Zombie Post: DIY Belly Dance Hip Belt!

belly_dance_hip_belt

Hello friends!!!!

Yes, I have been gone for a while, dealing with midterms and classes and opening a Belly Dance club at UTD. BUT, I am back from the dead (hence “Zombie Post”)!! I have missed writing on here, and if I am correct, there are many things coming up that I really really really want to write about, so I am here again! 😀

One of the things I have been dealing with has been midterms. WOW. Okay, this semester has been kind of difficult and I have definitely been getting a run for my money, but I think I have managed to stay afloat and can focus on my blog without feeling the “I’m supposed to be studying” guilt. The other major thing I have been dealing with is opening a new club at UTD. I found that there weren’t as many dance-workout clubs on UTD, so I am starting mine 😀 For the first Belly Dance meeting, we made yarn hip belts, so I am going to show you how to make them!!

So, here is what you need:

littlepaw Yarn
littlepaw Scissors
littlepaw Measuring tape

aaand that’s it 😉

Step I:

With the help of your handy dandy measuring tape, measure your hips more or less at your hipbones (where your belt will rest). I will use mine as an example: 90 cm. Now, that is going to be the length of your actual belt, but you will still need to tie it off in the front, so add about 60 cm more so that on each side you have 30 cm for tying the belt AND to have some dangle and look nice.so, our total now becomes 150 cm. You will need any number in multiples of three, in this length. To decide on this number you have to consider the width of your belt.. We will basically be braiding the belt, so if you want a thin belt, you could use three sets of five strings of 150 cm, but if you want a thicker belt you could use three sets of fifteen strings of 150 cm. For my example, I will use three sets of ten, so thirty strings of 150 cm. This is, of course, if you decide to do a regular braid, you can use braids of two, three, four, five, six, seven… n strands. In the case you want 4 strands, then you need four sets of x number of strings, if you want seven strands then seven sets of x number of strings, and so on and so forth. For this belt I will just use a three strand braid. So, let’s get cutting! 🙂

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Step II:

Align one side of edges and make a knot. De-tangle and start braiding. Don’t braid too tightly because you wont be able to open the hoops, but don’t knot too loosely because your braid wont be firm. Once you are done with your braid, tie a new knot at the very end. Now remember, the length of the belt includes the front, from the middle of the belt, measure half of your hip measurement on to each side (in my case, 45 cm to each side) and tie a new knot. The length from inner knot to inner knot should be your hip length (in my case 90 cm) and from inner knot to outer knot in each side should be the part you will use to tie off the belt.

Step III:

Now, you will need 18 more 150 cm strings, and you will tie off the edges of two together, until you get 9 sets of 2 strings tied together. First, find the mid point of the belt, and tie one of the sets of strings onto one of the loops of the braid. Second, tie one of the sets right next to the inner knots, on the interior side. Then find the middle between the midpoint and the string next to the inner knot on each side. Now you have divided the belt into quarters with the use of 5 of the sets of string, so all you need to do now is find the middle of each of the quarters with the remaining 4 sets of string.

Step IV:

Ok, now the hard part begins, we are going to make a net from the hanging strings. Separate the two strings that come from the middle of the belt. We will deal with the right side first. grab the right strand, and one strand from the set to the right of the one in the middle. Tie a knot about 9 cm below the belt. Now grab the left over string on the right, and one string from the next set and do the same. Continue until you reach the inner knot, and continue on the left until you reach the other inner knot. You will have a left over string at each edge. Now you are going to repeat the process in the next ‘level’.just grab one string from two adjacent knots, and knot them together until you finish the line again, and you will have two more left over strings, one on each side. Continue with each level until you have reached the very bottom and you have basically have nothing else to knot. You will be left with an inverted triangle, and left over strings on each side, and the tip of the triangle will have two strings at the bottom.

Step V:

Knot the two left over strings at the bottom at about 9 cm under the knot that makes the triangle. On the rest of the strings you will do something different. Bring the string down at about 9 cm as well and hold that point, then bring the end back up and tie a knot where the previous knot already exists, you should have a loop. Do this with all the strings. Cut off the rest of the string, but keep a bit so that it does not un-knot. You will basically end up with little loops at the end of the inverted triangle

Step VI:

Use the left over yarn that you cut off to make little tassels! You need 17 sets of 10 strings of 9 cm, and 17 more strings of about 6 or 7 cm, just big enough for you to make a knot comfortably. To make the tassel, you grab a group of ten strings and pass them through one of the hoops, then you fold it in half and tie the strings off with a new string. Then just round up the ends with the scissors. Make a tassel on each loop.

Step VII:

Untie the outer knots of the belt part and round off the edges. Now the front part of the belt is “loose” and you have a lot of dangling strings that will shake and jiggle when you move! And well, it is ready for wear! 😀

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Anyways, thank you for staying with me even after being gone for about two months. I appreciate that you guys came back to visit! And believe me, there will be no more AWOL moments!

Well, did you like the belt? I hope you found it useful and you want to actually use it. If you are ever around UTD on Tuesday 7-9 pm feel free to stop by and belly dance with us!

-Yesenia

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