Modest Summer Maxi

So my mum gave me quite a fun brief a few weeks back, to turn her existing shalwar kameez dress into a long, A-line, maxi dress. The dress was a good lightweight cotton fabric with a checked style pattern on it. She wanted to add it to her holiday wardrobe, but knew she wouldn’t wear it if it had slits along the side and didn’t quite reach her ankles. So the brief was set…

Repurposing a traditional shalwar kameez

As part of a traditional shalwar kameez set, my Mum had the dress, the trousers and a shawl; a three piece suit. So, when it came to re-structuring the garment, we were able to extend the shalwar kameez and turn it into a maxi using the shawl material. By using the shawl material, we were able to make sure the extended parts of the dress matched the rest of the garment.

Making an A-line cotton maxi dress

First came the A-line sides. My Mum wanted the side slits (customary on a shalwar kameez dress) to be joined together and rather than having a straight down shape, she wanted the sides to flare out into an A-line. A-lines can be very flattering and are super easy to walk in!

To create the additional flare on either side, I cut out triangular pieces and attached these to the slit sides of the shalwar kameez. The additional triangles were cut from the shawl that came with the shalwar kameez and fit nicely with the existing pattern on the dress.

An additional panel was added to the bottom of the dress, one again out of the shawl, to extend the shalwar kameez and transform it into a maxi.

A shalwar kameez with a new lease of life

All in all, the dress was turned around in a day, and on a Sunday no less – hence the name of this blog post ?. Gone is the traditional cotton shalwar kameez, but in its place, a lightweight, summer-friendly maxi.

Acknowledgements: Big up to my Mum for the guidance with the pattern engineering and Suzan for providing the shalwar kameez and holding the dress in the pic.