September 19, 2016

How to make Anarkalis (Part-1) Circular skirt Anarkali & its variations?

An Anarkali is a form of women's apparel which has been explored by many fashion designers in Indian fashion industry. It is basically a suit in the form of a long, frock-style top combined usually with a slim fitted bottom garment, known as "Churidaar". A stylized design may also have the Anarkali paired with either a "Salwaar" or straight cut "Trouser".
It is said that Anarkali suit owes its name from the fictional character named Anarkali, who was said to be a courtesan in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. 
It's an extremely popular style adorned by women of Northern India, Pakistan and The Middle East. Anarkali is one such garment that can be made as a simple casual wear for daily use to a more heavily embellished and embroidered special occasion wear like weddings, festivals, parties.

* The pictures and instructions are offered here for free. Please don't repost any of my content without permission. Thanks!


Basic styles in Indian Anarkali are:
A. Circular Skirt Anarkali which has variations
(1) Half Circular, (2) Full Circular.
B. Single Piece Anarkali.
C. Panel Anarkali which has 3 variations
(1) Half panel, (2) Full (lengthwise) Panel & (3) Horizontal Panel.
Apart from these basic styles, today Anarkali is designed in a variety of stylized versions.

In this post, I have shown step-wise pattern making of Circular skirt Anarkali & its variations.
For Circular Skirt Anarkali, we need to make paper pattern of:-
a) Anarkali Front Yoke
b) Anarkali Back Yoke
c) Circular Skirt of Anarkali
d)  Basic Sleeve

How to draft an Anarkali Yoke (Front & Back) using your Bodice Block?
You can use Front and Back Bodice pattern - till waist (made using your own personal body measurements) to make Front and Back Yokes of Anarkali.

a) Anarkali Front Yoke:-
- Trace Front Bodice draft having shoulder, neckline, armhole, side seam, waist line and its two darts i.e. shoulder & waist dart.
- For making the Anarkali yokes, we have to transfer these 2 darts (i.e. shoulder & waist dart) to side seam oblique dart.
- Make Step-5 with Side seam Oblique dart by referring "Basic Dart Manipulation in Women's wear {Single dart}".

Step-1 - Neck Shaping:
- To shape the neckline as per required pattern, go inward from neck-shoulder point by 2 or 2.5 cms.
- From that point, mark the neck depth point (using a scale) on Centre Front of bodice.
- Join these two points based on required neck pattern.
* I have used a basic Round neckline pattern.
Step-2 - Armhole Deepening:
- Deepen the armhole by 1.5 cms from armhole-side seam point.
- Draw a new arm curve running parallel to original arm curve and merge as shown in image.
Step-3 - Yoke line Marking:
- Come down from bust point (B.P) by 3 to 6 cms. as required and mark the yoke line.

b) Anarkali Back Yoke:- 

- Trace Basic bodice Back draft having shoulder, neckline, armhole, side seam, waist line and its waist dart.

- Following the steps of Anarkali Front Yoke (i.e. Neckline and Armhole deepening), make the final pattern of Anarkali Back bodice. (refer image).

- To mark the Yoke line of Back bodice, measure the side seam (after folding the side seam dart) of Final Front Yoke (i.e. measure from deepened Armhole till Yoke line).

- Mark whatever is the "x" measurement (of side seam of Final Front Yoke) on the Back bodice side seam and draw the yoke line of Anarkali back.

c) Circular Skirt of Anarkali:- Once the front and back blocks of Anarkali yokes are ready, measure the Total length of front yoke line + back yoke line  (YL). 
Since the circular skirt starts from below yoke line, #Total length of front + back yoke lines can be considered as Round Waist measurement when making the pattern for circular skirt of Anarkali.#
From these yoke lines, measure downwards required skirt length for Anarkali pattern. 
- * Skirt length can be till Knee or below Knee or till Floor. 
- Flare of Circular Anarkali Skirt will vary depending on requirement. I usually prefer to utilize maximum fabric & avoid wastage. However, you can have 2 basic types of circular Anarkalis:- 
1. Full Circular Anarkali:
- Draw a square with approx. Skirt length + Round waist measurement.

- Draw diagonal lines passing through centre as shown in side diagram.

- From intersection of these diagonal lines (i.e. at centre of square), draw a circle = Round waist (RW) / 3.14.

- From this centre circle, measure & mark skirt length circle (side image).

2. Half Circular Anarkali: For half circular Anarkali, fold the fabric twice as shown  in image.
0-1 & 0-2 = 1/6 Round Waist.
- Join 1 & 2 with a curve (refer image)
* green arrows indicate that the curve is at equal distance from 0.
- 1-3 & 2-4 = Skirt length
Join 3 & 4 with a curve (refer image)
* blue arrows indicate that the curve is at equal distance from inner curve of 1 & 2.

Ideally a paper pattern should be used to avoid fabric wastage. However, in case of Circular Anarkali you can mark the required skirt length, round waist circumference and flare of skirt directly on fabric using the curved scale.

I hope this post was helpful to you.
Please leave your valuable comments / queries and I will be happy to reply.☺☺

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  1. Hello Sudha, I just read yr Anarkali yoke pattern draft. Please can you explain why the armhole is deepened by 1.5 cm

    1. Hi Shweta, thank you for your query.Well I have used a basic bodice for making the yoke draft. Basic bodice is usually made exactly as our personal body shape with not much ease. So when making a yoke we need to add an ease of at least 1.5 cms. This will help for armhole movement. Hope this helps.

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