Welcome to TribalBellyDance.net

Narah ~ Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Performer and Instructor

HomeContact NarahAbout NarahPennsylvaniaBellydanceMarket PlaceClassesGallery


Neefa and Shakti provided the following instructions for a choli that can be worn with (or without) a sari.  Since the fitting of this is complex in certain areas, make a paper pattern first, and then make one of muslin (an old sheet, etc.)


1 – Draw a pattern piece for the front following the dimensions given in the illustration.  Cut out this piece.


2 – Place this pattern piece on a folded piece of scrap fabric, and cut out two pieces.


3 – Place the two pieces together and pin, placing the pins ½ “ from the edge of the curved side (as shown.)  Place the pattern piece against one breast and adjust pins so the piece fits exactly.


4 – If necessary, cut the cloth pattern at the adjustment pin line.  Be sure to leave the seam allowance and use the cloth pattern to make a new paper pattern.


5 – Cut four pieces to match this pattern piece.


6 – For the back, make a rectangle pattern piece 13.5” by 3”.  Cut two pieces.


7 – For armpit gusset, make square pattern 5” by 5”.  Cut two pieces.



8 – For sleeves, make pattern piece 12.5” long (FOLD edge), with left edge 7” long and right edge 6” long.


9 – For the flap (which is optional):  Draw a rectangle 17” long by 13.5” wide.  Cut one piece of material.


10 – Get 1 yd of material, and place the pattern pieces on the material (on the fold where specified).  Cut out the pieces (4 fronts, 2 backs, 2 sleeves, 2 armpit gussets, 1 flap). 


11 – Put two of the front pieces right sides together and pin for ½ “ seam on the curved edge.  Sew seam and remove pins.  Press seams flat.  Repeat for other front pieces.


12- Place one back piece over one front piece, right-sides together and pin for ½” seams on top edge.  Sew and press flat.  Repeat for remaining front and back pieces.


13 – Open one front/back piece flat, right side out.  Place one sleeve piece over it, wrong side out, aligning top center of sleeve with the seam line of front/back piece.  Pin ½” from edge and sew over pins.  Remove pins and press flat.  Repeat for remaining sleeve and front/back piece, making sure you turn this front/back piece in the opposite direction from the first.  Keep the piece right-side out, so as to make a right side and left side.


14 – Fold each front/back/sleeve piece in half at the shoulder seam, right-side to right-side.  Pin bottom of sleeve on each piece ½” from edge to within 4” of armpit area.  Pin side of back to side of front to within 4” of armpit.  Sew over pins, remove pins and press flat.


15 – Insert arm-pit gusset.  Open one of front/back/sleeve pieces, wrong-side out so the armpit area forms a square.  Place armpit piece in the opening, wrong-side out, and pin in with ½” seam allowance.  Sew over pins, and repeat with the other front/back/sleeve piece. 


16 – Turn one front/back/sleeve piece wrong-side up.  Turn under raw edges of this piece and hem all the way around.  Repeat with other piece.


17 – Hem flap piece.


18 – Place flap face up.  Place one front/back/sleeve piece wrong –side up on flap, overlapping the center by ½”.  Lay the other front/back/sleeve piece wrong-side up on flap overlapping the center by ½”.  Each will overlap the side of the flap by about Ύ “.  Pin about ½” from edge and sew over pins.  Remove pins and press seam towards flap.


19 – Ties:  cut a piece of material 52: long by 1 ½ inches wide (piecing together scraps is OK).


20 – Fold material in half lengthwise with right sides together.  Sew up tie and knot ends of the ties.


21 – Press tie flat.  With choli right side up, place tie over seam line at front.  Pin tie with pins as close to edge as possible.  Sew over pins and then remove them.


22 – Cut two pieces of material 14” long by 1 ½ “ wide to make two small ties.  Attach one small tie to each shoulder seam.  Turn bottom of sleeves under and hem. 



 Choli notes by Narah

  1. in the first picture, I eliminate the top piece that looks like a right triangle and lengthen the over all shape of the rest of it if needed.
  2. I make the back piece about 2 inches wider when eliminating the apron.
  3. The apron is optional, and kind of rare to see with this pattern in bellydance.



  Fight Spam! Click Here!