreograph will also be featuring in Performance Mastery’s Bellydance production of Aladdin and at least 4 girls, if interested,  from the workshop will get to perform this in the show and tour with the production (and do two other dances in the show!) (photo above Â© exumbra 2012)
- - - Competition - - -
We hope we have inspired you to have a go at making a costume.  To inspire you further, we have a competition with a chance for you to WIN a Pharonic choker, bracelet and earrings (1st prize) or a faux pearl necklace and goddess earrings (2nd plrize).
Just CLICK HERE and send us an email telling us:   
What is the capital of Greece?
Open to Zameena subscribers only. (That's you if this came to you via email!). All correct entries will be put into a lucky dip and the 2 winners will be drawn on 29th October and notified by email and named (first name and area only) in next month's Zameena. 
Oh and here's a pic of the 2 prizes:
win this month
win - win - win - win - win - win 
Write the 7th of December in your diaries
as Zara's Zouk will be having a day of
Bellydance DANCE and of course FUN, FASHION & FOOD
more details to come next month - hope to see you all there! 
Do you have a white costume? If you have a white costume which is starting to look a bit grubby don't despair.  Most costumes, even the extravagantly beaded professional ones, can be gently washed by hand in cool water with soap suds. After a wash treat with a fabric whitener.  You find these on the supermarket detergent shelves.  Read the label to make sure it is suitable for the fabric of your costume.  I usually use one advertised for bringing white nylon underwear back to brilliant white and believe me it does just that to my white costume!
It is best to do this on a bright, windy day so your costume dries easily. Dry it flat. Do not hang it if it is heavily beaded or  it may stretch.
Ohh! Don't forget to do your white veils too!  (photo Krystina Bellydance )
OCTOBER 14th /15th is a special time for Muslims so if you are celebrating we wish you.... Eid-al Adha Mubarak!  If you want to know more about Eid-al-Adha click here for a short explanation.
We have shared with you all our juicy sewing secrets and tips - so why not share us with all your lovely friends and tell them to sign up for Zameena?  Links below ............

Hope you enjoyed the newsletter, love and shimmes, Zara & Sandra  xx 
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