The Saree Petticoat is a long skirt worn under the saree, tied around the waist usually with a drawstring. The sari is pleated and folded in to the waistline of the petticoat.
You can go to a shop and pick up sari petticoats by the dozen but as most of them are in free size, they will most probably bunch up around your waist making the impression of unwanted bulk there. You definitely do not want that. Here your sewing skills can come handy. You can make one to fit your own measurements.
Many girls who wear the sari for the first time or very rarely are so unaware of the need for the perfect fitting sari petticoat under their saris. They believe that once they have selected the sari and blouse and the necessary accessories their work is over and they grab the first sari petticoat they get in a matching colour and forget about it. Then, when it comes to draping their saris, the petticoat ends up ruining their perfect look and silhouette by being too bulky and bunched up.
Draping a sari right needn’t be a challenge with the correct fitting Sari Petticoat. The slim silhouette you always wanted to achieve with the sari, is possible, with the right Sari Petticoat underneath your sari.
So it is time to head over to the sewing machine to sew the easy sari petticoats. I have given 3 styles of petticoat skirts and sari petticoat sewing patterns with very easy instructions to make them
Update :- Checkout this fitting yoked petticoat skirt pattern with flared panels – this is ideal for wearing under sarees as well.
What fabrics to choose to sew a sari petticoat ?
Cotton or poplin is the right choice when buying fabric for a saree petticoat. You can also make it in knit fabric. Bizzy lizy fabric is another favourite cloth used to make these skirts
If you make the skirt in satin or silk, they will look very attractive but they will make you feel hot ; they are not suitable fabrics for hot summers and daytime wear. You can sew your petticoats in satin or silk for evening functions.
You may also choose embroidered or beaded cloth to sew these skirts and you can wear them over pretty net saris to look absolutely gorgeous. Pretty printed fabrics can also be used to sew them and they will look good showing through your plain chiffon saree.
Ensure that the drawstring of your petticoat skirt is in cotton. If it is a synthetic material or satin. It could prove tangly or slippery. Make the drawstring following this tutorial. Follow the flat strap method.
Make sure that you take your sari or a fabric swatch taken from the sari with you when you go shopping for the cloth to sew the sari petticoat. Do not try to guess the color, you will most probably choose wrong; You will end up with a color that may see through your sari and make the whole look unattractive.
How to wear a sari petticoat
The length of a Sari petticoat should be just right under the sari. If it is too long it will show under the sari and drag after you, with dirty streaks at the hem edge. Also a too long petticoat will have to be shortened by tucking under the waist tie, which will bulk up your waist ( Though sometimes a too long petticoat skirt is preferred like when you have a pretty hemline you intend to show under the sari.) Usually the length of the sari petticoat is measured at around your ankles.
Another way of getting it right is to tie it so that the skirt is worn ½ inch above your sari.
Tying the skirt – Tie the skirt at the comfortable place around your waist where you intend to wear the sari, REALLY tight. This is important because the tie will anyway come a little loose and you want the sari to fit snugly around your waist.
Drawstrings are the conventional fastening used for sari petticoats but you can use hooks and zippers. These fastenings will avoid the bunching up of fabric around the waist when drawstrings are used.
How to sew 3 types of sari petticoat skirts
The 3 styles are as given below; Pick a Pattern that suits your sari drape.
A line sari petticoat
This is a gathered skirt and a popular choice. The A line flare of the skirt makes it an ideal silhouette for the sari.
How to cut and sew A line skirt saree petticoat
Cut 2 panels of the below pattern. I have given the usual dimensions used in store brought skirts which is a free size. If you want a loose fitting one use the below measurements.
You can make it custom to your measurements ; take the waist portion (upper edge ) = Hip round measurement + 3″ ; This will make it more fitting.
Steps to stitch easy Sari Underskirt
- Stitch the seams leaving space for the slit
- Hem the bottom edge
- Turn under 1 1/2″ at the top edge for drawstring casing.
- Hem the slit edge
- Insert drawstring with a pin . Make thin fabric tubes or fabric straps as shown in this tutorial
6 panel Sari petticoat skirt
How to cut and sew a 6 panel petticoat skirt
To fold the fabric follow the diagram above. Fold along center line horizontally a(A-C) and then fold along the center line vertically(B-D).
Now you will get folds of fabric with 4 layers. Imagine that this is a rectangle A-B-C-D. Mark the dimensions as per the diagram below.
A-C = B-D = Full length of skirt height to ankles + 2″
A-B = C-D = Half waist + 4″
B-G = 1/12 of waist + 3/4″
K = midpoint of A-G
K-G = D-I
I-H = 2 * B-G
Mark up from I, F & E 1/2″
Join E-K-F in a curved line ; Join D-J in a curved line
Cut out at B-G-J-D
When you open this you will get 6 PANELS of the skirt pattern. Join this to each other along the seams.
Mermaid/ Fish cut Sari petticoat
This skirt has a shape which is tight at the waist and hips and flares at the bottom.
How to cut and sew Fish cut sari petticoat
You need 4 panels for making this underskirt. 2 Front panels and 2 Back panels.
A-C = Waist to hip length
A-E = Waist to knee
When you open up the pattern, you will get 4 panels with a fish shape.
Insert zip in between two of the panels. After stitching all the panels together, measure the waist portion. Cut out a waistband of that measure + 3″ and width 4″.
Stitch a waistband and sew a button and a corresponding button.Checkout the tutorial for pettiskirt for detailed sewing directions.
Related posts: More sewing patterns