The Secondhand Sari Saga

I live in a university town, and there is a large international student population here.  When the students leave, they often can't take all of their possessions- it would be too expensive to ship.  So, they often gift them to locals.

One such gift was given to my daughter- a big bag of silk sari scraps.  The gifter had gotten them second hand- she is an Australian artist and uses textiles.  So the bag was full of various sizes and shapes.  My daughter thought that I could use them.

 I originally turned her down- told her they were too small for anything I'd want to make.  But, as adult children do, she left the bag at our house, for months.

I've been selected to be a contestant in the Fabric Mart Fabrics Fabricista Challenge.  For my first Fabricista challenge, contestants were given the Scout woven tee pattern from Grainline studios.  We were assigned the task of putting our own spin on it and make something that we would love to wear.   As a dress wearing gal, I rarely wear tee shirts, so this really was a challenge!

I remembered the sari bag, and decided to take a look inside.   If you are unfamiliar with saris, they are often about 5 yards long, and have a section that has an intricate design for the wearer to drape in the front.  They do occasionally show up at thrift shops, and an intact sari is a great value for nice fabric. 

This bag only contained partial saris, but some of the pieces were fairly long.  I picked out a few pieces that I thought looked good together.  The largest one was 22" wide, and 2-1/2 yards long.  The tape marks where there were some issues- stains, holes, etc.

I wanted to use the border at the bottom of the top.  You can see that the pattern front was too long for fabric width, so I decided to cut off the top few inches, and make a yoke. Same for the back. 
I used the quilted elephant print to make the yoke.
I had to change the direction of the grain to cut the front pieces, just to get it to fit.

I used the smaller turquoise piece for the sleeves.  And I worked around the stained areas on the big sari piece to make the bias neck binding.

Check back soon to see the final garment! 

Happy Sewing!


  1. Your top is beautiful Anne!!! Love the saris!

  2. I am such a fan of mixed fabrics. And Indian saris! So yeah, I love this top. :) The colors are perfection on you (saw the finished product over at the Fabric Mart blog)!


Thanks for visiting my blog! I would love to hear your opinions! Please share your comments here.