Comfortable and versatile, Churidar-style clothing, developed in India, can be worn by both men and women. Simple shapes combine to create these garments, making them a great first project for novice seamstresses. Outfits consist of long trousers and medium or long tunics. The ideal fabrics for these garments are cotton, silk and rayon, easy fabrics for beginners to sew. Because of their minimalistic design, they make the perfect framework for embroidery or other types of embellishments.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Sewing pattern
- Marking pencil or tailor’s chalk
- Sewing machine
- Seam binding (optional)
Measure yourself to get your chest, waist and hip measurements. Be sure to wear only the undergarments you plan to wear under your new Churidar clothing, or if you plan to layer these garments over other clothing, measure yourself over these other garments. A trusted friend can help make the measuring process easier.
Buy a pattern for Indian clothing, and find your size by comparing your measurements to the measurements on the back of the pattern envelope. The envelope will explain how much fabric is needed for your size. Purchase the required amount of fabric for your outfit, as well as any notions required, such as buttons or trim.
Cut out the pattern and fabric as directed by the pattern instructions. Transfer all pattern markings, such as dots and notches, to the fabric using your marking pencil or tailor’s chalk. These markings are added to the pattern to assist you in constructing your garment, and will be referenced in the sewing instructions.
Fit the garment to your body by pinning it together and carefully putting it on. Churidar clothing is designed to fit fairly loosely around the body. Re-pin the seams until you are satisfied with the fit, trying it on repeatedly until you are satisfied.
Sew the pieces together as instructed by the pattern’s sewing directions. If your fabric starts ravelling at the edges as you sew, you may want to enclose the seams with seam binding or by using a zigzag stitch on the edges.
Hem the bottom of the Churidar trousers to the desired length, traditionally at the ankle. Hem the tunic and sleeves to the desired length.
Tips and warnings
- Lightweight wool can also be used for these garments.
- Avoid using fabrics with obvious patterns, particularly if your pattern calls for bias-cut Churidar trousers, which will set the fabric design on a 45-degree angle from the rest of your outfit.
- Preshrink any fabrics you use, particularly cotton, linen or wool, by washing and drying them before cutting out your fabric pieces.
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