Refashion / Sew / Upcycle

Not sari anymore…or wait…never was sari!

I scored this sari shalwar kameez* (*according to my ethnically astute cousin, Vanessa- thanks for the correction!) at the thrift store. I thought this would fit me and all I would need to do was cut off a bit of length. But no, this refash required significantly more effort than initially planned- making a garment bigger is much harder than making a garment smaller! The chest and arms were wayyyy too snug, and the bottoms were wayyyyy too big. Kinda odd proportions. Are the bottoms of shalwar kameezes always made this way?

Here I am, in all my shalwar kameezian (not sure that’s a word) glory:


Yikes! Don’t mind my strawberry shower cap- my hair was in a coconut oil mask 


Good thing there’s a drawstring on these things!

Upon closer inspection of the innards, it seemed that someone had actually sewed this themselves. They used pinking shears and thankfully for me, had left a relatively large seam allowance.


We’ve got lots of space here!

So, I got to picking away all the seams.  Picking, picking, annnnnnd more picking. It seemed like it would never end!

IMG_2471Then I tried it on and determined where I wanted the new seam. Pinned it down, and sewed away!


Now that the top fit, I wanted to get rid of some length, assymetrically. I used sparkly metallic thread to finish the raw edges, but did not use a metallic thread needle…so my thread broke a few times and somehow my bobbin thread became a gigantic knot.

The material was also tricky- it bunched with a regular zig zag. I used a three point zig zag (not sure if that’s the technical label!) which (sort of) prevented bunching and hopefully will prevent fray parties in the future!


It’s slightly wavy at the hem but that’s okay.


When I added a time stamp to my camera, I didn’t realize that it would actually show up on the real picture. Oops.

I little off a little too much length, but decided that this could be a flowy (almost but thankfully not) crop top. I also shortened the sleeves because they looked funny being longer with a short top. And here’s the final product!



Assymetrical! (it’s not just because I’m leaning that way)

With high waisted jeans or a high waisted skirt, I think I will actually wear this shirt in public. Yipeeeeee!

BEFORE                                       AFTER


And as for the pants, I can’t decide exactly how I’d like to refashion them yet. To the future refash stash they go.

On another note, does anyone know an easy way to add text to photos for iPhoto?


2 thoughts on “Not sari anymore…or wait…never was sari!

  1. Love the pun… But it never was a sari! It’s a shalwar kameez. Technically. Anyway… not that important. Love the top! Interested to see what you do with the pants!


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