Once a saree, now a summer dress

Old for new 
Last Updated 28 March 2013, 15:35 IST

After Holi, it is time to mothball all those heavy-duty winter clothes. But your wardrobe is groaning under the weight of Mom’s sarees, isn’t it?

Benarsi, south cotton, brocade and chiffon sarees which she hasn’t worn for years but cannot find the heart to discard. So, what is the alternative? Turn those sarees into quilts? Nah! Convert them into cushion covers? Nope. How about transforming them into a summery dress, a classy skirt, a smart kurti or even a jumpsuit? And if you are creative and clever, you may even find yourself with enough extra fabric left over for accessories such as scarves, bandanas and earrings.

Chiffons and south cottons make very smart skirts. “Skirts made from sarees, without lining, make a style statement. Even the thick border of a Bengal cotton (taat) saree can be stitched to the hem of a skirt to give it a rich look,” suggests fashion stylist Ritu Kumar.
Using techniques such as layering and mix-and-match, you can play with more than one saree to add a dash of colour to your daily wear.

Team two cotton sarees to make multiple kurtas out of the combination. The saree borders can be used as sleeves, side-slit borders or borders along the length of the kurtas. Since kalidar kurtas never seem to go out of style, you can transform an old silk sari into a kurta by using the pallu as the yoke and adding the flare below it.

Cotton sarees that have a mix of lycra and chiffons or georgettes can be turned into tube tops. Since net is here to stay, raid Mom’s cupboard for her old net sarees.
 Benarsi sarees can be reinvented as sexy off-shoulder cocktail dresses. The pallu can be used to add a second bubble frill. Silk sarees, used in combination, can begin a new life as exquisite kurtis.

Even old blouses can be turned into fashion statements. Tania Israni, fashion designer, says: “Old blouses can be opened up and necklined with gota work. They could even be turned into elegant waist coats. With innovative tailoring, they can become Indo-Western fusion wear.”

As for those bandanas, scarves and earrings, they can be magicked out of bandini sarees. Ever thought about that?!

(Published 28 March 2013, 15:35 IST)

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