Not Technically a #Kurta. #WorkInProgress

.Hi readers! This week I’ll share a work in progress (WIP) which is way back in the finished line. No particular reason other than my own lazy ways.  The “not technically” in the title is explained further along this post.

The Patternpattern

I used a favorite Simplicity 4528, originally issued in 2005, which seems to be discontinued. I can’t let this pattern go. In the last 12 years, it’s been used for all four versions shown on the envelope.  I made two short views, added machine embroidery on the front and sleeve edges, and wore them to shreds. All well-used clothing must go at some point. Sad. The other two longer versions are fancier fabric so they are not used almost daily.  I still wear them on certain occasions with a shalwar (south Asian pant) and a dupatta (scarf).

Regarding the current WIP, I hope to wear it with regular narrow pants as shown on the envelope (or not).  At this time I’m racing to finish this tunic before the end of the month, for the Eid holiday.

The fabric

I cut apart the embroidered portion before the photo.

Border print and fabric grain lessons:  The fabric was a gift from a family friend, and came as a 3 yard pre-printed, bordered and pre-embroidered panel — all on the same piece.Its up to you where and how you use those elements. The fabric is beautiful cotton lawn. My issue with the fabric is the embroidered part – I wish the weavers had left the embroidery out (besides, it’s puckered). The border is beautiful, but as in all border prints I’ve seen, it is printed along the selvedge. That means, if I want to get the border across the bottom of the tunic, I would have to cut out the whole thing on the cross grain – and that goes against my grain. Haha. I’m just too conditioned to make stuff like this along the lengthwise grain. So…. I had to do use the border anywhere but at the bottom. Note: this panel came as a package along with plain black fabric for the pants (or shalwar if I want it).

Did I say the fabric piece was just 38 inches wide? 

Cutting Layout


To make a long story short, I used the border print for the center front pattern piece (the borders had to be sewn together to make one CF piece), and the embroidered part for the sleeves. Then, sewed on the border print to the bottom of the sleeve. The rest of the black/white print makes up the rest of the tunic.

princess kurta

To explain the title of the post, this tunic is sort of like a south Asian kurta or a kameez, or a middle eastern caftan, in the general look. Where it differs is in the shoulder princess seams; kurta seams are geometric panels; but the look is similar.

Now, off I go to finish the hems of my new tunic. An oft-asked question is: “what’s your favorite part of sewing?”  Silly question. My answer: “wearing it!”  There’s something so delicious about hanging up one’s newly made garment in the closet. Right? 

See you next time! Keep sewing this summer….



12 thoughts on “Not Technically a #Kurta. #WorkInProgress

    1. Thanks! If you have the pattern, go ahead and make it. It’s an easy, gliding fit. Quick, dig into your fabric stash – I’m calling you on it!


  1. What a fun colorful tunic! Hey, if a patterns works, it works, no need to let go of it ever. My favorite part is when I am putting my finished garment on a hanger in my closet (or in my drawer) knowing that it is there to be worn soon.


  2. That’s a really smart use of the materials at hand. The embroidery section looks like a sweet design element. And may I complement you on your well-behaved, well pieced collar? That’s very good thinking there, my dear.


    1. Thanks! The collar was the most fiddly part, though. It did help that I used a cardboard template of the collar to cut it out and mark the seamline to keep things somewhat even. Other than that it was an easy sew.


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