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Shalwar kameez type pattern full figure?

JeanetteR | Posted in Fitting on

Help!  Can anyone suggest a good shalwar kameez type pattern, tried and true, for an oversize pear shape figure, with the addition of a full bust. 

This is for my mother of the bride outfit, in less than 3 months (panic).  The look was one I saw in the Sydney production of Mama Mia! in the bridal scene.  Pants wide tapering to the ankles and sort of over length at the outside cuff.  Very long-line jacket well fitted but loose from the hips down to the knees, side splits to the waist.  Most edges trimmed with custon dyed sari silk.  I’ve bought 5.5 metres of silk ‘linen’.  I think the pants will need lining, and the jacket lining and maybe interlining as well…advice welcomed here too.

Also can anyone suggest the jacket neckline most flattering to the full busted figure when everything else is big too?  I’m 5’7″, so at least there’s a bit of height to offset the bulk!  Thank you.


  1. hyacinth | | #1

    Folkwear  has a pattern #135 called jewels of India.  I don't know if it's what you're looking for or not and I've never made it but I did make the Cheongsam and with some adjusting(like any pattern) it was fine. 


    Good luck.

    1. JeanetteR | | #2


      Thanks for the link to this pattern, it looks very versatile.  What I had in mind was more of a tunic/jacket, actually a bit like the men's equivalent of the kameez (cut for a female figure), with princess seams....I was given links to a good ready-made site for indian wear called eShakti. 

      These trousers look as if they'd be very comfortable cut on the bais!    Jeanette

      1. User avater
        ehBeth | | #3

        Jeanette - i have several pairs of the churidar pants that i bought in the south asian part of town here. they are divinely comfortable.

        About your neckline question - i always think that hmmmmm now what is called? my brain just froze.  The neckline i'm thinking of looks like an upside down wedge - sort of neck width at the top and then getting wider as it goes down, but not too low cut.  It's quite flattering. I have a few dresses with that neckline and always get compliments on my neck and poitrine when i wear them (neither is generally comment-on-able).

        Good luck. 

  2. kayl | | #4

    Jeanette, my friend Stefanie is a short, round lady who's been

    making and selling plus size salwars, and seems to have good knowledge

    of the fitting tricks. Unfortunately, she's in the US, and you're

    in Australia.

    If you'd like to get in touch with her, drop me an email address

    and I'll see she gets it... otherwise, you might poke around on

    ebay for plus size salwars, and look for someone in Florida selling--

    and talk with her about patterns and such.

    Kay Lancaster [email protected]

    1. Huma | | #6

       I have looked for good shalwar kameez patterns for a very long time.  I have asked many  people from  the Indian/subcontinet for patterns.  Most people just know how to free style draw them.  When made they were not a good fit.

      I have found two commerial patterns that most resemble shalwar kameez patterns.  They are both see & sew pattens #3626 and #3432.  I bought them in 20,22,24 size range.  I found that taking these patterns and then redrawing them out for my size for the tunic was the easiest.  Ready to Wear Kameezes are too tight in the bust area.  Creating your own bust dart from a sloper I found was the easiet for fitting this type of garmet.

      For the Shalwar I haven't found any American pattern the can do the trick. However, if you make a large yoke for the top of the pants and than approx a yard each leg to gather at the yoke you have a decent makeshift for a shalwar.  For the cuffs on the bottom of the pant you can use a thick fusing and embroider a few lines to finish it off.

      1. TerryToronto | | #10

        There is a salwar kameez pattern available from Folkwear patterns, but the sizing is a bit small. I am lucky enough to be near the "Indian Bazaar" neighborhood here and all the shops know a tailor who can whip up a suit (from fabric bought there) in no time and very reasonably. Have you tried asking at Asian clothing stores? I just bought 2 more suits, and am now up to 5 myself.

  3. opalmom | | #5


    I found this thread today and wanted to ask you if:

    a) you found that pattern


    b) how did you like it in Silk Linen?

    Also, any tips on working with Silk Linen?

    1. JeanetteR | | #7


      Time just ran out to create the pattern just as I envisaged it for my daughter's wedding, but I was lucky and got a lovely outfit from a charity shop, an Australian Designer trouser suit size 20, in wool crepe fully lined.

       The 6 metres of silk linen is still hanging in my wardrobe nearly one year later, waiting for a posh enough occasion to start over for that shalwar kameez idea.  Probably the nearest pattern for the top was Vogue 7397.

      In trying the various designs my friend and I came up with, we decided that the fabric was improved by interlining thoughout with the lightest grade of whisperweft, the plan was to iron it over the entire length of uncut fabric then cut out.  It seemed to improve the hand of the fabric and give it slightly more body without adding any weight.  Sorry I can't help more!


      1. Michelle | | #8

        Hi Jeanette,

        Congratulations on another up and coming wedding ........never a dull moment ;) 

        (Sorry to vear off the subject)

        Best wishes from Jerusalem,


        1. JeanetteR | | #9


          Sorry, but I seem to have got some wires crossed, no further up and coming weddings here, I was referrring to the outfit, planned and actual for Fiona's wedding in July '03.   My eldest daughter Naomi has 'companions of the female persuasion', so no forthcoming wedding there! and the twins are only four!

          Lovely to hear from you again, and how is everything going? How was your trip to London last year?    Jeanette

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