Thursday, June 10, 2010

Simple Kameez Tutorial part two

Asalam Alaikum,
Now we will start part two of the kameez tutorial.

Here again for reference, the measurements list that 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 one is to cut the sleeves, you will need two rectangles. The width should be the number you got for measurement 5(including ease)plus an additional 2 inches for seams. The length should be the number you got from measurement 4 plus three inches. If the original cloth you got for the kameez was only 32" by 96", you may need to join two pieces together to make each of you sleeves wide enough. If you want short sleeves this should not be a problem.

Step two, place the two sleeves with right sides facing each other and fold in half. In the picture below the fold is on the bottom and there are four raw edges at the top. From the bottom left corner, measure a diagonal line across to the raw edges that is nine inches long and mark. Then draw a curved line from the fold side to the raw edges as shown below.

Then cut along the line.

Step three is to hem the sleeves, fold the raw edges to the wrong side half an inch and then fold it over another half an inch. Sew one line of stitches on the fold, and another on the very edge of the sleeve.

Step four, mark the center of the sleeve on the shoulder side. You can kind of see in this picture and the one above where I made a join to widen the sleeves. With my regular suits the cloth comes in a set length, so I end up with joins on almost all of my sleeves, because I don't wear short sleeves. For fancier suits the cloth comes in larger sizes, and I sometimes get a little extra just in case.

Step five, place your kameez front and back together with right sides facing each other. sew a one inch seam across the top of the shoulders, taking care to make sure the neck openings match up.

Step six, place your shirt piece on a flat surface with the right side facing up. Then take one of your sleeves, and place it in the sleeve opening, matching the mark you made with the shoulder seam. Put a pin throught the sleeve and the shoulder seam to hold it in place. Now hold one corner of the sleeve up to the corner of the sleeve opening and pin, do the same for the other corner. Place pins along the sleeve to hold it in place. If your sleeve edges and the edges of the opening don't match up exactly it is not a big deal. I find the easiest way to make sure the sleeves end up even is to start sewing at the shoulder seam and sew to one edge. Then I start again at the shoulder seam and sew to the other edge. Do this for both sleeves.

Turn the shirt to the right side and check the sleeves to make sure there are no weird bumps or anything. If it looks a bit strange, turn back to the wrong side and sew along the seam again, straightening out any strange looking sections. If you have some experience sewing clothes it may be a bit easier to get it right the first time. If you don't have a lot of experience, after the first or second try it gets easier to figure it out.

Step seven, fold the shirt in half with right sides facing in, and mark your sleeve and side seams. Starting at the end of your sleeve using measurement six, measure down from the fold, and mark. I like very wide loose sleeves so I used 6 inches. Repeat for second sleeve.

Step eight, Make one mark at the armpit of the shirt, one inch in from the edge, and then connect that mark with the mark at the wrist. Repeat for second sleeve.

Step nine, you will now mark out your side seams. You should have one line already marked from when you cut the kameez. Mark the opposite side in the same way. Measure across the chest, underbust and hips to make sure that the measurements match your own measurements.

Step ten-Your lines should look like the photo below, starting at the end of your sleeves, sew straight to the armpit, with the needle still down lift the presser foot and turn the cloth. Continue to sew along your line until you hit the mark for the hip, stop and sew backwards over about 1 inch to secure the end. At this point you should try on your kameez to make sure the fit is correct. If you find it too loose or too tight in any area re-sew the seam until it fits the way you want.

Step eleven, Lay your kameez down flat, there should be one inch of cloth on the outside of the hip. From the hip mark to the bottom of the kameez, fold the raw edge in half an inch, and then another half an inch, pin every couple of inches. Be careful not to pin the front to the back. Repeat this folding and pinning on the remaining three edges.

Step twelve- Start on the bottom of the kameez, sew one line on the very edge of the fold, straight up, turn 90 degrees, sew over one inch, again turn 90 degrees and sew straight down to the bottom of the other side. sew a second line on the inner edge straight up one side, and then down the second side. Repeat for the other side of the kameez.

Step thirteen- On the front side fold up the bottom of the kameez half an inch and another half an inch, and sew two lines. One on the fold side and one on the edge of the hem. Repeat for the back of the kameez.

Your kameez is now finished.

If you have any problems or suggestions please leave a comment.


Mary said...

:) I can't thank you enough for this tutorial. Definitely, before our next trip to India, I'm going to have to make at least one from the fabric sets that I bought the last time I was there!

Adventurous Ammena said...

subhanallah sis... you make it look soo easy masha'Allah

Anonymous said...

So, I had seen your blog in passing a few times - but never actually realised that you are a 'gori' until today...
I of course continued to read over and marvel at the wonderful crafty things that you do!!!


This is fantastic, I am so tempted now to give this a try!!
I too have had perilous attempts at having tailors stitch suits & with the tailors in Australia I am almost certain I could do a better job!

Love the baby clothes too!!

Fitrus said...

I really really appreciate your effort. This is simply greaaaaaaat!!
Thank you so so much sister.
Stay Blessed.

Manair said...

hi aishah,
Thank you for sharing this for all of us. You have made it look so simple. I appreciate the effort and wish you continue the same. I am gonna make one for myself soon :)

Anonymous said...

ye to asaan ... buttt mushkil bhi he thori c :pppppppppppppppp

Fatima said...

Assalamualaikum Sister Aishah,

I am so excited to sew my kameez and deeply appreciate all your efforts of posting a tutorial, Mashallah, it is a big help for new learners.

I had couple of questions:

1) for armhole you are showing 8 inches in your tutorial, so is your armhole round about 16 inches? If so, do we need to leave extra inch there as we will be sewing the shoulders at 1 inch seam.

2) The armhole curve cutting for both pieces is at 1.5 inches mark, will this create a lot of issues in the end to sew the sleeve according to your experience? Or do you suggest to cut front deeper than back at this point once again based on your expertise as a new learner.

Jazak Allah,


Aishah said...

Wa alaikum asalam Sister Fatima,

I am very glad you are finding it helpful! About your questions-
1. The arm hole ends up being longer than 16 as the curve goes from the shoulder out to the chest measurement, instead of straight from the top down(if this makes any sense, I don't know how else to explain it:-)

This measurement stays the same for many sizes, but if it looks too small I would suggest measuring another shirt(non stretch) that fits and checking if the measurement is the same.

2.I have not had any major problems in the armholes, as I sew them on before fitting the sides. If you were to do a set in sleeve where the sleeve tube and the body of the shirt were each sewn separtly and then sewn to each other it may cause a problem.

I do recommend sewing a practice kameez in a cheaper fabric before working on expensve stuff, to get an idea of how you like the pattern first.

Do let me know if you have any other questions!

Fatima said...

Sister Aishah,

Thank you so much for answering the questions promptly. Guess what! yesterday I was so excited and spent my day cutting the kameez from an old bedsheet i had and since i do not have a sewing machine yet, i hand sewed my kameez and completed part one of the tutorial, am working on sewing sleeves and rest of body piece now.So far because of your tutorial, I have done good. Very easy to follow instructions.

I did measure the armhole for my shirt and used that measurement. Inshallah soon i will complete it and let you know more!

take care


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I did complete my first kameez but before getting an answer hehe as i got too excited, so the result was that i measured my armhole length too big. It turned out ok. But I was so happy as i made my first kameez and it was pretty good. Just a gather from back neck to sleeve, probably because armhole length was too much.

So this time, i wanted to just confirm with you if i am following the right steps. If you can please review this and advise if I have made any mistakes. Thanks!

My shoulders are 17 inches ready and my measurement from shoulder around armhole is 19.5 inches or we can make this whole number 20 inches.

My chest measurement is 47 inches without ease, umm with ease as per your method it will be 50 inches.

so now when i do my markings.

shoulder will be 17 " + 2"= 19 (so when cutting it will be 9.5 inches)

armhole length will still be 8" (can you confirm please)

chest measurement will be 47+ 3 ease+ 2 inches seam= 52 inches (so when cutting it will be 13")

So now when i make my curve, I am still using the 1.5 diagonal and making my armhole curve and joining
this curved line to 50 inches mark for chest measurment or to 52 inches which include the seam?(please confirm)

For sleeves, my measurement 4 sleeve width will be 16" + 3 ease+ 2 inches seam= 21 inches
(so when cutting this will be 11 inches please confirm)

length of sleeve for me will be 21" + 3 for seams= 24 inches

so now i will make rectange of 21 inches wide and 24 inches long.

Also when i cut my sleeve, since my armhole round is 20 inches,
from folded bottom left corner, am i measuring 10 inches plus 1 inch for seam = 11 inches diagonally and marking that point? please confirm.

And then when i am making the curve, is that curve calculation based on 9 inches mark from the point i marked earlier?

What i mean is the diagonal point that i marked earlier , once again am i measuring towards the left side to see where it ends up with 9 inches and then making a curve to make it look balanced? please confirm.

Thanks for reading and answering all my lengthy quesitons.


Aishah said...

Salams Fatima,

Yes, your armhole measurement(the verticle one) should be 8" unless you find that a practice kameez is too tight/loose at the under arm. The curve of the arm hole should connect to the 52" seam(the 13"inch mark when your fabric is folded).

Your other measurements all look fine. I am a bit unsure about the upper curved part of your sleeve, so instead of marking a diagonal point and making the curve to that- I think the best thing to do would be to take a shirt that fits you, amd measure the length of the seam on the under side of the sleeve, from the cuff to the armpit area and then measure the same length on the raw edges(not the fold side) of the sleeve rectangles. InshAllah this helps a bit, let me know if you have any other questions,

Anonymous said...

A.o.A can I get ur tutorial in Urdu.I can't undrstand it properly.if this is in Urdu I can understand it.

Aishah said...

wa alaikum asalam, I am very sorry, but my Urdu is not really good enough to be able to explain the details properly. There are some videos on Youtube that I have seen for cutting, they are from a class someone took in pk.Try searching for "RangoonWala cutting class" on youtube, the videos are in Urdu so they might be easier for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 4 help.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for posting this step by step guide on how to sew a kameez. you have made it sound so easy. i will definately be giving it a try.

Niranjana Munasinghe said...

Thank you Aishah bychance I could go thro' your tutorial, I did it, came very well.


Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

Assalam o alikum aisha..
Great job..
I have to give a a beginner it is difficult to understand the right and wrong side of cloth having same print on both sides which is very confusing ( seeing in picture) so if u select cloth which has right and wrong side easily differentiateable it will be easy to understand by looking at pictures..