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Burnoose Patterns for Belly Dance and Folkloric Dance

A burnoose makes a wonderful cover up for belly dance costumes or folkloric costume. It is so roomy you could probably change in it! The body is a modified half circle fastened at your neck. You can add an optional hood. Keep up with a FREE subscription to the BABA YAGA newsletter.

Here's a drawing of a burnoose at the online Tilke site.

A tip: make a miniature burnoose from ordinary paper if you find the instructions confusing.. this cape is not made like 'western' capes.

The Fabric

  1. Measure from your shoulder to your feet, multiply by 2 and add 8". [Call this length A.]
  2. If you want a hood, add another 18".
  3. You now have the length of cloth you will need. (Don't be surprised if you require 4 yards -12 feet- of material.)
  4. Purchase 56" - 60" wide fabric in the length calculated above. Choose a wool cloth if you want to use it in cold weather; choose a luxurious drapey fabric if it is just for show.

The Hood

If you want a hood, make it first.

  1. Cut an 18" wide piece off the end of your fabric;
  2. Cut that 18" wide piece to 38" long;
  3. Fold the 18" x 38" rectangle short ways so that you have an 18" x 19" rectangle, with the fold on the 18" side. This is the back of your hood.
  4. Stitch one of the longer (19") sides closed (using a 1" seam allowance) and finish the seam. This is the top of your hood.
  5. Finish the edge on the open 18" side by folding the edge back 1" and then 2" and stitching it down. This makes a nice substantial hem.

The Burnoose Body

  1. Fold the fabric in half across the width and mark the center point with a safety pin. You now have a rectangle 56-60" long (on the fold) and 1/2 of measurement A wide.
  2. Attach the raw edge of the hood to the center, with the closed back seam of the hood at the body center point.
  3. Two inches down from the hood edge, connect the two sides together with a safety pin and slip the burnoose over your head.
  4. Have a friend mark the hem. Cut the hem and then let it hang for a week so that the bias in the cape will stretch out.
  5. After the hem has a chance to stretch, put on the burnoose and mark and recut hem if necessary.
  6. Finish the hem by turning it up; finish the front edge with seam binding.

The Front Fastening

The traditional burnoose is fastened in the front about 17" down from the center back (2" below the hood edge). The fastening is often a strong piece of fabric, about 5" long, which is stitched to both sides of the front, making a permanent closure which cannot be opened; the burnoose must be slipped over the head to get it off and on. The benefit of a permanent closure is: it is very strong and never comes apart. Alternatively, you can use frogs or button and loop or whatever else takes your fancy.

The perfect Belly dance coverup!
Traditional permanent fastening holds both edges near the throat together.
Maura Enright, Proprietor
©2012 - 2015 by Maura Enright
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