HOW TO STITCH ANARKALI SUIT WITH LAYERS / SEWING BASICS




Anarkali suits are one of the most popular Indian dresses. I have already done a post on how to stitch a basic anarkali suit and in this post the method of stitching anarkali suit with layers or tiers is discussed. Usually in this type of anarkali suit, 3, 4 or 5 layers are pleated and stitched one below the other.  The layers can be of the same colour or of 2 or 3 different but related colours. Anarkali suit is usually stitched with thin fabrics like chiffon and Georgette.

Construction

0 to 2 – 1/6 chest +1"
2 to 3 – 1/4 chest + 1" or 1 ¼ " or 1 ½”
0 to 4 – half shoulder
4 to 5 – 1/2"
0 to 6 – 1/6 round neck + 1/2”
0 to 7 - Back Neck depth (standard = 3”)
6 to 8 - Front Neck depth (standard = 6”)
0 to 9 – Waist length minus 2” (since anarkali has a high waist)
9 to 10- ¼ waist + 1” or 1 ¼” or 1 ½”

Method

For stitching an anarkali top, you need two fabrics, a main cloth and a lining cloth. The lining cloth should always be of the same colour as the main cloth.The dress will have two parts, a single piece upper part and a lower part having layers. The lining cloth can be cut as an A line kameez

To begin with, first measure and note down the body measurements. Then prepare a draft for the upper part on paper using the construction given above and cut on the marked lines. Keep the draft ready. 

Now take the cloth, fold it in the reverse such that the two selve edges of the cloth are on top of each other. Then fold again such that the two ends are on top of each other. Now you will have 4 layers. Make sure that you are seeing the reverse part.



Place the draft on top of the cloth and mark the outline on the cloth using a chalk. Then leaving 1” extra cloth along the sides and ½” extra cloth along the neck, shoulder and armhole, cut the cloth. The front and back necks and arm holes have to be cut separately because their curves are different. Hence take care while cutting it. The shoulder line of all the four layers must be equal. For more details refer How to stitch a kameez.

Next place the draft on top of the lining cloth and mark on the cloth till the 0 to 1 measurement. For more details visit how to stitch a kameez. Cut the lining cloth leaving 1" allowance at the sides, and 1/2" allowance at the neck, shoulders and arm holes. Now you will have 2 pieces of lining cloth, 1 for the front and the other for the back. (This is different from the main dress as the main dress will have separate upper and lower parts)

After cutting the cloth for the upper part, the cloth for the lower part have to be cut. For this, thin pieces of cloth have to be cut and stitched one below the other. The height of each piece can be the same but usually the height is taken with increasing values like 9, 10, and 11. Measure the total height of the dress and subtract the 0 to 9 measurement. With the remaining length divide into 3 or 4 layers and cut accordingly.

For example, if the height of the anarkali = 50” and 0 to 9 measurement = 12”

Then remaining cloth height = 38”. This can be divided into 3 or 4 layers of increasing height. Here we have divided it into 4 layers having height equal to 8”, 9”, 10”, and 11”. Add 1" extra in all the pieces as stitching allowance (i.e.1/2" for stitching the upper part and 1/2" for stitching the lower part). Hence the height of the four pieces will now be 9", 10", 11", and 12".

And for finding the length of each layer the following method can be followed.

Waist = 4 x (9 to 10 measurement)
             (here 9 to 10 measurement taken = 7”
              Hence waist = 4 x 7” = 28”)

For the first layer,
Length = ½ waist + ¼ waist
(Here it is equal to 21”)

For the remaining layers
Length = previous length + previous length/ 2

Hence according to the example, for the second layer length = 31 ½”
Third layer length = 47 ¼ 
Fourth layer length = 71 ½  



Add 1" extra to each of the pieces (such that the length will now be 22", 32 1/2", 48 1/4" and 72 1/2") and cut the cloth.After cutting these four layers, repeat the process and cut another 4 layers. 4 layers are cut for the front and the other 4 are for the back.

This is just an example; you can decide on the height of your anarkali suit and calculate accordingly using the formula given above. 

After cutting the layers, pleat the first layer such that the length is equal to 2 times 9 to 10 measurement. Secure it by stitching long stitches on top. (You can remove this after stitching it to the upper part) The next layer has to be pleated and stitched to the first layer such that its length after pleating will reduce to the actual length of the first layer. Continue the process till all the layers are attached. Once the front part is done, do the same thing for the back portion. Make sure that all the stitches are at 1/2" distance from the ends. After stitching measure with an inch tape and check if the length of the anarkali suit is perfect.

 

After the layers are stitched and ready, stitch them to the upper part at the waist. Now you will have two pieces of anarkali suit, 1 for the front and the other for the back. Stitch the front part with the front part of the lining cloth and the back part with the back part of the lining cloth at the shoulders. Join the 4 pieces at the shoulders and finish the neck and sleeves. For these refer Finishing the neck and Cutting the sleeves for its construction. Once the neck part is completed and the sleeves are cut, stitch them to the armholes. Anarkalis usually have long sleeves but you can also stitch puffed sleeves as shown in the picture. The tutorial on puffed sleeves can be found here.

Then start stitching both the sides starting from the sleeve ends to the upper part of the top. Do reverse stitches at the ends. For the lower part, stitch the lining and the main cloth separately at the sides. The sides are closed in an anarkali dress hence the sides of the lining and main cloth have to be stitched without any opening. The bottom end of the lining should be double folded 2” to 3” whereas the bottom end of the main dress can be double folded 1/2" or a lace can also be attached or a picot can be done. After stitching turn the dress to the reverse and overlock the open ends to prevent threads from coming out. 

After stitching the anarkali suit will have flair as shown.




I have tried to explain the method of stitching this variety of anarkali suit as clearly as possible but making this type of anarkali suit is quite complicated, hence it is advisable to use your discretion while you stitch. If you are a beginner it is recommended to start with stitching basic kameez or a basic anarkali suit before trying out this one. For tutorial on stitching a gathering pant visit this page.


The images are just a pictorial representation.
I have tried to explain the method as clearly as possible but it is advisable to use your discretion while stitching this dress. If you are a beginner then you can start by stitching a basic kameez or kurti and then move on to other patterns.

For more tutorials visit the dress designs page.




15 comments:

  1. Awesome instructions, so cool!! wish you were in my city. would have come to learn from you :)

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  2. beautifully explained, i am recommending your blog to a friend of mine who is very interested in stitching :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you.. i hope she will find my blog helpful :)

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  3. Hello, and assalamwalequm, for making this pattern i searched all gypsy skirt patterns to lower part [tiers of gher\ flair] but you are so talented you made draft for that, Allah aapko hamesha khush-haal rakhe, THANK YOU SO MUCH...........

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  4. Hello, and assalamwalequm, mam , EID MUBARAK
    my query is each layers are 2 nos [two pieces] so the 1st tier length 21 inches = 21 inches for front part of kameez AND 21 inches for back part of kameez, iam making the dress from my moms saree..........

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    Replies
    1. Yes each layer has 2 pieces, one for the front and one for the back. The first layer has two pieces of length 21" each. Hence the total length will be 42" and this is pleated and attached to the waist of length 28"...

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  5. amazing..just loved it

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  6. i learnt it useful thanks

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  7. Thank you so much. I stitched an anarkali and chudi bottom for my 4 year old daughter following your instructions. It came out beautiful and she is very happy. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Hi ami, your blog is so useful for beginners like me. I thanked you very much. Keep blogging.

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  9. hi.it is a very useful blog .if u can post how to stitch different types of jabala, how to stitch different types of frocks, how to stitch different types of skirts, how to stitch different types of blouses.waiting for ur reply and the new posts.

    ReplyDelete

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