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garment construction of indian wear

nimi | Posted in General Discussion on

hi everybody

please can anyone suggest  garment construction books other than zarapkars and doongaji which cover typical Indian wear/ folk wear like salwar kameez, ghagra choli, sari blouse etc.?




  1. sewchris703 | | #1

    Folkwear Patterns has one Indian pattern: #135 Jewels of India http://folkwear.com/asian.htmlAlso look at The Costumer's Manifesto: http://www.costumes.org/ethnic/1PAGES/asiancostlinks.htm#IndiaChris

    1. nimi | | #2

      hi chris

      Thanx for the info! I appreciate your interest.

  2. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #3

    Nimi, this is one area of fashion I know NOTHING about, but would LOVE to learn. I was fortunate to have a woman who wore a sari in the bed next to me when my 2nd daughter was born. She was generous enough to show me how hers was wrapped, pleated and draped. Would you be willing to pass on the names of books or links that would explain the different types of garments for me? Cathy

    1. nimi | | #4

      Hi Cathy

      Happy to know that you like indian wear. Here are some books which would be of interest to you. 

      1. Costumes of India and Pakistan, S N Dar.

      2. Indian History of Consumers Costumes. Roshan Alkazi.

      3.Costumes of India, Doris Flyann.

      4.Indian Costumes, Biswas. 

      5.Indian Costumes and Ornament, Sahay.

      Sorry i don't know the publishing houses...will find out...

      If ur interested in sewing some basic indian garments...These books will help u develop patterns by flatpatterning method.

      1. Clothing Construction by Doongaji, Raj Prakashan, Delhi.

      2. Zarapkar System of Cutting, Zarapkar K R, Navneet Publications.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #5

        Thank you for the resources. I have always been interested in other people and cultures. You cannot ask intelligent questions about a garment if you do not know what it is called tho. Cathy

        1. katina | | #6

          Cathy, there's a fabulous book by Max Tilke - here's a link - on oriental costume. Several Indian costumes are featured in this.



          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #7

            Katina, thank you so much for the link, I think I shall be spending several hours studying this one. I better put the coffepot on. Cathy

          2. katina | | #8

            You will really enjoy this one, Cathy. I have the book, but from the brief glance I gave this site seems they've done a very comprehensive job of posting the photographs and detailed sketches of the garments. Sadly, most countries have abandoned traditional dress; I'm fortunate enough to have collected a few pieces.


          3. Josefly | | #20

            What beautiful photos. Thanks so much for posting this; I'm bookmarking it to look at later, too. The embroidery, and unusual placement of embroidery on some of the pieces, is amazing and inspiring.

          4. katina | | #21

            I'm so glad you've found it useful.


  3. rekha | | #9

    What other kind of Indian costume constructions were you particularly after?

    I have not heard of Zarapkars or Doongaji.

    Can you tell me some more about the layout of these books please?

    1. nimi | | #10

      hi rekha

      These books are available in India. .I'm looking for more details on how to construct the yoke choli, katori choli, patiala salwars,ghagras, draped styles like stitched dhoti, bharatnatyam dance costumes, stitched saris etc. Tailors in India sew them easily by flatpattern method. Do you know of any book which has information about these styles?

      1. rekha | | #11

        I saw some titles in the public libraries. At present their server  is down. I shall let you know when I can get in.

        Have you tried the Indian High Commission for sources?

        p.s. found one on the internet by Daksha http://www.dkpd.com/servlet/dkGetBiblio?bno=065890

        Edited 8/9/2008 2:37 am ET by rekha

        1. nimi | | #12

          Hey thanx for ur efforts Rekha. I'll be on the look out as well.  I'm going to  work with whatever information i have now....trial and error, knocking off patterns from already existing garments, and adapting patterns from slopers.

          1. rekha | | #13

            I have a pattern for genuine churidar pyjama. Let me dig it out and I'll put it up for you

          2. nimi | | #14

            That would be great! With a little effort we can draft contemporary versions of such garments as well..... Thanx again...

          3. rekha | | #15

            OK, here it is. Some time ago I bought patterns for churidar and sari blouse from Folkwear patterns.

            The churidar pattern was not genuine because I had seen it being made in such a way that you got a closed bag which you then cut to your measurements.

            The beauty of this pattern is in the way bias is obtained right at places where it is needed.

            I wrote in to several potential places on the internet and out of the blue last year about this time a very kind lady wrote to me. (Her webpage is at the bottom of the page; I don't if it is still extant)

          4. nimi | | #16

            Wow! I have tried to sew a churidar with a wide belt which was joined to the lower portion at the hips with few gathers for ease.I had trouble adjusting  the pattern  of the leg to true bias. I will try this method today. I hope 2.5 mt length by 1 mt width fabric would suffice.... thanx u forwarding the pattern !

          5. rekha | | #17

            That is a recent modification because the bulking at the waist makes one look plump. But the fabrics that used to be used were very fine cotton, something you see in chikan work.

            You can make the churi ('ruffles' around ankles) as long as you want. It used to be a sign of elegance and opulence, not any more

          6. nimi | | #18

            Finally completed the churidar. One option is to compromise on the churi and relatively increase the crutch length which would be more acceptable as men's wear.The pattern shows the legs of the churidar but on reading the instructions i realised that a belt had to be added seperately which i did as i had to include enough churi to complement a kameez. Had fun doing this project. :-) thanx a lot....

          7. rekha | | #19

            You can't escape just yet. Photos please

          8. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #22

            Nimi, It would be nice to have you post your pictures of your completed project. I have been waiting, as I am curious about them. Cathy

          9. nimi | | #23

            Hi Cathy

            For some reason my photos didn't appear before ..not sure why ... hope u can view them..

          10. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #24

            Thank you for posting the pictures Nimi. They are very elegant. You have done a very nice sewing job on them as well. Well done. Cathy

          11. rodezzy | | #25

            Oooooooh.  Looks good.  Can we see the whole outfit.  Can only see the hem of skirt and legging bottoms.

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