How to Stitch a Churidar Step-by-Step With Pictures
Churidars are among the most common outfits for the women of India. They are suitable for all ages — from children to grandmas. They are popular because they are easy to wear.
Personally, they are one of my favorite kinds of dresses. Churidars come in a huge variety. They're also closely related to the traditional sari.
The churidar is available in markets, both in ready-made form as well as just the material with ready-to-stitch supplies. Since the fit obviously matters to us, most prefer ones that are stitched by a tailor.
However, when a heavy outfit is required, most prefer ready-made or ready-to-stitch ones. These outfits come with some parts already stitched, and can be shaped to fit after they are purchased.
Nowadays, their popularity has increased so much that there are tailoring shops in every nook and cranny of the city. Because of the high demand, it often takes over a week to get one stitched.
The rates also vary by location. For example, in Kerala itself, towards Kottayam and Changanacherry, I've experienced a reasonable price of 80-100 rupees per stitch.
However, in Trivandrum, the minimum charge was 180, which goes up with additional features (for example, a piping in the sleeve or a design on top, etc).
Because of this, I thought I'd try it myself. Read on to learn my method.
Measurements and Cutting the Cloth
Below, I've included pictures to accompany each step of how I do the cutting and stitching.
In the two photos above, you can see the cotton material I used. The fabric for the top has a different color and pattern than the fabric for the bottom.
Take the material for the top and fold it into quarters as shown in the figure above.
Take a correctly fitted, finished churidar, fold it, and place it on top of the material as shown, to transfer its measurements onto the fabric.
When you outline the churidar to mark the material, leave extra space for the width of the seams that you will stitch. In the picture above, you can see the material marked with blue chalk.
Cut the top portion along the marked measurements.
Now, fold the remaining top material in half, and mark a portion for the sleeve.
Cut the measured sleeve along the markings.
This is how the sleeve should look, once the cutting is done.
Now, mark the neck opening on the piece you have for the top. Don't forget to place an extra piece of material along that portion while marking, since you need to stitch it onto the top inside out to make the facing for the neck opening.
The two above photos should give you an idea of how the extra piece and top portions will look, once you finish cutting along the marked line.
Now it's time to outline the bottom (or the pants) of your churidar set.
Cut out the material for the pants along the marks. The legs are cut extra wide at the top to allow for pleats, with an extra piece for the waistband.
Now that you've completed the marking and cutting portion of this process, it's time to stitch. Please see the below pictures and instructions.
I used my electrical sewing machine to get the stitching done. I've been using this one for four years. Let’s start with the bottom portion.
Create pleats in the middle, at the hip, when you stitch each pair of top and bottom pieces together.
Do the other leg the same way.
Now, join both legs as shown in the figure above. Include a fold at the top with a bit of room for the cord that ties the pants.
You've now completed your bottom portion. To add my own personal flair, I sewed on a folded piece of the top material as a decorative detail along the bottom of the leg. You can do this for yours as well by folding the same and stitching.
As you'll see below, I took a small strip of the material from the bottom and used it as piping along the hem of the sleeves.
Stitch the neck piece along with the separately cut portion so that both sides face each other. Then, stitch by placing the outside portion inside the top portion.
Both the front and back neck are stitched as explained. I also created piping along the openings on the side of the top with some material from the bottom piece.
Now stitch the sleeves onto the top, with both good sides facing each other, stitched from the inside. It should look like the photo above.
Now, join the sides from the sleeve to slit portion. Your churidar is now ready to wear.
I hope my efforts give you a good overview on how to stitch a churidar. I do hope that somebody will get inspired to try or learn this for themselves. I'm happy to help however I can. Please don't hesitate to leave your comments or questions below.
© 2012 DEEPA JOHN