Ever wondered if the process of making a belly dance costume could be made faster and easier? Mao from Sparkly Belly had a brilliant idea: create kits that include everything to make beaded appliqués. A needle, thread, beads, rhinestones, the pattern outlined on a felt base and step by step instructions. I received a free kit for reviewing purposes and that is exactly what this post is about 😉
I received the kit in the mail in May. It fits inside a envelope and came all the way from Japan.
After opening the envelope I found neat package with a color image of the finished product in a plastic bag. The bag contained enough material and instructions to make one large and two small appliqués. I got the paisley set in brown and gold.
The beads are labeled separate with corresponding steps in the instruction. I was all set and ready to go right after unpacking. All I needed was a bit of free time to get started. As you can see, the pattern on the felt is already added.
Sewing these appliqués is super easy. The beads are high quality: they were all in perfect shape. No peeled paint or chipped rhinestones. I also like the choice of using larger beads for the outline as it speeds up the process. For my own appliqués I usually edge in seed beads, which takes more time. Working on the appliqués during the day when my 3 year old daughter was playing in the same room, the sparkly beads drew her attention. ‘Ohh, shiny!’ she proclaimed, ‘rabbit likes it!’
I invited her rabbit to try sewing beads and she accepted. So here you go, a picture of a plush rabbit working on a belly dance costume. Costuming is better if it includes cuddly animals 😉
Despite the meticulous instructions I goofed a bit on one of the appliqué because I just started sewing instead of reading the instructions. As you can see below, the outline of the smaller appliqué on the left looks a bit wonky compared to the one on the right. I also didn’t like the scattering of beads on the left one so I undid some of the beading to redo it. This is also very easy. The instructions are perfect for complete beginners and if you follow them the finished item will look exactly as the product image.
After making the three appliqués I had a couple of beads leftover as you can see in the picture above. I haven’t found a purpose for using them in a costume yet, but they are very beautiful and look great with many different colors and types of costumes. For example I put them on this fixer upper bedlah for a visual and it instantly looks great.
I loved working with this set. It was fast, easy and fun. Were there things that I would like to have changed? Yes, but they are mostly personal preferences. For example, I prefer a thicker felt base for my appliqués because I like the weight and feel. The felt included in the kit works perfectly and is more flexible due to being thinner.
For my level of expertise, I wouldn’t need all the beads labeled separately, and the instructions could have been less detailed. That’s why this is a great kit for inexperienced costume makers.
My last point is that when I was done with the appliqués and I thought about how to use them in a costume I didn’t have extra beads to make more or complimentary beading. However, the package contains detailed description of the type of beads and the size that were used. If I wanted to create a whole costume I could buy extra beads online.
I would highly recommend these kits as they make great gifts, are fun and easy and they come in various shapes and sizes.
Want to try? You can get your beaded appliqué kit here.
I am a professional bellydancer, costume-a-holic and dance studio owner living in the Netherlands. My passion is teaching and performing bellydance and I’ve been doing that for almost two decades. I am a teacher at the online Belly Dance Business Academy, where you can find courses and workshops to help you grow your belly dance business. If you like to be kept in the loop, please like Kyria Bellydance on Facebook , follow me on Twitter or find me on Instagram.