Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My trial of Bharathanatyam costume

Bharatanatyam costume

There are two commonly used styles in Bharatanatyam Costumes for women, the Skirt (Sari) Style and the Pyjama Style.  This costume is  made from Kanjeevaram silk sarees   or Dharmavaram silk sarees or art silk sarees and also from  polycot material.  Costume is designed in such a way that there is freedom of movement for the dancers. The pleats in these costumes open beautifully like fan when the dancer forms a particular posture especially arai mandi (half sitting) and muzhu mandi (full sitting). 

Pyjama style Bhatrathanatyam dress

Pyjama style costume contains the following parts.


Pyjama- inner seam of both the legs are attached by a fabric with   pleats which open like fan while dancing

 Back piece 

 and davani or Pallu 


Blouse is similar to sari blouse with darts.


1. Pant Length- waist to ankle:
2.Waist around
3.Hip around
4.Thigh around
5.Ankle around
6.Knee length   Waist to knee point N

Pattern making

A-E is full length
Produce E to E’ such that E-E’= ½”.This is for bottom folding.
From the point A draw A-B perpendicular to the line A-E such that A-B =⅟₃ seat + 2” to 4”.
Mark point C on the line A-E such that A-C = ⅟₃ seat +1”
From the point C draw a perpendicular line C-G to the line A-E such that C-G = A-B
Produce C-G to D such that G-D =1½” to 2”.
On the line A-E mark point H such that C-H = 2”
From point H draw a line perpendicular line to A-E. On this line mark point I such that H-I =½thigh round + 1½”.
From the point E draw a perpendicular line E-F to the line A-E such that E-F = ½ ankle round +1 ½”
Produce F to F’ such that E-E’ = F-F’.Join E’-F’
Join D-I-F-F’ by a curved line. On this curved line  mark point J such that F-J = 2½ to 3½” according to the size of the costume. Make a notch at the point J. Join B-D by a curved line as shown in the figure. Using this draft as basis we will prepare other drafts.
Make three copies of the draft.

Draft for the lining. 

Draft for the lining
Open fold of the draft ,you will get the draft for the lining material( Figure 2 )

Draft of the silk portion which is stitched on the lining.

On the second copy of draft, mark point K on the line E’-F’, such that K’-F’ is ⅔ E’-F’. From point K, draw a perpendicular line to the line E’-F’. It meets the line C-D at the point L. Cut and remove the portion D-G-L-K-F-FF’-J-I-D. This is the  Draft of the silk portion stitched on the lining. While cutting the fabric ½” more is added along the line K-L and L-D.

Draft for the silk material

Draft for the silk material

On the third copy of the draft Mark point M the middle point of E-F. Join B-M .Cut and discard the portion B-C-M-F. The rest is the draft of the silk material.While cutting the materiel add 1/2" extra along the line M-B for folding. 

 Draft  for the big fan

Length of the fan P-R= Knee length( waist to knee) + 2 to 4”
  Width of the fan P-Q can be calculated  by the formula 2 X  ²²̸₇  X  distance between the points
 B and N ( Refer Figure below)

Draft for big fan

 Using these drafts  cut the fabric

Pattern pieces

Big fan

Continued in new posts.................


Ranjana's craft blog said...

Back with a bang :)...nice outfit and colorful. I like Bharatanatyam dress very much...

Sandhya g Krishnan said...

eedear aunty,
Ur tutorials are realy good am a malayalee residing in kottayam kerala
i was born and bought up in b'lore,
could u please let me know where can i get the acrylic ruler rotary cutting mat, curved rulers and sewing gauge,where ever in b'lore so that i can ask my friends to get it for me ,am not getting it herein kottayam pls send me reply if you ever recive this

vani said...

acrylic ruler rotary cutter and cutting mat are available in reliance stationery mart at commercial street.Curve rulers are called french curves I purchased in a stationery shop in a stationery shop at Malleswaram circle.I don't know about sewing gauge. I got it from UK long back.

Janseit Idrees said...

Hello vani: could you help me please? I'm living now in Russian and my sester's daughter in the school she needs Indian dancer style for her school party (new year) the teacher asked her to bring that style mabe because she looks like Indian girls and for several days I'm searching in the internet and I found your site please help me I need from you to complete your great Explan for the pant with fan if you can I must do it this week. Thank you

vani said...

I will do it today

Janseit Idrees said...

THANK YOU VANI you are great thank you so much dear

Phoebe Jane Rubillos said...

Hello Maam Davani. As I was scrolling to search pictures for smocking, I saw your blogspot address. I am inspired by your works and I know that your pictures are a lot helpful to my students. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful and totally useful blog. It's truly an honor to follow you :)
God bless.

Sana said...

dear aunty,
Can you please also post on creating the sari style for Bharatanatyam costume

Татьяна Хаперская said...

Hello dear Vani. Please tell me, in paper pattern into account increment for oversizes for seams?

vani said...

In the draft 1/2" is kept for seems.paper pattern is prepared taking actual body measurments.lf you want you can keep wider seems and draft is prepared accordingly.

Shane and Michelle said...


My measurement from B to N is 27 inches. If I use the formula 27" x 2 x 22/7, I get 169.7 inches which would be approximately 14 feet. Does that sound right? That seems like a LOT of fabric? I'm wondering if I am calculating it incorrectly.

Also, how deep are the pleats?

Thank you! I am so grateful for the time and effort you have expended in creating this tutorial!

Mini R said...

REELEYauntie ,can u pls teach me to stitch the saree style dress for bharathanatyam,,i am 35 yrs old and has been learng dance for 5 years,,,i ve perormed a few times in pant style dress,,,since a bit fat ,i feel awkward in that dress ,hence i want to change the style,,,next performance is due on Januaery 2015,,,before that i would like to stitch by myself
wth saarees i have ,,pls do help ----mini rajagopalan nair

Mini R said...

dear auntie,,can u pls teach the cutting n stitching of saree style bahrathanatyam dress,,,which i want to make wth my own saree by myself to wear in my performance in JANUARY 2015

vani said...

Hi Shane and Michelle
You need lots of pleats for the big fan.According to your measurements you will get 2 yards on either side of the need 3" to 4" for each pleat.I feel you need that much of material for the fan to spread properly in full sitting position .

mathclub gbw said...

Can you please show steps to stitch Bharatnatyam skirt?
It will be very helpful to many of us.
thanks again for posting the costume stitch pattern.

Pooja Kulthe said...

hi ma'am, can we use semi silk saree to make bharatnatyam costume for 15 years old girl? I mean kam to nahi padega???

vani said...

First prepare the paper draft and place on the material ,then you will find out whether it is enough or not

ani said...

Hello mam could you please post skirt style pattern for bharatnatyam costume?

vani said...

I am preparing I will post it soon.

Seeta Ballary said...

Please send full stitching method of bharatanatya dress really it helps very much to me.and ma'am I want to thank you for teaching us very easily

vani said...

Please see my newer post.I have posted full tutorial

Raksha Mps said...

Hello Mam, Please give us the link. I tried but i was not able to find. Request you to send me the link -

Saritha Menon said...

Hi...could you please advise how much meters are required to stitch a pyjama style dress. Also, if you can guide me on the cost of stitching and the approximate cost of polyester yardages used.

Татьяна Хаперская said...

Hi dear . Please explain. what kind of measurement A-B = ⅟₃ seat + 2 "to 4". i means "seat".Thank u.

Dipak Pophale said...

Hallo... I am Mangal Pophale Residing at Pune City Maharashtra. I am Intrested to Learn about steaching of Bharatnatyam Costume from you. pls give your address and Tele phone number as soon as possible. my contact no. 9371001596.

muktha shettar said...

hi megha from bangalore.. your tips are really very good for stitching thanx mam.. now i want little more information from u mam.i want to learn different type of bharatnatyam pants..can u plese guide me on this...can please guide me on straight line or kerala style pant and which i wore in my disply picture dt pant pattern i want to lean..hope u accept my request...

thank you mam..

Priya said...

Can you please post the tutorial on skirt style bharathanatyam costume , please ? I have two young daughters who have been learning natyam for 5 yeas now & have got an oppurtunity to perform on stage. Need to stitch the costume by Feb 2nd. Please help.

anupama said...

dear vani aunty,

While reading the instructions on the bharatnatyam costume i was confused with the labeling part of the silk portion on the 2nd copy of the pant draft. Could you please clarify the letters in the following instructions

(Cut and remove the portion D-G-L-K-F-FF’-J-I-D. This is the Draft of the silk portion stitched on the lining. While cutting the fabric ½” more is added along the line F’-A and A-B.)

I also wanted to confirm of seam allowances are taken into consideration while preparing the drafts.

Thank you so much for the tutorial.

vani said...

By mistake I had omitted posting Figure 3.I have added it.I hope your confusion will be cleared now.

Unknown said...

Do you take orders for stitching bharathatyam costumes. I live in mysMYS and looking for a perfect stitch of a let me know
Usha Ravindranath

padma prabha said...

Hi Mam , Can you pls teach me the fan drafting ,cuttind and stitching pls

vani said...

Please see my newer posts.

Reena Patel said...

Hi Vani

Love your blog on the Bharatanatyam costume, I am in London and need to urgently sew one for my daughter.
What kind of measurement A-B = ⅟₃ seat + 2 "to 4". "seat".
Is the seat the waist or the measurement from the belly button to the back waist?

Thank u.

vani said...

Measure your seat over the widest part, usually approximately 8 inches below the waistline
See my post Basics in sewing -Taking body measurements posted on Nov 14,2009 also