The Indian sari is a comfortable, feminine and elegant way to wrap yourself for a formal or casual occasion. The simplicity of the garment's construction and the variety of wrapping styles make it the perfect at-home project for those of you looking to get the exotic look without traveling the distance to India or searching out an ethnic boutique. Learn how to simply make your own Indian sari.
Go online and research saris. Pay close attention to wrapping styles, color palettes and patterns of the sari fabric. Note your favorite colors or trends, as well as the style of undergarment worn with your favorite sari. See references for sari wrapping ideas or styles. Keep in mind that the sari is a single piece of fabric which can be wrapped hundreds of ways, or you can design your own style; the traditional sari is simply one long sheet of fabric.
Go to your local fabric store and purchase raw fabric in the color and pattern of your choice. The minimum length of a sari is 6 yards, with the width being the same as raw fabric sold at the fabric store, no modification needed. Buy 9 yards for larger body frames or more complicated wrapping styles. Use discretion and purchase 9 yards if you are not sure of the length; trim excess yards according to your size and style after returning home and experimenting with wrapping.
Examine the fabric choice. For fabrics that are prone to fraying, turn over the edge and sew a simple hem to keep stray strings and fraying from damaging the seam of the sari. For fabrics that are stiffer or do not display fraying, no hem is needed. Check your side hem periodically to be sure that no fraying is occurring from wear and washing.
Pair your sari with a tank top or shirt. Choose colors that will match your fabric, and keep in mind what style of shirt will be flattering with the style of sari wrap you chose. Wear your shirt and regular daily undergarments. Wrap your fabric according to the style you chose during your research, or see the references section for some of the best and most beautiful ideas, using a series of folds and wraps that take the single sheet of sari fabric and make it into an Indian wrap dress.
See the references section for great step by step guides on how to wrap your sari once you have finished making it.
W. Nicole Barclay has been writing and editing professionally since 2004, focusing on the fashion and retail industry. She graduated from Parsons the New School for Design and holds a Bachelor of Science in history, international affairs and archeology from Northeastern University. She has completed master's degree work in public policy and nonprofit administration at Northeastern University and The American University in Cairo.