"It is the darkness that is the light, and the stillness that is the dancing"
Full circle belly dance skirts are made from roughly six metres of fabric (depending on your height, you may need slightly more or less fabric). Four metres of which are cut into two half circles that are seamed together along one radius to form a full circle, leaving a slit open along the other radius.
A small circle is cut from the centre of it and this full circle is then gathered and sewn onto just over half of an elastic waistband along the circumference of the small circle cut from its centre.
The other two meters (for full circle belly dance skirts) are cut into a semi circle and a smaller semicircle is cut from the middle of its diameter so as to be gathered and sewn onto the remaining part of the waistband, forming the front part of the skirt.
The front and back circles are not joined so that two slits are left up the side of either leg. The effect is that the dancer can gather up the ends of the back circle and lift them up to form wings, or to flare with.
Panel belly dance skirts can be made either of two simple straight cut lengths of fabric, one rectangle at the front and one at the back attached to a waistband and open at either side. This would be worn in conjunction with harem pants. Alternatively they can be made from many pieces of fabric, cut in triangles or rectangles of varying length and layered onto a waistband.
The tight slip skirt is made from a stretch material, lycra being the most obvious, sewn to fit the body tightly with a slit up the front or back or on either one or both sides. The slit may be decorated with beads, a patterned trim or metallic cord.
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