Making A Longyi


While reading our Yearbook I learned of and fell in love with the longyi, “a long piece of brightly colored cloth (cotton or silk) used as clothing (a skirt or loincloth or sash etc.) in India and Pakistan and Myanmar/Burma”. Pronounced “[long-yee]”. They will be a skirt staple in my emerging new wardrobe.

Longyi History
“The modern longyi, a single piece of cylindrical cloth, is a relatively recent introduction to Burma, having gained popularity during British colonial rule, effectively replacing the paso and htamein of precolonial times.The word longyi formerly referred to the sarong worn by Malay men. In precolonial times, men’s pasos used to be a long piece of 30 feet (9.1 m) called taungshay paso and unsewn. Alternately the htamein was a 4.5 feet (1.4 m) long piece of cloth open at the front to reveal the calves, with a dark strip of cotton or velvet sewn on the upper edge, a patterned sheet of cloth in the middle and a strip of red or white cloth sewn below, trailing on the bottom like a short train.

On my new kick of making garments from bed sheets I went to my stash and retrieved this tribal print.


Using my original longyi as a template I placed the fabric on top of the original and pinned it all around. My fabric was an inch or so wider than the original which is good because it will allow for the finishing of the front edges.

Cut the fabric keeping the waistband and ties of the original out of the way.

Measured from the left edge of fabric to the first and second darts (15″ and 25″ respectively) for dart placement.

Sew darts and press toward the center.

Measured ties off at 3″ wide and 48″ long. Waistband area was 59.5″ long. Cut one tie/waistband at 107.5″ long x 3″ wide.

Lining: Cut the lining the same as the longyi fabric, mark, sew, and press darts the same as longyi fabric.

Place wrong side of lining against wrong side of longyi fabric, pin at the top. Baste the top edge.

Pin the ties/waistband piece to the front side of fabric. Make sure it is centered with the ties are evenly spaced on either side of the longyi.

Sew a 3/8″ seam from one end of a tie, across the waistband, over to the other tie.

Here I am in my new longyi. So comfy. I plan on making many more of these for my skirt wardrobe.


  • Fabric – Repurposed bed sheet – “Muslin” 50% poly/50%cotton, cost = $1.00
  • Thread – $0
  • Lining – Repurposed linen table cloth, cost = $1.00
  • Hem – I used the original product hem




6 thoughts on “Making A Longyi

  1. Anonymous

    I was looking up some information to make a longyi for my husband for his talk. Thanks for this post, it was helpful! I like your vintage style, and I wish I had more time to sew. A longyi is pretty straightforward and our brothers keep em simple!


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