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 1890s.
- 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
- 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.