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Saree DIY Projects: Upcycling Old Sarees into Fashionable Creations

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Introduction



Sarees, with their rich fabrics, intricate designs, and vibrant colors, are a treasured part of many wardrobes. However, as fashion evolves and tastes change, old sarees often find themselves tucked away, unused, and forgotten. Instead of letting these beautiful pieces of fabric gather dust, why not embark on a creative journey of upcycling? In this blog, we'll explore the art of turning old sarees into fashionable and unique creations. Whether you have vintage sarees passed down through generations or modern ones that no longer suit your style, these DIY projects will breathe new life into your beloved sarees.


Saree to Boho Maxi Dress

Imagine turning your old saree into a trendy and comfortable boho maxi dress that's perfect for casual occasions or summer outings. By creatively using the saree's pallu as a flowing skirt and the body as the bodice, you can create a one-of-a-kind outfit that not only adds an eco-friendly element to your wardrobe but also celebrates the beauty of the saree.

To create this boho maxi dress, start by selecting a saree with a design and color that resonate with your style. The pallu of the saree will become the flowing skirt of the dress, while the body of the saree will form the bodice. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:

Materials:

  • Old saree

  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

  • Scissors

  • Measuring tape

  • Elastic for the waist (optional)

Steps:

  1. Measure and Cut: Lay the saree flat and measure the length you'd like for your maxi dress. Remember to account for the hemming at the bottom. Cut the saree to the desired length.

  2. Prepare the Bodice: Cut a piece from the body of the saree that's wide enough to cover your chest and long enough to wrap around your back and tie securely. Hem the edges to prevent fraying.

  3. Sewing the Bodice: Sew the sides of the bodice together, leaving armholes on each side. Ensure a snug but comfortable fit.

  4. Attach the Skirt: Take the pallu of the saree, and gather it to match the width of the bodice. Pin and sew the gathered end to the bodice, creating a seamless transition between the bodice and the skirt.

  5. Add Elastic (Optional): To give your dress a more fitted look, you can insert elastic at the waist. Measure your waist and cut a piece of elastic to that length. Sew it into the dress's waistline.

  6. Finish the Hem: Hem the bottom of the skirt to give it a clean and polished look.

  7. Final Touches: You can add straps or leave the dress strapless, depending on your preference. Be creative and embellish your dress with any leftover pieces of the saree, such as tassels or fabric flowers, for a unique touch.

Now you have a boho maxi dress that's not only stylish but also environmentally conscious. This project transforms an old saree into a fashionable garment, allowing you to celebrate the saree's heritage in a contemporary way.


Saree-Inspired Kimono

A kimono-style jacket is a versatile addition to any wardrobe, offering a touch of elegance and exotic flair to your outfits. Upcycling an old saree into a saree-inspired kimono is not only a sustainable choice but also a creative way to celebrate the saree's beauty.

To create your saree-inspired kimono, follow these steps:

Materials:

  • Old saree

  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

  • Scissors

  • Measuring tape

Steps:

  1. Select the Saree: Choose a saree that complements your style and preferences. The color and design of the saree will influence the look of your kimono.

  2. Measure and Cut: Lay the saree flat and measure the desired length for your kimono. Keep in mind that a kimono typically has wide, flowing sleeves. Cut the saree to the desired length, ensuring that the fabric is wide enough to create the kimono's loose silhouette.

  3. Prepare the Sleeves: Fold the saree in half lengthwise and cut a "T" shape on the folded edge. The horizontal part of the "T" should be the length of your forearm, and the vertical part should extend to the kimono's desired length. This will create the kimono sleeves.

  4. Sewing the Kimono: Sew the sides of the saree together, leaving openings for the sleeves. The sleeves should be attached to the sides, forming a "T" shape. Ensure that the kimono has a loose and comfortable fit.

  5. Hemming: Hem the edges of the kimono, including the sleeves and the bottom, to prevent fraying.

  6. Final Touches: Add a belt or sash if you prefer to cinch the kimono at the waist. You can also embellish your kimono with tassels, fabric flowers, or other decorative elements from the saree.

Your saree-inspired kimono is now ready to be a stylish addition to your wardrobe. This DIY project not only repurposes old sarees but also offers a sustainable fashion choice that celebrates the saree's cultural heritage.


3. Saree Sari

The saree sari is a creative way to combine the traditional elegance of a saree with the ease of wearing a ready-made garment. This project allows you to embrace the beauty of the saree while giving it a modern twist. The saree sari is perfect for occasions where you want to make a fashion statement while retaining the grace of the saree.

Materials:

  • Old saree

  • Blouse (matching or contrasting)

  • Safety pins

Steps:

  1. Select the Saree: Choose a saree that you'd like to transform into a saree sari. Ensure that the pallu and the body of the saree are in good condition.

  2. Drape the Pallu: Begin by draping the saree's pallu over your left shoulder. Let it fall gracefully over your chest and drape it from left to right.

  3. Wrap the Body: Take the saree's body and wrap it around your waist, bringing it to the front. Adjust the length to your comfort.

  4. Pleat the Front: Create pleats in the saree's body at the front, just like you would when draping a traditional saree. Secure the pleats with a safety pin to the blouse.

  5. Wrap Around: Continue wrapping the saree's body around your waist, and secure it in place with safety pins. This will create the sari's elegant drape.

  6. Adjust and Tuck: Ensure that the saree is draped neatly and adjust the length as needed. Tuck the end of the saree securely into the petticoat at the back.

  7. Accessorize: Complete your look with matching or contrasting accessories, and you're ready to make a fashion statement The saree sari is an excellent way to embrace the beauty of the saree while making it more accessible and manageable for modern occasions. It combines the grace of the saree with the ease of a pre-stitched outfit, offering a fusion of tradition and modernity.

Saree Clutch or Tote Bag Creating stylish accessories from old sarees not only adds a pop of color to your outfit but also celebrates the saree's vibrant patterns and designs. By repurposing a saree into a clutch or tote bag, you can carry a bit of your heritage with you wherever you go. To make a saree clutch or tote bag, you'll need the following materials: Materials:

  • Old saree

  • Fabric lining

  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

  • Scissors

  • Zipper or magnetic snap (for the clutch)

  • Handles or straps (for the tote bag)

  • Decorative elements like buttons, tassels, or embroidery (optional)

Here's how you can create a saree clutch or tote bag: For the Clutch:

  1. Measure and Cut: Decide on the size of your clutch and cut two identical rectangles from the saree fabric, allowing extra room for seam allowances.

  2. Sew the Sides: Place the two pieces of saree fabric right sides together and sew along the sides, leaving the top open. This will create a pouch.

  3. Attach the Zipper: Sew a zipper along the top edge of the pouch to create the closure. Ensure the zipper is securely attached.

  4. Add Lining: Cut a lining fabric to match the dimensions of your pouch. Place the lining inside the pouch, wrong sides together, and sew the lining's top edge to the saree fabric.

  5. Final Touches: Embellish your clutch with decorative elements like buttons, embroidery, or fabric flowers if desired. Your saree clutch is now ready to use.

For the Tote Bag:

  1. Measure and Cut: Decide on the size of your tote bag and cut two identical rectangles from the saree fabric for the bag's body. Cut two more pieces for the lining.

  2. Sew the Bag Body: Place the two saree fabric rectangles right sides together and sew along the sides and bottom, leaving the top open. This creates the main body of the tote bag.

  3. Prepare the Handles: Sew the handles or straps to the top edge of the bag, ensuring they are securely attached.

  4. Add Lining: Sew the two lining pieces together along the sides and bottom, leaving an opening at the top to turn the bag right side out.

  5. Assemble the Bag: Place the lining inside the saree fabric bag, matching the top edges. Stitch around the top edge to secure the lining and the saree fabric.

  6. Final Touches: Decorate your tote bag with tassels, fabric flowers, or any other decorative elements to add a personalized touch.

By repurposing an old saree into a clutch or tote bag, you not only create a unique and fashionable accessory but also reduce textile waste. You'll carry a piece of your cultural heritage with you while making a sustainable and stylish fashion choice.

Saree Upholstery Don't limit your saree transformation to your closet. You can also use old sarees to reupholster furniture, such as chairs, cushions, or even headboards. This creative project allows you to infuse your living space with the colors and patterns of your favorite sarees, adding a touch of cultural charm to your home. To upcycle old sarees into upholstery, follow these steps: Materials:

  • Old saree

  • Furniture in need of upholstery

  • Upholstery foam (if needed)

  • Scissors

  • Staple gun and staples

  • Measuring tape

Steps:

  1. Prepare the Furniture: Begin by removing the old upholstery from the furniture. Make any necessary repairs to the frame or padding.

  2. Measure and Cut: Lay out your old saree and measure the dimensions needed for your furniture piece. Cut the saree to fit, leaving extra fabric for wrapping and stapling.

  3. Wrap and Staple: Lay the saree fabric over the furniture piece and begin wrapping it around the frame. Use a staple gun to secure the fabric in place. Start by stapling the fabric in the center of each side and work your way outward, pulling the fabric taut as you go.

  4. Corners and Edges: Pay special attention to the corners and edges, folding and securing the fabric neatly for a polished look.

  5. Trim Excess Fabric: Once the saree is securely stapled in place, trim any excess fabric to ensure a clean finish.

  6. Final Touches: Add any decorative elements, like trim or fringe, to enhance the look and celebrate the saree's design.

Upcycling old sarees for upholstery not only gives your furniture a fresh and unique look but also adds a personal touch to your living space. The saree's vibrant colors and patterns can instantly transform your home, infusing it with a sense of cultural heritage and style.

Conclusion Repurposing old sarees into fashionable creations is not only a creative endeavor but also a sustainable and culturally enriching one. These DIY projects allow you to celebrate the beauty and history of the saree while reducing textile waste and creating one-of-a-kind fashion pieces and home decor items. Whether you choose to transform your old saree into a boho maxi dress, a saree-inspired kimono, a saree sari, a clutch or tote bag, or use it for upholstery, each project offers a unique way to honor the saree's heritage while adapting it to modern lifestyles. These creative projects not only breathe new life into old sarees but also allow you to carry a piece of your cultural identity with you, whether you're stepping out in a unique outfit or adding a touch of tradition to your home decor. Upcycling old sarees is a journey that connects the past with the present, and it's a celebration of sustainability, creativity, and style that you can proudly wear or display with a sense of pride and purpose. So, go ahead, unlock your inner designer, and start your saree upcycling adventure today!


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