Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Simple Kameez Tutorial part one

Asalam Alaikum,
For your kameez, you will need a piece of cloth that is at least 32" by 96". If you like short sleeves then 32" by 96" should be enough. If you want longer sleeves there are different options- first you could join two pieces together to make the sleeve pieces the right size, or you could just get a larger piece of cloth.

The first step is to get the measurements needed for your suit. To make this easier you may want to measure a shirt you already own(it doesn't have to be a kameez any non-stretchy shirt will work), but it is not absolutely necessary. Measuring a shirt that you already have makes it a bit easier because then you don't have to figure out how much ease you need.

-Measurement one is your chest measurement. Measure across the widest part of your bust, I add about three inches of ease because I like my suits on the loose side.
-Measurement two is what I call the "under bust" measurement. It is roughly 2-3 inches below your bust or about 4-5 inches above your belly button. I also add three inches of ease to this measurement.
-Measurement three is your hips, measure at the widest part. I only add two inches of ease here.
-Measurement four is your sleeve length, measure from the top of your shoulder(where the seam of your shirt sits) to the length that you want and add 3 inches.
-Measurement five is around the widest part of your upper arm. Here also I add three inches ease.
-Measurement six is your wrist, if you want half sleeves measure around the area you want your sleeves to end. If you go for long sleeves, you may want to measure around the widest part of your forearm, to make sure your sleeves are loose enough that you can push them up if you need to.
-Measurement seven is the kameez length. While standing measure from where your shoulder seam is to where you want your kameez to end, then add three inches. I like a finished length of 38", and I am 5'2" tall. The kameez is exactly at the middle of my knee cap. Current fashion in Karachi is longer kameezes, but for my daily wear I try to stick to regular length/fit.
-Measurement eight is your shoulder measurement, just measure from one shoulder seam to the other, and add 2 inches.

Step two is to cut two rectangles-
Fold your cloth in half length wise, with right sides together. Take you widest measurement(including ease, probably hips or chest), then add an additional two inches for seams. Measure across this amount, and then measure down your length plus three inches. Cut along these lines, and then fold the two rectangles in half length wise again so that on one side is a fold and the other is four edges.
Step three starts on the upper left corner, measure out half of what you got in measurement eight. My shoulder measurement is 12, then I add two, to get 14 so I measure out from the fold 7 inches and mark. From this mark, measure straight down 8 inches and mark. Draw a line from the first mark to the second, and then straight across to the edge. Now measure out from the corner of the rectangle you just drew, and mark at 1 1/2". Now draw a curved line from the top mark, down through the diagonal mark, and end at the bottom right corner.
Step four, from the fold side measure out and mark half of your chest measurement(including ease), and mark. Then measure down from that line 7 1/2"(if you have a larger chest, like a D cup or more you may want to add an inch or two), from there measure out the underbust measurement(including ease) and mark. Again measure down 7 1/2" and from there measure out by your hip measurement. It is important to make sure that there is one inch on the outside edge from the hip mark down to the bottom, if your hip was not you largest measurement you may have to trim this area. Now draw a line connecting the bust measurement to the underbust to the hip. Then draw another line parallel to that one, one inch out towards the edge.

Here is a pic of my suit with chalk marks, before cutting.

Step five starting at the top, cut along the curved line first, then cut along the outer line from bust to hip.

Step six -Now for the neck you will need a piece of light weight fusible interfacing. It needs to be at least 8 inches wide by 7 inches tall. Fold it in half, and draw the shape you want for your neck opening, keeping the piece one inch wide. If you like a larger neck opening then you can use a larger piece of interfacing, but the neck piece should always be 1 inch wide.

Step seven- Take your interfacing and iron it to the wrong side of an extra piece of cloth that is half an inch larger on all sides except the top.
Step eight- Fold the edges over and sew a line one quarter of an inch from the edge.
Step nine-Take one of your shirt pieces, and place it right side up on a flat surface. take the interfacing that you just sewed and place it interfacing(wrong) side up. So the right sides are facing each other. It is very important that this part be exactly centered between the shoulders. You may want to pin it, so that it doesn't move while sewing otherwise your neck opening will be crooked.
Step 10-Sew a line around the inside of the neck, just on the very edge of the interfacing. Cut out the middle section leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Step 11-turn the interfacing to the wrong side of the shirt, and then sew two lines, one on the very edge, and one half an inch out. This is the simplest way to do the neck, but a more authentic way is after folding the interfacing in, use the blind hem technique on the the very edge of the interfacing. I found a really good tutorial for this technique here.
Step twelve-For the back neck opening, fold the shirt back in half with the right sides facing. Measure out from the fold 3 inches, and down 2 1/2". measure out diagonally from the corner 1 inch and mark. Now draw a curved linefrom the fold through the diagonal mark, and up to the top. Cut along this line.
Step thirteen-Take a long strip of extra cloth that is 1 1/2 inches wide, and fold in halfw

Pin the strip to the raw edge of the neck opening with the fold facing away from the raw edge. Cut away the extra length of the stripe. Sew a 1/4 inch seam.
Step fourteen-Fold the strip you just sewed to the inside(wrong) side of the shirt piece, and sew along the edge of the strip. Or you could use the blind hem technique.

This is the end of part one of the kameez tutorial. I hope to post part two soon. ETA-Link to Part Two

If anyone spots any errors or you find any part a bit confusing comment to let me know.


Umm Aaminah said...

Salaam sis. I've read through your blog a bit. I wish I could learn to knit but really it looks complicated.

I used to be married to an Indian Muslim so I appreciate the ease and beauty of kameez. Thanks for posting and if I ever get to make one, I'll link to you insha'allah.

Ma salaama!

Unknown said...

Asalaam Alaikum!

Yay a sewing tutorial!! Will have a go inshAllah! Been meaning to learn for a long time

Gail said...

Assalaam waliekum. Eid Mubarak, sister and thank you for posting the tutorial.

sumaiya said...

assalamoalaikum sis
i m a newly married indian girl recently shifted to abudhabi.i wanted to learn these stuffs a lot but didnt got d time.i really liked ur post.very good work.i got to learn a lot from ur postings. jazakallah khair.

Anonymous said...

step three is different for front part of the shirt than the back part...please illustrate that too..would be a great help..

Aishah said...

hi anonymous, step three is the same for the front and back. The cutting measurements for the back neck opening, which is what you might be thinking of, start in step 12.

Desi Woman said...

You need to check She has your tutorials word for word.

Aishah said...

Hi Desi Woman, Thank you so much for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

Assalam wa alaikum dearest sister!!

I am an english revert of ten years alhamdulilah!
Recently my mom gave me a sewing machine and I have always wanted to learn how to sew a khemise, now thanks to you I can have a go, I am an absolute novice, so im going to try with plain fabric so i dont have to worry about pattern, insh'allah.
I also knit and am learning to crochet so your blog is right up my street, jazak'allah khair xx

Sister Asma

Khadijah said...

Salam Aisha love your tutorial you explain so specifically i have been really successful with my kameez !

Fatima said...

Salam sister great tutorial i am just confused about the measurement i mean when we measure our bust and all the other measurements do we measure around the body ?

Anonymous said...

Salaam sis , I know a little about sewing but needed to tune up on my skills to get better finish and been looking at video on you tube then i came across your website when i typed in neckline template's on Google. yesssss It is exactly what i was looking. i want to know how to do ban neckline with buttons come down if you know what i mean. Please post something. :)

Anonymous said...

It's just wonderful.I found your instructions so clear.
I would really appreciate if you explain from where the value 8 comes in step three.

Aishah said...

Anonymous-8 is the depth for an average sized person. For a heavier person it might be more than 8, and for smaller/younger people it would be less. I suggest measuring a kameez that fits to check your own personal measurements if 8 seems to large or too small for you.

Swati said...

I made my first kameez successfully...My husband and my friends were so impressed....and the credit goes to you and only you..why don't you make some more tutorials on it? i mean the different patterns...please post a small tutorial on sleeveless kameez.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Thank you for your tutorial.The way you did back neck binding, can I use the same method to bind the armhole for a sleeveless kameez? And can I use the same method for front neck as I prefer plain neck opening with minimal depth.

Aishah said...

Hi, you could use bias strips on a sleeveless kameez. You may have to adjust the curve of the armhole, but I don't make sleeveless kameezes often so I have little experience. Theoretically you could use it on the neck opening as well, we use the interfacing to give the neck opening strength, otherwise it can be a bit floppy. You could make a neck that was not as deep and still use the interfacing.

binatehawwa said...

Assalam O Alikum Wa RahmatuLLHA.
JazakELLAHU khairan for the help.
After amma's continuous scolding, i have to learn it i think. :)
Hope so will find it easy.
Your blog is a great help.

Unknown said...

Hi, very nicely explained post. Can you please tell me how did you draw the diagram for post? I mean did you use any software or some other way.?

Gurmeet kaur.

Aishah said...

@Gurmeet- I just used the basic paint program to draw the fitting diagrams and to edit the pictures to add the text. Easy and quick.

Unknown said...

Hi, Aisha,
Thanks for your prompt reply and sorry for being late in response as I was not in city.

Kayla said...

Hi Mrs.Aishah, this is an amswer to prayer:) I have been looking for a tutorial for months and now I found it. Thank you so much. One thing though, i did end up with way too much cloth and had to cut off alot. Could you explain exactly how to lay the measurments out on the fabric? Thanks:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your tutorial! It's helped me so much. I've made two kameezes already thanks to your clear and wonderful instructions! I couldn't have learnt better from a master tailor. Thanks again <3

Niranjana Munasinghe said...

I am a Sri Lankan, I would like to try out this method.

Thank you


Niranjana Munasinghe said...

Thank you for the tutorial


Anonymous said...

Hi Aishah, can u plz explain the step 14 for the back neck opening? why we need to fold the strip halfway and if it's in length wise folding or widthwise? One more thing as the back neck opening is bit curved do we have to cut a straight strip?

Anonymous said...

Thank you ever so much!

I have loved these since I was a child and my best friends mum wore them. She still does, but we parted ways when we both returned to the states at different times. And to different parts of the US. We were both oil patch kids living in Indonesia, I lived there for ten years between 1980 and 1990.

I came back to north dakota and married a farm boy and have been married for almost 18 years now. But through the power of pinterest I have fallen in love with them all over again. I do sew, clothes, quilts and odds and ends so I am determined to make myself several to enjoy. I always dreamed of owning a sari as well and not only will I own it, but will wear it with pride. Even if it is in my small rural farming community... but it brings back so many wonderful memories.. I share my experiences of the world with my 3 kids and hubby so they will be more accepting of those that are different than some of their peers.... but after showing my youngest daughter pictures.... she also wants some her size as well. But she is very crafty like myself and wants to help sew them as well. At 10 she is quite experienced with a sewing machine. So we are looking forward to using your tutorials as locally we have quilt fabric which is 45" long by whatever you have it cut for length. But they do have some nice cottons. But once I perfect it in cotton I plan on ordering or buying when I get to a real fabric store to buy silks and other nice fabrics. But until I work a pattern out I think I will make my first out of old flat sheets that are in my rag bin when the bottom fitted wore out. 5 dogs that like to scratch before laying down doesn't help! But this way I can play until I like it, and then I can feel good about my pattern until it's correct and not wasting my good fabric on trials. Just like formalism are often made in muslin before the nice fabric is cut.

Thanks again for taking the time to write, but also take pictures for your tutorials. Pictures can make or break a tutorial and as a teacher of a craft as well I also take pictures to make it easier to understand. After all a picture is worth a thousand words!


I will make another post once we have one completed!