How to Make a Pakistani Dress

Updated April 17, 2017

A traditional Pakistani dress is called a salwar kameez. It is a combination of a top (salwar), bottom (kameez) and matching scarf (duppata). The salwar kameez is generally quite long as it drops below the knee, There are different styles of design and the pattern also varies. Some dresses are made from silk or lace as the material is light and keeps the wearer cool in the hot climate. However, heavy brocade work is used for winter dresses. To make a Pakistani dress, or salwar kameez, you need to follow a pattern.

Take measurements for the top and bottom of the Pakistani dress. To make the salwar the correct size, you need to measure the chest, breast, waist, hips, armhole, neck diameter, shoulder (broadness), sleeve length, elbow circumference, wrist circumference and front neck depth. For the kameez you need to measure the waist. hips, length, inseam and bottom. Get a helper if you cannot read accurate measurements yourself.

Obtain a pattern to make your preferred style and design of Pakistani dress. Bridal versions of salwar kameez are available, so you might consider it as an option for your wedding ceremony. Get a pattern from a dressmaker, craft store or specialist website.

Draw out each shape included in the pattern onto the a piece of brown paper. Use the measuring tape edge as a ruler to draw each panel for the outfit. Follow the pattern so you draw out every section of the dress.

Cut out each of the shapes from the brown paper. Then, pin each one onto a section of fabric with pins. Lay them out before you pin them to the fabric, so that you know you have enough to make the salwar kameez.

Use your scissors to cut around the edge of the shapes. Make sure you label them before you do this, so you know which piece is which. Otherwise, when you come to sew, you will not be able to fit them together like a jigsaw. You might find you have pieces missing.

Stitch the salwar panels together. First, pin the shapes into their correct position to make sure the edges line up. Then, attach a thin needle to the sewing machine to create a tight line of stitching to add strength to the salwar. Choose a thread that matches the colour of your material so it blends in with the fabric.

Sew the kameez pieces together. Again, pin the sections of the bottoms together before sewing. Then, follow the line of the pattern to make the seams. Tie off the thread as you continue to sew the bottoms.

Interlock the seams of the each garment. If you do not have an interlocking machine, remove all the pins and brown paper and go over the stitching with another line of threading. This adds strength to the outfit to make sure the edges do not fray.

Iron out each of the Pakistani dress garments, ready for wearing.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Salwar kameez pattern
  • Brown paper
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
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About the Author

Verity Jones is an English literature graduate who has been writing for over five years. Her work has been featured in local publications, national parenting magazines and online portals such as You and Your Family, and Mum Plus One. Jones holds a qualification in interior design.