Anarkali suits are one of the most popular dresses for women. They are usually worn on special occasions like weddings, family get-togethers and festivals. Usually stitched with thin materials like georgettes, silks, chiffons, tissues etc they look elegant and stunning. Anarkali suits are usually worn with churidhars or gathering pants

The basic Anarkali suit can be stitched at home by following the instructions given below. I would suggest that you refer How to stitch normal kameez before proceeding.


0 to 2 – 1/6 chest +1"
2 to 3 – 1/4 chest + 1" or 1 ¼ " or 1 ½”
0 to 4 – half shoulder
4 to 5 – 1/2"
0 to 6 – 1/6 round neck + 1/2”
0 to 7 - Back Neck depth (standard = 3”)
6 to 8 - Front Neck depth (standard = 6”)
0 to 9 – Waist length minus 2” (since anarkali has a high waist)
9 to 10- ¼ waist + 1” or 1 ¼” or 1 ½”


For stitching an anarkali top, you need two materials, one main and one for the lining. The lining cloth should always be of the same colour as the main cloth.

To begin with, first measure and note down the body measurements. Then prepare a draft on a paper using the construction given above and cut on the marked lines. Keep the draft ready.

Now take the cloth, fold it in the reverse such that the two selvedges of the cloth are on top of each other. Then fold again such that the two ends are on top of each other. Now you will have 4 layers. Make sure that you are seeing the reverse part.

Place the draft on top of the cloth and mark the outline on the cloth using a chalk. Then leaving 1” extra cloth along the sides and ½” extra cloth along the neck, shoulder and armhole, cut the cloth. The front and back necks and arm holes have to be cut separately because their curves are different. Hence take care while cutting it. The shoulder line of all the four layers must be equal. Repeat the same procedure to cut the lining cloth.

Once the main cloth and lining cloth is cut for the front and back portions of the anarkali, stitch them together along all the sides and curves with long stitches. This is done to hold main and lining pieces in place. Now you will have 2 pieces, 1 for the front and another for the back. Then complete the neck and sleeves. For these refer FINISHING THE NECK and CUTTING NORMAL SLEEVES, CUTTING PUFF SLEEVES  and CUTTING LONG SLEEVES for the construction. Once the neck part is completed and the sleeves are cut, stitch it to the armholes.

Now for the lower part, take a cloth, fold such that the two selvedges are on top of each other. Use the following measurements to cut two pieces for the front and back.

Breadth = 3 times 9 to 10 measurement
Length = actual length of the kameez minus current 0 to 9 measurement

In the same way cut the lining cloth. After cutting the two cloths, take the main and lining cloth and pleat it together and stitch with the front side of the upper part. Similarly pleat and stitch the other two cloths with the back part of the upper part.

Use the following measurements and cut 2 pieces of the remaining main cloth and lining cloth to get a band. Take 1 main band and 1 lining band and stitch it in the reverse on both sides leaving ends open and turn to the correct side. Do the same thing with the other 2 pieces. Stitch at the joints of the front and back portions.

a to b = twice 9 to 10 measurement + 2” extra
a to c = 1 ½ “ or 2” +1” extra for stitching

Now stitch both the sides starting from the sleeve ends to the upper part of the top. For the lower part, stitch the lining and the main part separately at the sides. The bottom end of the lining should be double folded 2” to 3” whereas the bottom end of the main dress can be double folded 1/2" or a pico can be stitched.

Anarkali tops can be worn with churidhar or full length leggings.  You might also like the following tutorials




  1. Wish I know little machine stitching knowledge n a sewing machine with me! :)

    Useful post Amina!

  2. nice post and well explained !

  3. thank u for his great tutorial.i was worried about how to stitch this dress, thank u once again

  4. very interesting! Wish I knew how to stitch....

  5. Great tutorial Amina, well-explained!

  6. hey mam...nice post n very mom in law too does a wonderful stitching job :-)

  7. You must be an expert in both cooking and tailoring, very talented.

  8. I seriously admire ladies who can do tailoring..The patience you need for it is so admirable ! I get so annoyed sewing on as much even a button!!

  9. Great Effort in this site.. Was looking for good indian tailoring site from very long... Great site...

  10. Fantastic! Thank you soo much!

  11. very informative, great work, thanks

  12. well explained, thanks a lot amina
    god bless u

  13. Very well explained.........keep it up amina......
    Wud surely give a try.......

  14. HI, Amina ji, iam making this dress, my query is how to pleat the cloth, for making pleats i searched on net from that i came to know about BOX PLEAT, INVERTED PLEATS etc, so mam which type of pleat should be make , and lining of lower part of cloth is same as actual cloth????????
    sorry for this questions mam, actually there is no one to guide me in stitching and finishing work , iam watching my old cloths and stitching neck and armhole,
    thank you soooooooo much for making this blog, i did my basic course of stitching but my teacher is so rude she never explain things, so i didn’t took admission for advance salwar kamees patterns course,
    following your drafts i stitched normal kameez and now making this one , after completing this dress i send you the picture ,

    1. Thanks for your comment… and sorry to hear that you could not do an advanced course… Hopefully you will find a better class to learn other patterns… For anarkali dresses usually basic pleating is done… Just fold 1” of cloth such that you have 3 layers of 1/3”. This is one pleat… In the same way fold the remaining cloth and pleat it evenly… the direction of the pleat can be either to the left or right…
      There are indeed other types of pleating, but usually basic pleating is done for anarkali dresses… I will try explaining about pleats in my future posts… And regarding your question on the lining, the lining cloth is usually different from the main cloth.. The lining to be selected should be made of a slightly thicker material whereas the main cloth for the dress can be chiffon or georgette or any soft and thin material. The pleats will look good only with thin materials… I hope you have found this helpful…

    2. Hi Amina ji. I tried to make this suit. here's the link-
      The pleats r not properly made and its not looking good. so can u suggest how to improve pleat stitching. Coz After wearing the dress its looking bulgy and its uncomfortable near the pleats part(stomach part),
      PLs tell me where i went wrong
      Also is lining compulsory for the lower part? because I made the dress frm a saree


    3. I checked out your dress... it looks good but slightly bulgy... The cloth you used looks thick and as a result the dress has got a bulgy appearance. Mostly thin and soft materials are used for stitching anarkalis.. In this way the dress does not get bulky...

      If using a thick material i think a lining is not necessary..
      you can try removing the lining of your dress and stitch a band at the pleats part in the reverse side to make it more comfortable... If you have problem with pleating, pleat first using a needle and thread and only when it looks good stitch using your machine.. And do check your waist length, anarkalis usually have a high waist... If it is low the dress will not look good... I hope this helps...

  15. Amina, this is a superb tutorial. You have done an excellent job!!! I have a request for you. Can you show us how to sew anarkali suit without a waist band? Meaning, one where the panels start all the way from the neckline.something like in these photos PHOTO-1 and PHOTO-2 Thanks in advance.

    1. Thanks for the comment... i just checked the links you have mentioned... The pattern is a single piece anarkali suit where the upper part is pleated at regular intervals and stitched on the top in long vertical lines. As a result it directly creates pleats at the lower part...
      I will post a tutorial on this soon... Keep visiting...

  16. thanks to u for this post................i see and learn

  17. I know nothing about stitching but I love anarkali suits & would love to stitch one! Can you do a detailed post on the very basics of stitching like how we make draft and how you actually stitch. If you add a video tutorial it would be very helpful. I searched many videos on youtube but none could help me.It was only this post of yours that made me feel that stitching can be easy and fun too :)

    1. thanks for your comment... a detailed post on the basics of stitching will follow soon... :)

  18. Your explanation is so clear dear ...........Iam going to give it a try soon and post u the out come............if u have time plz visit my blog.............

  19. Hi, ur blogs r great. I have sewed princess cut kameez for my daughter seeing ur blog n it came out really nice. I want to know how to sew a anarkali suit without the yolk. Can u please help me? I checked over the net but found only different versions of the anarkali where the pleats start from waist, I am looking for something which starts from top ie the shoulder level

    1. Thanks for your comments.... i am glad the princess cut kameez you stitched came out well...
      A post on anarkali suit without a yolk will be added soon :)

  20. have done a superb job...your way of explanation is excellent nd vry usefull...can u plz explain the salwar suits with a back open having zip...

    1. thank you Priya for the comment... will add a post on that soon... :)

  21. i am glad after seeing this anarkali suits collection this collection has a very different design and structure. i like this post. thanks for posting.................


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