Lehenga is an Indian long skirt ; It is also known by other names like Gagra, Lacha and is usually made in beautifully ornate, embroidered and sparkly fabrics. It is a staple wedding wear for Indian girls . Despite its beauty and the awesome looks there is nothing complicated making this skirt – after all it is just a maxi skirt
Make a panelled Lehanga skirt
This is a pattern for a skirt with a fitted waist and a flared hem.
I have made this skirt with 2.5 meters of outer fabric of 65″ width ( if the width is less you need 3.5 meters or more) ; the lining skirt is made with 2.25 meters cloth of 45 inch width ; You need a 7″ long zipper as well.
Fold the outer fabric so that you can cut out 10 panels to sew the skirt. You need to fold 15 inch wide fold by the center and then mark as follows
Details on how to Cut out the panels ; You need 10 panels like these
A-B = This is the width of the top edge. You need to do the calculations given below to reach this figure for a fitting waist. Measure your waist round. Add 2 inch ease to this measurement. Divide this by 10 . Then add 2 inch extra for the seam allowance of the panels.
Waist round + 2 divided by 10 = a
a + 2 divided by 2 = b ; b = A-B
ie if waist is 30″ ; add 2″ = 32″. Divide by 10 = 3.2″ ; Add 2″ = 5.2″
Divide this by 2 = 2.7″
So my A-B = 2.7″
A- C = Height of skirt + 1″
C- D = 7.5″
Join the panels together.
All the panels are joined to each other except the final one. The last two edges will be sewn together with the lining.
I used a french seam to join the panels together. For french seam, instead of right sides together as we do for regular seam, you have to keep the wrong sides of the panels together and join the seam first; then trim the seam allowance and then flip the seam allowance inside and keep the right sides together and then sew the seam again. Now you have the seam allowance nicely tucked inside .
Make a narrow hem for the hem of the skirt piece. To make the narrow hem, first fold 1/4 inch of the edge inside and stitch close to the fold; trim the excess and then fold again and stitch the hem.
Make the lining skirt
Cut an A line shaped skirt from a 45 inch wide fabric. You need twice the length of your skirt for this lining skirt. Fold the cloth by half crosswise first and then by the center and mark as per the diagram below. When you cut like this you will get two skirt pieces – front and back
Join one side seam of the skirt pieces . Leave the other side seam open
Hem the lining skirt by turning under the edge.
Join the lining and the skirt piece together and then add zipper
Keep the lining and skirt pieces rightside together ; Hold all the four edges together. Pin in place
Make basting stitches from the top edge for 7 inch Or the zipper length . After this make regular seam ( smaller stitches) Checkout the tutorial for attaching zipper for more details
Open the seam ( press the seam allowance open) and keep the zipper face down on the seam ; Pin in place. Stitch around the zipper with the zipper foot attached.
Cut Open the basting stitches with a seam ripper .
Make the waistband
I interfaced the lining piece and then cut a piece of outer fabric also in the same dimension.
Dimensions of the waistband – Measure the top edge of your skirt. Add 1″ extra for the extension for adding hook and then add another 1″ for seam allowance. This is the length of your waistband. Width can be 3.5″ total for a finished waistband of 1.5″
After you have cut the pieces make a straight stitching line down the center of the piece joining the pieces together (Basically to baste the pieces together)
Fold the waistband piece wrong side out and join the side seam with a 1/2 inch seam allowance and then trim closely.
For the next end sew the down edge 1″ as well ( this will be the extension for the hook)
Turn the waistband rightside out.
This is sewn the same way we sew bias binding. You can just sandwich the top edge inside the waistband with the edges folded in as well.
Sew the waistband in place
Sew the hook and Thread bar or a metal bar to the extension of the waistband