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Aziza Sa'id has directions for making
basic "harem pants", which could be used for
making the typical 4 yard pantaloons. Use the "inside seam" version and 4
yards of fabric. I usually pleat the top to reduce bulk,
then sew down the pleats to
make a smoother casing for the drawstring/elastic.
Choli - Not the pattern I use, but this will get you started.
Choli info - I
got some information at ? from
Bhairavi ( maybe I
found it on the SCA India list? Email's listed on the info sheet ...)
on choli history.
dress - Another old Veil and Drum article Neefa wrote. Fabric
recommendations: linen, raw silk,
- A diagram from another
old Veil and Drum article. I've added notes at the bottom for
general construction. Makes a great cover up for Tribal dancers going to a
performance or something to keep SCA folks warm in ME garb. Fabric
raw silk, cotton,
wool, linen, line with muslin, china silk, etc
Egyptian tunic - Pattern I've drawn
out and described the steps to making. It is based on a 1315 drawing and a friend's research she shared with me. I also base it on all
the other rectangular construction I've seen for many period garments.
Persian tunic - Add enough
length to the Egyptian tunic to make it ankle length and wahla! You have a
tunic such as those worn in 8th and 9th C. Persia. Later on, fitted
coats were worn over these.
- Shira has given details on how to make a circle skirt. Note that
she specifies different fabric for Tribal costuming. I use 4
half circles and 10 yards of fabric for my circle skirts.
Tiered Skirt - I wish I
remembered who the generous lady who posted this somewhere on an internet
list/tribe was... If anyone knows, please tell me so I can credit her here.
Rayon, cotton gauze and haboti silk (8 - 10 mm) work well.
Picture and directions I put together. Shalwar were (and still are) worn in India, the
Near and Middle East and North Africa.
Cowrie shell tassel tutorial
If you aren't
familiar with Middle Eastern patterns, stick with solids. I personally think
jewel and earth tones work best- pastels work better for cabaret style costuming.
* A note about friction: especially when thinking about the pants and skirt,
consider what materials will stick together, and what materials will slip next
to each other. You do want your pants and skirt to slip next to each other
(trust me, when all that fabric gets stuck together, it's bad), so you do not
want to use 2 sticky fabrics, such as cotton or raw silk for the pants and
cotton gauze for the skirt. You do want to use either a sticky fabric and a
slippery fabric or 2 slippery fabrics. So, good combos are silk pants, silk
skirt or cotton or raw silk pants and silk skirt or
silk pants and cotton gauze skirt. Clear as mud? The hip scarf should usually be
sticky. It will help your other hip adornments stay in place.
The same concepts apply with other layers, but are really most important
to think about with the skirt and pants.
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I love using
natural fabrics, and cost (you'll see some things aren't as expensive as you
thought) and availability shouldn't be an excuse not to use them (again, just a
For black or white raw silk, china/haboti silk, silk and cotton gauze, etc. see
Haboti silk dyes wonderfully on the stovetop, and cotton gauze in the washing
machine. See a Rit dye chart for mixing colors you usually don't find in the store. Also
see Jacquard acid dyes at www.dharmatrading.com.
For other colors of haboti and raw/noil silk (and more), go to
I haven't purchased anything from them, but this is a good price for linen: