SEW SIMPLE PANTS FOR YOUR TUNICS/ SALWAR KAMEEZ
So you want to sew your own salwar kameez pants.
May be you want to wear it with your favourite kurta or tunic.
Or the store bought one is not up to your mark.
Or you want to sew one for your darling daughter.
Whatever the reason, if you are apprehensive about sewing salwar pants for the first time, let me assure you the first time you sew a pant is the hardest. The next time you sew it, it is a breeze, once you have the pattern with you.
In this tutorial section I will give you all the details about how to prepare the pattern and stitch plain Salwar pants and its variations like Patiala, Dhoti pants and Parallel bottoms.
If you are planning to stitch the pants many times, you can make paper stitching patterns by making the markings on a paper (I usually join 2 full sheet newspapers or craft paper to form a big piece ) rather than on the cloth itself and keep it somewhere safe to use it again and again. Stitching with this pattern drawn on paper will save you a lot of time that you will spend in the time consuming pattern drawing and calculating and it will leave you free to enjoy the pleasure of sewing.
When you go to the shop to buy cloth to stitch the salwar separately, other than as a salwar kameez set, remember to take your body measurement, to know the correct yardage to buy. Take the measurement from the waist ( or wherever you tie the salwar ) to the floor, then double the measurement, that is how much cloth you should buy for your plain salwar . ie if the full length measurement is 110 cms, you should buy 210 cms (2.10 mtrs ) cloth.
Cloth needed for different pants
- Cloth needed for different pants
- Plain Salwar pattern cutting and stitching
- Patiala Salwar pants (Semi and Full) – Pattern cutting and stitching
- Side embroidered Salwar pants- Pattern cutting and stitching
- Dhothi pants – Pattern cutting and stitching
- Churidhar Pants pattern cutting and stitching
- Easy Parallel pants/ Palazzo pattern cutting and stitching
- Plain salwar – Double the length needed
- Churidhar – Double the length needed plus 1/4 meter if you want more churis
- Patiala – Double the length needed plus 1/2 meter (44 inches wide cloth), for a patiala with some gathers . If you want a real Patiala with lots of gathers you need about 4 meters of cloth. With 3.5 meters you get decent enough folds.
- Parellel -Double the length needed plus 1/4 meter extra
Checkout the posts on How to take body measurements for more details.
Plain Salwar pattern cutting and stitching
There are 4 pieces to the Plain salwar pattern
1. Waist piece
2. Pant piece
3. Canvas piece
4. Tie piece
Measurement to be taken for stitching a salwar
Full length – From where you tie the salwar to your heels.
Hip round – take measurement around the hip loosely
Pant flair round – take measurement around the ankle loosely . This is usually taken as 12 -14 ” . ( I usually take 13″. Seam allowance is extra.
Pant Piece ( we will be cutting 2 pieces like this on fold ) Checkout How to cut fabric to know more details on how to fold fabric for cutting.
B-E – Adults – (Full length – 7 inches) + 1 inches ( 7 inches is taken for the belt of salwar)
Kids -1/6th of hip round + I inches
A-B – This is as per Hip measurement – generally you can take half of hip round.
If you are particular you can mark as per the measurement below
For below 34 inches half of hip round
For 34 inches to 42 inches – 18 inches
For above 42 inches – 20-22 inches
B-C – 1/6 of hip round + 1 inch
E-F –half of the pant flair you want; 12 inches is usually taken.
C-F Join in a straight line ; take keep one inch stitching margin (seam allowance) outside it. (as shown in the diagram )
Waist piece ( 1 piece cut on fold)
A-B = E-F – Half of hip round + 3.5 – 5 inches
A-E /B-F= For adults – 10 inches / For Kids – (1/6 of hip round) +1 inches
Mark A –C / B-D – 3 inches for folding inside for the tie to be inserted
When marking on fabric make sure it is placed on a folded cloth and B-F is along the fold. Open the full waist piece and divide into four parts and make a small mark with your marking tool/chalk – this is for accurately joining it to the pant piece.
A strip of canvas piece or 2 inches * the Pant flair measurement
A cloth piece which is 2½ inches * the pant flair measurement
Tie Piece (Fabric straps)
Checkout the tutorial to make thin fabric tubes.
Take a strip of cloth 3 times hip round and 2 inches wide. If you have bias strip that would be ideal. Make a tie with this strip. Another way is to take your waist measurement and add 20 inches as overhang.
When cutting the cloth you have to remember to mark the pant pieces first and cut because at times (when you are getting the set material of salwar kameez) the cloth may not be sufficient; in that case we will have to do some adjustments and get the piece for the waist piece from along the side C-F of the pant piece.
How to stitch the salwar bottom
For more step by step instructions check out “ Salwar pants stitching instructions“
Join the waist piece by A – E making a tube – leaving a 5 inches opening for slit
Stitch along the side of the slit opening as shown in the diagram: Edge stitch along the folded seam allowance from inside
Fold the Waist piece on top by 2 ½ inches on top edge for a case for the ties. You have to stitch enclosing the raw edges .
Stitching the bottom edge of the salwar
Iron the canvas piece leaving half an inch along the long side of the cloth piece. Stitch this keeping it to the Right side (Right sides together) of the pant piece so that when turned inside the canvas cannot be seen. Fold the cloth inside so that the whole canvas is enclosed. Join this to the pant bottom edge by keeping the canvas piece and pant piece right sides together. Then you can stitch some 2-3 rows of straight stitches parallel to the hem.
Join the pant pieces one by one along the C –F. Then Join the two pant piece parts along the cutting at the crotch
Now mark the midpoint of the waist piece. Join it from the back to the front side along one side. Stop at the side. Then likewise join from the other side till the front side
From front stitch 4-5 inches to the side without pleats and then make small gathers till you reach the place where you had earlier stopped. Do the same with the other side.
Finally make the ties and insert inside the casing with a safety pin
Iron to a good finish and enjoy your new salwar
Patiala Salwar pants (Semi and Full) – Pattern cutting and stitching
Patiala is basically a plain salwar with more pleats. The difference between full Patiala and semi Patiala salwars is that Full Patiala has more pleats than a Semi Patiala. If the cloth is not sufficient to give as much flair as you want you will have to make do with joining two pieces of cloth to the middle pant piece to get more flares ( as shown in the diagram )
Patiala is best if stitched in synthetic materials. If we use cotton fabric to stitch the Patiala it will look bulky. Fabric required is 2.5 times the full length.
In Patiala the pleats will come more to the front when compared to the plain salwar.
Layout of pattern pieces of Patiala on cloth.
Here is a more detailed tutorial to sew a Patiala Pants.
Side embroidered Salwar pants- Pattern cutting and stitching
Side embroidered salwar pants are very cool and give an elegant look if done right. For this to be done when marking the salwar, along the AE portion mark 1 ½ inches outside ie a total of 3 inches increase in the middle. Do the embroidery along the centre of the area. Stitch along the AE line. Open the cloth, stitch along the both sides so that the embroidery lies flat in the middle of the pant piece.
Check out the post on various Indian Embroidery designs you can use on the embroidered pants. Mirror work , Eyelet embroidery or some Bullion knot roses would also look great . Any of the 12 border patterns ( hand embroidery ) would work as well.
Dhothi pants – Pattern cutting and stitching
Dhothi pants is another variation of the Salwar . For dhothi pants we need to have wide cloth. Take the cloth fully and double the cloth Crosswise.
Mark on the cloth as given below :
A –B half of bottom round + 1 inch
A-C take full length + 1 inch – Waist piece (seven inches ) for adults take waist piece as 7 inches and for children 1/6 of seat round
C- J join point C straight till the top point and mark it as J
C-F one sixth of seat round + 1 inch
F-E take 1 ½ inch inside
E-D join straight upwards
E-G take quarter inch crosswise and give shape
J-H take 8 inches for everybody
J-I take 4 inches and give a curved shape
Make a waist piece just the way it is made in the Plain salwar portion. Joining the waist pieces and the pant pieces are the same as in the salwar pattern.
Churidhar Pants pattern cutting and stitching
For Chudidhar/churidhar Pants we have to fold the cloth diagonally (cross grain) for the correct stretch, otherwise the pants would not look good.
Join D – J in a softly curved line .
Mark 1 inch seam allowance along the line D-J.
As you have noticed the pattern goes beyond the cloth ; this happens with low width cloths ( Which is the case with most pant pieces which come as a set) ; in such cases we will have to attach extra pieces where it is marked 1 & 2. Please note that if you make the paper pattern for chudidhar pants , you can cut the cloth very accurately and easily.
Make the waist piece as in Plain salwar instructions
You can also add a small triangular piece of cloth along the line B-D if you feel that you need some ease in the crotch area – this is optional. you can cut the pieces (2 for front and back) as in the diagram below
Attach the Kali pieces between the pant pieces along the line B-D on front and back. Join the leg portion along D- K leaving the slit . Stitch the slit portion by turning the seam twice inside. Make sure that you double stitch the seam in the pant pieces as the crosswise grain will stretch the cloth causing broken stitches.
Join the waist pieces to the pant pieces as in the plain salwar and make ties and you are done.
You will need to sew 2 or three hooks for the opening in the legs along K – J . Checkout the tutorial to attach the hooks and make a thread bar for the hooks.
Checkout the DIY leggings pattern. Sewing leggings is similar to sewing the chudi pants; the gusset piece sewing and the ankle placket sewing for hooks are explained in detail in this tutorial.
Easy Parallel pants/ Palazzo pattern cutting and stitching
The bottom flair of Parallel pants can depend on personal preference but usually a round of 20 inch is normal so take I-J as 10 inch.
Open the cut pattern pieces . Stitch along B- D to join the pant pieces . Stitch the leg sides . Make pant hem.
Make the casing for elastic by folding the cloth inside ; Leave a 1 inch gap to insert the elastic.
Elastic should be cut 1 inches less than the waist measurement for it to fit snugly around your waist.
Check out the Palazzo Pants stitching tutorial for an alternative to parallel pants
Also checkout the pajama pants pattern and sewing tutorial ( with side slash pockets)
If you are new to sewing and would like to learn sewing basics checkout my post on How to sew when you are just beginning
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