An Indian sari blouse can be made from a commercial pattern, tailored to fit an individual’s personal measurements. Also known as a choli, this blouse covers the upper arms and the upper chest but there are variations. The blouse can be made without sleeves, differing collar shapes and a varying body length that can go down to the waist.
Decide on the type of fabric based how the sari is to be used. The materials used to make them can be cotton (a more traditional fabric), silk, synthetic fabrics or a blend of natural and synthetic.
Use cotton for an everyday sari for practical applications, silk for special occasions and synthetic fabric such as polyester or a blend which provides ease of care and use for daily wear or special occasions.
Iron the pattern pieces smooth with a dry iron on a low setting. Cut out pattern pieces.
Take body measurements for back width, shoulder to waist length, bust, upper arms, waist and middle of shoulder to point of bust.
Lay pattern pieces on a flat surface. Compare body measurements to the pattern pieces. Read the pattern manufacturer’s directions for adjusting the pattern pieces as each manufacturer provides their own way to adjust patterns. Adjusting the pattern, if needed, provides a personalised tailored fit.
Clean the material and iron if needed for a smooth finish.
Fold the material according to the pattern directions and lay on a flat surface.
Place the pattern pieces on the material and pin in place and transfer pattern marks for darts and other points the manufacturer requires with sewing transfer paper.
Cut out pattern pieces and remove the pins.
Loosely stitch the choli pattern pieces together. Try the choli on to check the fit.
Remove basting stitches. Adjust the choli as needed. Sew the pattern pieces together with permanent stitching to complete the choli.
A practice blouse can be made from muslin in order to check for fit before proceeding with the real blouse.
Tips and warnings
- A practice blouse can be made from muslin in order to check for fit before proceeding with the real blouse.
Things you need
- Dress maker's tracing paper
- Tracing wheel
- Straight pins
- Tape measure