McCalls 6885 and Simplicity 8295: DIY Kameez Tops and Churidar Legging Bottoms

McCalls 6885 kameez top with self drafted stretch churidar legging bottoms

Hi Everyone,

Way back in August we visited India for a short holiday. In terms of clothing for women in India, things have changed a lot in the years that I have been visiting (over the last 40 years). Whilst women – especially women over a certain age – are still expected to dress in a modest fashion, especially in the smaller cities, towns and villages, wearing more modern styles is acceptable. I can not recall my mum ever wearing a salwar kameez (long top over loose bottoms). She would always wear a traditional saree with a short blouse underneath (more typically worn by Indian women rather than salwar kameez which was favoured by Pakistani/ north Indian women). But more than that, the availability of ready to wear outfits and the range of sizes (including plus sizes) has vastly improved. All this to say, I made a couple of kameez tops and three pairs of churidar legging bottoms in anticipation of not being able to readily find anything in the town we were visiting, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Simplicity 8295 kameez top with self drafted stretch churidar legging bottoms

In terms of the patterns used for the kameez tops, I have made both of these patterns before. For the block printed cotton kameez I used McCalls 6885. You can see my first version of this pattern here and my second version here.

McCalls 6885 kameez top with self drafted stretch churidar legging bottoms

The alterations I made to this version were that I did a 1 inch full bum adjustment and I shortened the sleeves by 4 inches. Just to add a bit of interest I used a plain contrasting cotton lawn from my stash for the inner collar stand and the under placket.

McCalls 6885 kameez top with self drafted stretch churidar legging bottoms
McCalls 6885 kameez top with self drafted stretch churidar legging bottoms

For the white cotton (voile?) version I used Simplicity 8295. You can see my first version of this pattern here. For this version I dropped the bust dart down by 1 inch, shortened the sleeve by 2 inches, lengthened view B by 14 inches and omitted the sleeve plackets/ cuffs etc.

Simplicity 8295 kameez top with self drafted stretch churidar legging bottoms

Sorry, I know you can’t see the detail very clearly, but I added an off-white mini pompom trim around the placket, again, just for a little added interest. Also, I made a soft cotton lawn Ogden cami slip to wear under this kameez. You can read all about my first Ogden cami dress and thoughts on that pattern here.

Simplicity 8295 kameez top with self drafted stretch churidar legging bottoms

Now a quick word on my self drafted churidar bottoms. They are essentially extra long leggings. The extra length of bunched up fabric at the ankles/ calves is supposed to be flattering. I basically traced the pattern off an existing pair of RTW churidar bottoms I had and eliminated the outer side seams. Gosh, so easy to sew using a combination of overlocker and sewing machine to finish hems/ elastic. I whipped the three different pairs that you can see in these photographs in no time and am super pleased with them.

The one thing I will say is that I made my churidar bottoms from viscose-lycra (I think 4 way stretch). This was because I found cotton-lycra to be rather expensive (you can’t help but compare to the cost of these items you can buy in India!) The viscose is very soft and comfortable, but I think I would prefer the cotton-lycra if making again. The viscose is a tad thin and I think a cotton-lycra would just hold up better.

Until soon!

McCalls 6885 kameez top with self drafted stretch churidar legging bottoms

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By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at sewmanju@yahoo.co.uk

12 thoughts on “McCalls 6885 and Simplicity 8295: DIY Kameez Tops and Churidar Legging Bottoms

  1. Love the green churidor leggings with the floral top; and the black & white combo. Maybe the pink churidor leggings look better in real life.
    Weren’t the churidor leggings hot in India, though? And what was the RTW surprise?

  2. I Ike your style and I’ve been enjoying following your blog for a while. How appropriate that you are in the book’s gallery.

  3. Folkwear has a “Jewels of India” pattern that includes a bias-cut woven churidar pattern. I’ve never made them — too many other fabulous things already in my queue of “want to make before I die.”

    I should have boughten it in the 1980s, when I first saw it. Now only available as a PDF.

    Stretch knit leggings would be far easier to accomplish!

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