How to make a belly dance fusion hipscarf with ruffled trim

Like everyone else I am uncluttering. In my stash I found fabric and trim remnants from fusion hipscarves from a student recital. I am in need of silent hipscarves for teaching and I need bright colors that show up well on video. And while I’m sewing I might as well create a post so you can create one too! There are a couple of neat tricks in this post, including how to finish edges and how to create ruffles. Let’s get started!

Materials

  • Fabric for the base (app. 50 x 110 cm)
  • Satin ribbon for the ties: 250 cm long, 5 cm wide
  • For the ruffle: woven fabric, app. 20 x150 cm
  • Various lace trim (app. 2 meters for the lowest trim and 1.5 m for the upper trim)
  • matching and contrasting thread

This project can be done by hand but I recommend using a sewing machine.

Step 1: The base

In this case I layered a lace fabric on top of a blue satin fabric. Securing the layers in place with pins, I used a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch to sew them together. Make sure to pin while laying flat. Fold the ribbon in half and mark the center with a pin. Mark the center of your hipscarf and match the pins. Stitch the two together. Due to the double layers and the satin being slippery it was hard to keep everything straight, so pin like your life depends on it!

View of the seams on the back, showing the the finished hem on the left and the unfinished hem on the right

Step 2: Making ruffled trim

Here’s a secret I learned from making historic costumes. Victorian costumes have a lot of lace and trim, and it usually covers quite a large area. The sleeves, the hems, the skirt, there’s trim everywhere. Buying trim is very expensive, and it was common to create various types of decorative trim from fabric. And that’s what I did for the ruffled trim.

Victorian fantail skirt
This is me going all Gothic with a Victorian fantail skirt with tons of trim. Maybe 2005? Good times.

Take your base fabric, a woven satin fabric in this case. Use a simple household item to measure out the width. Or use a tape measure, but this was faster. In this case I used a spool of thread. Cut about 10 cm into the fabric, then grab the fabric on both sides of the cut and tear the strip over the whole width of the fabric. Repeat if necessary. In this example, I used about twice the length of the finished trim. In this case that were three strips of 150 cm for a total of 450 cm. Attach all the strips by stitching them together to make one long strip of fabric.

Example of a torn strip on the left, and how to measure the width with a spool on the right

The torn edges of the strips will eventually start to fray. I used a narrow rolled hem on both sides to finish the edges. A rolled hem foot is highly recommended to make this easier.

Close up of the rolled hem on the fabric strips. It looks like ribbon now!

Ruffle the hem by stitching with low tension in the center of the fabric an pulling the thread. Or buy a super fancy gather foot for sewing machine and go crazy. Guess which option I choose 😉

Example of trim ruffled by the sewing machine. This picture is for display purpose only, obviously the fabric goes in ungathered when sewing

And now you have a beautiful length of ruffled trim, ready to use.

Step 3: adding the trim to the hipscarf

I used lace trim on the outer edge because I liked how it added an interesting shape to the edge of the hipscarf. Sewing the trim on the round edge is a bit of a challenge. I sewed slow and made a lot of adjustments while sewing by using my hands to keep the trim in the right place.

I then pinned the ruffled trim into place, checked the location and sewed it to the hipscarf. Make sure you set your thread tension back to normal if you lowered it in the previous step to gather the trim. I decided to use a little bit of lace trim on the top for a third tier as well. It’s a nice contrast with the fabric plus it adds depth.

The finished hip scarf with three rows of trim. I absolutely adore the colors and textures.

I am undecided on how to proceed, as it would look lovely with a bit of extra bling like rhinestones on the lace, or sequins in the center of the ruffled trim. I’ll leave that decision for another day. I’m going to wear it in the next class and post pictures afterwards.

Got questions or want to see more in progress pictures? Friend me on Instagram or Facebook!

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

Red satin dresss

My dance friend is turning 55 on December 11th and we are doing a bellydance with boa dance. It has all been great fun as it is a choreography on an Egyptian popsong, thus giving it a distinctive bellydance flavor. The costume choice is a long red satin dress with half circle skirt. The upper edge could have red feathers along the edge and there will be a black insert in the slit. The hip area will get a ruched red satin part for a small hip accent.

I got the main outline for the dress from Marjan and yesterday I made the bodice (Halterstraps are my addition) and put it on my mannequin so the fabric can hang and I can hem the skirt in a week or so.

It looks rather long in the torso but that is because the weight of the skirt is dragging the bodice down, I have more boobs then my mannequin and also more neck. First time for cutting satin on the bias, and I tell you it is hell. It drapes very nicely though, bodice has no zipper or buttons but can be pulled on over the head. It has a slinky effect that makes it sort of cling to the body without being tight fitting and it is very unflattering due to being all red and shiny and not form fitting but we will look great together on stage.