Here's an alphabetical, annotated list of sites to get bellydance costumes, costume components, and costume advice.
Other Great Tutorials
How to Make Your Own Dress Form: The Maria Antoinette blog has an excellent tutorial on how to use a tee shirt, duct tape, and stuffing to make a custom made dress form for your body. Having a double of your own torso right in front of you makes life a lot easier when making your own costumes.
Bella: Bella is a high end Turkish designer of Cabaret costumes, and the only way to get a new Bella costume is to buy it directly from Bella. The website requires a user name and password in order to see the full list of stock, and passwords are notoriously difficult to get. Used Bellas can often be found sold on Bhuz.com.
The Belly Dance Shop: Located in Pineville, North Carolina, the Belly Dance Shop sells a wide assortment of Cabaret costumes. They even have an exclusive line of Turkish designer costumes called Mavi Designs. The husband and wife who run this company are extremely nice people. The Belly Dance Shop will travel to festivals and vends throughout the US and Canada.
The Bellydance Store.com: Located in Severna Park, Maryland, this place is a bellydancer's dream. The full size basement of this suburban home is filled with hundreds of Cabaret costumes sorted by color and labled by size. Best of all, their website has a search function that allows you to put in your measurements and find everything in their stock in your size. The Bellydance Store does not travel or vend at festivals. You can either buy their items online or over the phone, or travel there in person.
Crimson Gypsy Designs: Located in New York, Crimson Gypsy Designs creates Belly Dance and Yoga Wear. Garments, from halter tops to ruffle capres, are made out of jewel-toned stretch cotton. These pieces can be worn during class, for fashion, or even as fusion or Tribal costuming. I love their halter dress. They attend festivals, but also take custom orders.
Dahlal: Located in St Louis, Missouri, Dahlal is a major distributor of designer bellydance costumes. They publish a quarterly newletter called Inside the Harem that not only shows their latest merchandise, but also contains helpful articles about costumes. The stock includes Cabaret, Folkloric, and Tribal costumes. Their customer support via email is really great. Dahlal will travel to festivals and vends throughout the US and Canada.
Geisha Moth: Geisha Moth creates fun garments out of interesting fabrics, often with unique, hand made embelishments. Many of her products are limited editions or one of a kind sold to the first who responds, and due to that nature, the best way to buy her products is to keep an eye on her through Tribe.net or Facebook. She also comes to festivals and can create custom orders.
King of the Nile: This family run company based in Egypt offers a variety of high-quality costumes and accessories, fringe, veils, hip scarves, rehearsal and dance class wear. They're also a great supplier of Assuit fabric (Tulle bi Telli).
L. Rose Designs: Located in Arcata, California, L. Rose is a family owned business that has been making costumes since 1989. They are an excellence source for skirts, tops, pants and accessories made to order in the dimensions and fabric of your choice. Their prices are very resonable, and the quality is very high. They also have excellent customer service.
Magical Fashions: Chuck and Krishna, the husband and wife who own this company, import fabulous textiles and jewelry from India. They are an invaluable resource for all things Tribal, and their cupcake skirts are fabulously floofy. Magical Fashions will travel to festivals and vends throughout the US and Canada.
Melodia Designs: Melodia is famous for her flare pants designs, though she also makes tops and accessories. There are many imitators of the Melodia pants, but none of them have the same quality stretch lycra-cotton fabric that hugs and lifts your curves. In a partnership with Rising Phoenix Designs, Melodias are available in fabulously printed fabric. I have a pair of the Burgundy Mehndi pants that people always complement. The solid color or printed garments can be worn for class, for fashion, or for fusion or Tribal costuming.
Sharif Wear: Sharif sells tops, skirts, pants, and more. Many of her items are fun to wear in class or to a hafla, and many of them are perfect for fushion, folkloric, or tribal costuming. Sharif Wear products are available through vendors who buy it wholesale, and many such vendors will travel to festivals.
Silkdancer: Silkdancer makes amazing silk veils and skirts dyed by hand in a glorious array of colors. Her knowledge of the best weights and weaves of silk for different purposes is second to none. She travels to festivals throughout the East Coast and does custom orders through her website.
Costuming Supplies Distributors
Art Beads: This company has the largest selection of hex-cut seed beads I've found so far, and also sells fabulous sew-on rhinestones. They have sales very regularly, so join their email list and wait for 40-50% off sales.
Cartwright: If you want sequins, they got sequins. Holographic, flat, cupped, flower shaped, transparent, whatever else you want, you can find here. They also have payettes, buttons and some beads.
Create Your Shine: Create Your Shine is a bellydancer-run business selling costuming materials online.
Denver Fabrics: This website sells just about every type of fabric you can think of. Organized by material (silk, wool, cotton, etc) and by weave (chiffon, knit, brocade, etc), their stock is availalbe in a great variety of colors and always at discount prices. I've purchased from them in the past and have always had a good experience.
Fox Den Designs: This website has lots of beads.
Fire Mountain Gems: This distributor sells beads of all shapes and sizes. Their main customers are jewelry makers. However they do sell a limited selection of hex-cut seed beads in the awesome bulk sizes of 500 grams or more. One to two packages of 500 grams should be enough for a whole costume.Rhinestonechain.net: This website has by far the best selection and lowest prices for diamond trim aka rhinestone chain I've ever seen! They have a variety of sizes, multiple colors of rhinestones, and everything can come in silver, gold or brass toned metal. Shinetrim.com: This website has a lot of rhinestone chains, banded trim, beaded trim, appliques, and brooches. Who knows, something there may inspire an whole costume.
Costume PatternsReconstructing History: For historically accurate patterns, check out this amazing website. This is a great resource for anyone in the SCA, or who wants a folkloric costume that is truly authentic for a region and era. Tempest: Tempest is well known for her corset belts, but she also has patterns for corset vests, bras and arms. Costuming from the Hip: A website and a book, Costuming from the Hip contains patterns, illustrations and a bibliography. They also have half a dozen other books ranging in topics from decorations to pants.
Costuming AdviceThe Costume Goddess: This is an awesome website, and the author has published several books on the subject as well which can be purchased on her site. Bhuz; Belly Dance Beauty & Costuming Forum: If you have questions, you can always ask other bellydancers. Bhuz is an online meeting place for bellydancers thoughout the world. Ozma's Costume Blog: Ozma describes on her Facebook page how she has accomplished different bellydance costume projects over the years, complete with lots of pictures. Shira.net: Shira's website is a bellydancer's paradise. It's full of tons of information, from music lyric translations to costuming advice and book reviews. Some of the articles were written by the Costume Goddess for Shira.net.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Local ResourcesDragon's Guide to Philly Fabrics: Pat, a Philly native, has created an annotated list of local fabric stores in Philadelphia. If you ever come to visit our fair city, here are the places to find fabulous costuming materials.