Shalwar Kameez Kit

Seaform Salwar Kameez

This project was truly an interesting feat.  Long ago I fell in love with African/Indian shalwars and kameez outfits.  They were to be had economically on eBay which was a boon for me.  They are so ornate that I would only wear them on “special” occasions.  Thankfully I have grown out of that nonsense.  Now, I wear them whenever I feel like it.  Sadly, I gave about 20 outfits away some years ago.  Well, I am on the mend and working to replenish my stock.

Seeing me wear them to work a Muslim co-worker was delighted and stated she would purchase me an outfit.  Hey, who am I turn turn down a double blessing (her for the giving and me for the receiving).  Time passed, I figured she had forgotten about it, no problem, right.  Well, lo and behold, my girl Hazmat brought me this project to work one day.

Kameez Shell

So, check it out . . . I thought this was a salwar/kameez outfit, right?  Well, it was sorta, kinda.  I was all smiles as I opened the cellophane package.  The seafoam green is truly stunning.  My cell phone did no justice to this outfit.  Anyway . . . as I am taking items out of the package.  This is what I also found . . .

Salwar Fabric
Up close of the salwar fabric

Hazmat had brought me a salwar/kameez kit if-you-will.  I had to put the kameez together and make the salwars.  I had to hide the surprise from my face.  Thank gawd Mamma taught me to sew.

Seafoam green salwars

Now, I am a big girl (read that size 16 ready to wear, size like 20-22 big four pattern companies).  Sew, there was not enough fabric for the salwars.  Shopping my stash I found some ivory colored squares of fabric that I got from a house sale.  They felt divine and have the feel of linen and silk.  No clue as to their content.  I sewed two of them together with a narrow hem and used them for the yoke of the salwars.  I figured they would be under the kameez anyway.  Who would know?  Ooops, I forgot.  Yaw’ll will know ’cause I can’t keep a sewing secret.

Sleeve Fabric
Sleeve fabric

Really I should have pressed the stuff before photographing this, duh.  It looked so pretty when I pressed it before actually sewing it.  Anywho, you get an idea here of what I was working with.  Yikes, slinky, silky fabric is not my forte.  I have got to work on that I suppose.  So, above is what I used for sleeves for my kameez.

Seafoam Dupatta

The beautiful dupatta kept sliding off my shoulders last night at the Memorial Celebration event that we attended.  Note to self:  Next time you wear this discreetly pin it where you desire it to stay.

Shopping my stash again, I found a sleeve pattern piece that I thought would go well with this design.  I also already have a couple salwars patterns.  The next time I make salwars I am going to add a crotch gusset.  I saw one on another African pant pattern and I think I could use one with my big behind.

From what I understand the word “salwar” means “baggy pants”.  How cool for that is exactly what they are.  However, being made with such exquisite fabric I like the term salwar better, LOL.  Dupatta is Indian for “scarf”.  And kameez is shirt.





12 thoughts on “Shalwar Kameez Kit

  1. Robin D Rush

    How beautiful! I love these outfits myself. Don’t own any but planning to make a few for spring/summer. A woman on Facebook buys the sewing packages and makes the most beautiful sets. Unfortunately, they are only available in smaller sizes. I didn’t know there were patterns available. Where can I find them?


  2. My sister was in India a few years back, for a wedding, and went fabric shopping, of course, while there. She gave me a salwar/kameeze kit just like you describe, complete with the makings of the top bit, the trousers, and a gorgeous scarf. Sadly it’d be just a bit hot to wear where I live so I haven’t made it up. But now I’m thinking … it’d be perfect for when I travel (everywhere’s colder than here!) right? Hmmm…..

    So far I’ve just been cosseting it and petting it every time I look through my fabrics.

    You’ve inspired me!


    1. Waving frantically at Tropical Threads. So glad you visited AND took precious time to write (that always makes my day). Don’t think I have ever inspired anyone. Precious you for saying so.




  3. Trish

    Wow, great present, but as you say, good that you can sew! 😄 I love the kameez fabric, it’s all pretty, but that is particularly. It’s interesting to see that the salwar have a yoke at the top, to keep down bulk under the kameez I expect. Thanks for posting.


  4. Laura Kimmel

    Lyric, This is gorgeous! Thanks for explaining the terms I learned something new. Since people wear this when it’s hot, is it cooler than average?


    1. Now remember, Ms. Laura, you are speaking with a MENopausal, overweight, black woman, LOL. I don’t find it necessarily “cooler” than say simply wearing cotton. I just find them “cooler” style-wise. 😉


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