DGY - Size Guide (US)

Welcome to Project Wrap! The whole point of thid post is to give you an idea just how much work that goes into making one of these amazing sari skirts. I’m always up for questions and you can pop them to me via my facebook group or page (Sari Skirts UK – VIP Group or Sari Skirts UK

 Skill Level

I am not a qualified seamstress and all the skills I have are accrued from trial and error over the 30 odd years I have been sewing. I find Google and youtube are a brilliant source of information if I’m stuck on anything and the Singer videos are particularly good.

1. Equipment

I have:-
Singer sewing machine (C240)

Hobbylock Overlocker (It is actually my Moms, Thanks Mom) It is very old and my Dad had to fix it for me (thanks Dad) & I am saving up for my own Dad honest 😀  

  1. Scissors
  2. Fabric roller cutter (The edges are much smoother and it is faster than using scissors)
  3. Cutting mat (If you need one)
  4. Pins (I perfer the ones with the big heads so you don’t miss any in all that material!!)
  5. Tailor’s chalk in red/blue/white (on some patterns you need to use more than one colour!!)
  6. Large pieces/roll of paper (I used a roll of paper off a plotter/printer) but you could use banquetting paper, wallpaper or any thick paper you can get your hands on. Or you could just use a sari skirt in the size you are wanting to make. I was worried about cutting it so I made a pattern out of one of my DGY skirts.
  7. Marker Pen

 2. Materials

 2 x used sari’s (purchased off ebay for less than £10 each)

I did this skirt in black thread for two main reasons:-

  1. I wanted to make sure it was not the main feature in the photo
  2. I did not want it looking like a darn good yarn skirt.

You can use any colour thread that takes your fancy but in my experience you are better off going with a midrange neutral colour like gold, beige, fawn, olive etc. as this blends with all colours in the skirt.

3. Study your Sari’s

First thing you need to do is lay out your sari’s and decide which sections you wat to us for the shorter and longer layers. (pictured are the two I chose, brighter for the shorter layer). If you don’t have a big enough area then you can peg them to the line to get a good view.

At the bottom of many saris there is a strip of material stiched to the inside edge along the bottom. this is to protect and strengthen the edge that is closest to the floor. You need to carfully unpick/remove and keep this strip for later.


4. Cutting out

Making the pattern:

The Longer Layer:

Roll out your paper and stick together enough strips so it is wide enogh to lay your sari out on top of it. you can then draw around the long layer, around the waist.(leave 5mm gap so you don’t get ink on your skirt!!)

Remove the sari skirt to a safe location and then cut out your pattern.

The short layer:

There is a really simple way of making the shorter layer, make the same paper sheet, use the long layer pattern as a template draw around and cut out. Then you just fold it over twice and cut 4 inches off the bottom curve. (This  is so much easier than trying to lay out the skirt and keeping the long layer out of the way to draw arounf the short layer… trust me I tried!!)

Once you know which one is for which layer, lay them out and pin the template to them one at a time. (I did my cutting out on the living room floor as this was the only place big enough in my house!!)


5. Keep EVERY Scrap…

When you cut everthing out, keep EVERY scrap…. You can use these for the waistband and also if there is an accsident and you need to repair you will have the perfect patch. I find a disc cutter is best for me as the material stays flat and you get clean edges. ***REMEMBER NOT TO CUT THROUGH ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY THE SKIRT YOU ARE WEARING!!!

The waist band is made of 20cm wide stripes that are stitched together to make up the desired length. I prefer to use the cross method (pictreed below) as it makes the belt less bulky.


6. Get Sewing

At the bottom of many ankle length saris there is a strip of material stitched to the main part as the skirt is longer than the sari is wide. The best way to do this is to use the section cut our of the neck. For the short layer it is simple as you only need a small section to finish the bottom. The long layer is more tricky. (and as many of us know some skirts have totally odd peice of material added here!!!)

You can do one of two things:-

  1. Sew the offcuts together to make a big enough piece.
  2. Use a chunk off the remaining peice of sari. This will stop another skirt being made from it so I try not to do this. (if you just have to match though it is the only way!!)


7. Get Sewing

Bottoms on first:


The Short Layer:

There are a few ways to wes these types of material connections part way though so both sides have a smooth finish. I prefer the turned lapped seam method as it is simple and works well with slippery material.

There is a great explanation here:- Turned Lapped Seam Tutorial

The Long Layer:

Once you know how to do the turned lapped seam then you can do the same on the long layer bottom section…BUT remeber there are a few areas where ther will be quite a few layers on the joins so press/pin well.



8. Side Seams

Sew the seams on the ends (from the waist to the hem). this is the edge you see when you wrap the skirt so keep it tidy and stright as you can.

The waist band is made of 20cm wide stripes that are stitched together to make up the desired length. I prefer to use the cross method (pictreed below) as it makes the belt less bulky.


9. Layers Together

They can be either both front sides facing out or reverse sides together (ergo no need to flip and still use the button holes for both sides)

The layers will try to slip so pin them well and sew about 1.5cm in from the edge so you can hide this row of stitching wit hte waistband shortly.


10. Adding the waistband

This is a little fiddly but if you pin well it makes life much easier. Instead of pinning along the line use them sidways. this stops the material from twisting when you sew and you can leave the pins in when sewing too.

Another tip is ALWAYS press the belt before you pin it on as it makes sewing in the right place SO much easier. First fold in half and press scentre seam. Then unfold and take the edge and fold it to the cenre seam you have just pressed. Press this edge and then do the same on the other side. Finally open out and lightly press… DO NOT remove your creases just make it lay out flat(ish).

Now you are ready to attach it to the layers. Find the centre of your belt and the centre of the skirt by folding them in half and making with a pin. Now you can work outwards in ether direction so there is no gathers.

Place the belt front face to front face down on top of the layers which are front face up. Pin into place (with the pins sideways again)then you can sew just inside the first crease making sure your row of stitches use to hold the layers together are on going to be on the inside of the waistband.

Sewing the reset is pretty simple as you have done and hardwork with the iron. Tuck in the ends about 2 cms and sew all the way arounf the belt edge to finish. I personally prefer to pin it but some people  I know can do it without!!

a great trtorial can be found here:- Attaching a waistband


11. The Heam

There are many ways of doing the heam but I think thr original way is best as it is lightweight and allows the material to SWISH… if you use the standard heaming method you loose the movement because the material is too stiff when turned over to make the heam.

This is where the overlocker comes in. There are special feet for standard sewing machines but you have to get the one designed to go with your model of machine. I also don’t think the finish is as good but that isd just a personal opinion based on the ones I have seen and used.

I find that two threads is perfect but some of the DGY skirts I have also have 3 and 4 thread versions of the overlocker stitchs.

**REMEMBER – You can do so many things with the heamline, wavey, asimetrical etc. etc. and if you want it shorter or longer on either layer just ajust the pattern to suit. 

I wouls love to see how you get on so please share a picture with me via facebook 💖💖

And there you have it…. All finished, now on to the next one!!!!

More to come…. Check back soon

(my sewing machine is calling)