Photo of Shira



PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Quick Salwar

By Arabella




  • 2 1/2 yards (229 centimeters) of 45-inch (115-centimeter) wide fabric
  • Drawstring or elasic long enough to go around hips. (If elastic is used, the non-roll kind such as that shown in this photo is strongly recommended.)
  • Thread
Non-Roll Elastic





Diagram 1 Yards/Inches

<==Yards & inches


Measure and cut 2 pieces of fabric, each as shown in the top diagram to the left.

Click on either diagram to see it in more detail.

Diagram 1 Metric Version

Sew the two pieces of fabric together at the crotch seam, 16 inches (41 centimeters), as shown in this diagram.

Click on the diagram to see it in more detail.

Diagram Showing Crotch Seams

Sew the inner leg seam as a continuous seam, up one leg and down the other, leaving 9 inches (23 centimeters) at the bottom open for the ankle.

Fold over 1/4 inch (6 mm) at the top edge, then fold again an additional one inch to make a casing and stitch. Leave a 1 inch (2.5 centimeter) opening unsewn for inserting the elastic or drawstring.

Click on the diagram to see it in more detail.

Diagram for Assembling Pants
  • If using elastic, cut it to 2 inches (5 centimeters) shorter than the hip measurement at point where top edge of pants will be worn.
  • Or, if using drawstring, cut it to the hip measurement plus 18 inches (46 centimeters).

Attach either a bodkin or a safety pin to one end of the elastic or drawstring and thread it through the casing. (See photo to the right to see what a bodkin looks like.)

If using elastic, sew ends of the elastic together, then sew shut the opening of the casing. If using drawstring, leave the opening open.

Hem bottom edges.

Decorate if desired.

What a Bodkin Looks Like



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About the Author

Arabella, the author of this article, has contributed many informative pieces to this web site on a variety of topics, including:

  • Analysis of technique for doing certain dance moves
  • Costume ideas
  • Essays and opinion pieces
  • Understanding Middle Eastern music
  • Helpful how-to's, such as remembering choreography

Please visit Arabella's home page on this web site for a full list of articles she has contributed.

Arabella began her dance studies with Russian Ballet classes. Frustrated by ballet's impossible ideals, and curious about more ethnic dance disciplines, she moved on to study various other dance forms. Moving further east each time, these included Spanish flamenco, Escuela Bolera, Middle Eastern, and East Indian Odissi.

Arabella, based in Toronto, Canada, is also a certified Mastercraftsman in crewel embroidery, with a special passion for metal thread and ethnic embroidery. Currently she particularly focuses on Palestinian and East Indian embroidery.

Photo of Arabella



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