Keep in mind when you are sewing a costume or planning out your costume have something in mind that is not too challenging or time consuming. Now, that is a joke unless you are a professional costume maker. But with a little sewing skills you can do your own DYI costuming! Saving money is always a motivation to going back to the sewing machine. Fabric selection is the first issue or find a moderately price costume to embellish or add more bling. I often use this method to make a costume look even more fabulous! Search for deals. Appliques, hand beading, jewelry making chains, bead and or other jewelry pieces will work wonders as embellishments.
Other costume pieces that are fairly easy to make, skirts, harem pants, veils. The costume bra is the most challenging in my opinion, but it can be done! This takes time a patience on your part.
Choli's I have used these instruction's they are great!
Search for "bellydance" costumes in sewing catalogs, Simplicity, Butterick, McCalls carry choices in the costume category's. There are other source try the Costume Goddess, she has great ideas.
There are other belly dance costume patterns out there try BDPatterns. I've used the Ghawazee Coat Pattern 2013, Beledi Dress 1003 and Vest off of 1014. I found the directions pretty good, the Ghawazee Coat pattern was the most challenging, but after tackling a few of these it became easier with the 2nd one. It's rewarding to sew your own costume, you can be as creative as you like. And being unique you won't see it duplicated! Look at other costumes to get good ideas. Or copy one that you have seen. Always be sure to take into account your body type when selecting a motif. Find your best asset and work from there, once you find what works use it over and over again! Same way with colors wear what looks best on you. It is all about looking your absolute best on stage.
I have other links on the Yahoo Group: Belly Dance with Radhiya.
The object is to share information, put your best look on stage.