Making a Sari – Pt. 2

So, what is a sari? It’s generally 6 yards (although that varies) of fabric (that should be long enough to go from your waist to the floor, with a few extra inches for tucking). That’s it.

I, of course, had to make it harder — I’d recently worn a sari which had a nice layer of glittery light fabric over a heavier fabric, and I liked that effect, and since I was going for a South Asian star-princess sort of look (in keeping with ChiCon’s “Take to the Stars” theme), I was figuring that if I had a light gold base fabric and a glittery fabric over it, that would give a sort of glittering star effect.

Which meant that I needed TWO lengths of fabric, to sew together. This is where I went wrong, in multiple ways.

1) I ordered the base fabric, the trim, and the blouse fabric on Etsy, and it all arrived in good time. But somehow, the glittery fabric had not arrived. Why not? Eventually, I went back to Etsy and discovered that I’d never actually purchased that fabric; it was still sitting in my cart. Doh!

2) We were now about a week out from ChiCon, and I really didn’t have much free time — not enough to go into the city to the bigger fabric stores. But I figured I could at least TRY hitting the Jo-Ann near me, and when I did, I found a couple possibilities for the glittery fabric — none as nice as what I’d found online, but oh well.

3) But it was also more expensive than I’d planned on, and that’s when I had my stroke of genius, or rather, failure. Instead of buying six yards of it, I thought — hey, I’m short (5’0″), and saris are always way too long on me and I have to tuck a ton of fabric, making for a very bulky waist, so I probably don’t need nearly as long a width on my fabric as the standard sari.

4) SO, logically, I can surely buy 3 yards of the glittery fabric, cut it in half along the length, and that’ll give me 6 yards, and it’ll still be long enough.

5) Reader, did I measure any of this as I stood in the Jo-Ann, pondering? I did not.

6) I bought the 3 yards of fabric, brought it home, and when I went to start work on the sari (remember, it’s now about 2 a.m., and I’m not thinking so clearly), I cut it along the length.

7) And of course, it’s not so easy to cut along the length neatly when you’re working with this weird novelty fabric that sticks to itself and spills glitter absolutely EVERYWHERE — all the exercise equipment that was near my sewing stuff is currently covered in glitter. This part was very frustrating, but I channeled my Amma’s stubbornness (I get it honestly), and kept powering through, and eventually I had it all cut, and THEN I held it up against myself and realized it was not nearly long enough.

8.) But hey — I had border trim, so surely that would be enough to add the extra length I needed. In for a penny, in for several pounds at this point, and I was damn well going to at least put it together and drape it and see what I had.

9) I somehow managed to sew the two pieces of glitter fabric together (making a seam which ended up very visible in the finished piece, which was annoying — I’d hoped it would be hidden in the folds, but NO), and then sewed that to the base fabric, and then sewed on the border trim (which I had JUST BARELY enough of for the bottom and enough of the top edge (the part that would be visible and not tucked).

10) And then I tried it on. And reader, it was not a sari. It wasn’t really full enough — I had figured someone my size didn’t need a full 6 yard sari, so I think my final version (when I was running out of trim) was more like 5 yards, and that was okay. But it definitely wasn’t long enough — it came to just above my ankles, rather than sweeping just above the floor.

So, what to do? I decided it was basically a lehenga, or at least something lehenga-like, instead of a sari, and called it a day!

The moral of the story is: Don’t cheap out on buying enough fabric, or you may live to regret it.

The final question is — did it work? Stay tuned…

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