Making a Lehenga out of a Saree: DIY Methods
What does one notice when a bride makes her grand entry? The phoolon ki chaddar or what’s unique in her entrance? The jewellery, the makeup – well eventually, yes! But, that’s not the highlight. It is the Lehenga! Everyone present watching the bride walk down the aisle or toward the mandap will probably slide a little further, even push the ones beside them just to get a glimpse of what the bride is wearing. Since the limelight is on you, it is your time to shine.
Now, not all brides can afford exquisite designer wear and for some the brand tag just doesn’t matter. A shoutout to all the creative brides out there, who are all game to get on the DIY (do-it-yourself) bandwagon and create their own glamorous wedding bridal wear, we give you 8 ways that are gorgeously brilliant and super easy to DIY a bridal lehenga. You save money, you make memories and you will have the bestest lehenga story to narrate to your children years later, not to mention a meaningful heirloom to pass along. Check it out.
Mix And Match All Components
As much as you think it is imperative to colour coordinate and wear an attire that compliments your look, you’ll be startled to know that it is not so. Mix and match is all about using what you have and buying only the components that go well with it. Confused?! Let us dive deeper. Say, you have a mind blowing saree blouse with intricate embellished work and embroidery. The key here is to use that blouse as your choli and work on a lehenga, which again could be of a different lehenga-choli set. You can always go and buy a separate heavy or light worked duppata to complete the look.
Lehenga Out Of A Saree
Easy to do and might save you some real dough! Catching up on runway trends, you can choose a kanjeevaram or pure silk saree to create an exquisite piece of lehenga-choli. Gaurang Shah’s latest collection ‘Calico’ at the Lakme Fashion Week witnessed the emergence of this trend. You can read more about it here. You can select any heirloom, vintage, soft hued or even velvet saree and give it to your tailor who will work his magic to create an exquisite piece just for you. With all the shine, shimmer, cut work and intricacies present on your saree already, all you need to do is work on the silhouettes.
Choli And Lehenga – Buy Them From Separate Stores
Love a Sabyasachi or Ritu Kumar lehenga choli, but it seems simply out of budget. What if we told you, you don’t need to buy a complete outfit, rather just go for one designer piece and mix and match the rest? For example, buy a designer blouse and get the lehenga designed from your local tailor or vice versa. This way you can control your budget, yet have a designer touch to it.
Old Is Gold – Refurbish Old Lehengas and/or Sarees
There are several stores in and around Mumbai and Delhi, who can help you refurbish an old lehenga or saree. The old lehenga or saree we’re referring to here could be your mom’s grand moms or maybe your most beloved aunt’s. Why go for old? Simply because they’re exclusive! The kind and type of intricate handwork that was once in vogue is impossible to find these days. If your mom or grandma is willing to let you use her heirloom piece as and how you like it, go vivid, we say. If you like a particular patch work or the borders or the yoke design of their blouse, incorporate that into your lehenga designs. There are many small time designer stores who don’t charge you that much to create a unique design with all the material you have. And, no! They won’t steal away any of those left over materials from you.
Timeless Heirloom Pieces
This brings us to heirloom pieces. Heirloom is anything that has been passed on from generation to generation. You can take a cue from Kareena Kapoor who wore her Mother-in-law’s Vinage sharara at her wedding. This just simply saves the cost and makes people compliment your endearing choice too. All the effort you need to do with this one is refurbish it to make it look fresh and unique. Even though the attire maybe vintage, you can stylize the look with contemporary draping, hairstyles and jewellery adornment. Use a fine quality silk or satin to add facing at the back side border of your dupatta or lehenga. In case the edges are frayed, consider a piping in tissue or a contrasting color to liven up the outfit.
Assembling The Lehengas – 1 Year Before
This one is for the fashionista who eagerly waits for the latest in bridal trends to come up and grab the first opportunity to get their hands on it. Given your wedding is a good one year away, you have plenty of time to start assembling your outfits for the week long Indian wedding celebration you plan to host. The trick here is to be conscious of what you pick that will not fade in style for decades to come. This also helps your bifurcate your expenses and not have a full-blown credit crises. Breaking down your expenses and shopping smartly for your lehenga and the accessories that go with it – is the key. For brides who’re planning to travel all over the country to get the best from the lot, this tip comes handy to you as well.
Rush To Your Local Tailor For Inspirations
Love the intricate work you see on a Rohit Bal or Shyamal & Bhumika creations? Have you been saving images, zooming in and out of the fine details and are simply aww’ed with the outfits? Stop starring at the screen with hearts in your eyes and rush to your local tailor now. There are gazillions of tailors and karigars (specialists in embroidery and stone work) who can replicate the same design for you in dirt cheap rates. No we’re not kidding. Start scouting now. You’ll be amazed to know the creations that they’ve mastered and put out for brides that can put high-end designers to shame. Who knows you might get a better design than what you imagined to be.
Locate Vintage Markets
Our last DIY tip involves a lot of legwork, literally! But, we promise the end result will stun you. There are several local vintage markets in and around the city that you’re probably unaware of. Sit for a light chit-chat with your mom and aunties and you’ll have a whole diary filled with even small corner shops who provide vintage sarees for as cheap as Rs. 300/-, while some give trimming and patch works that can very well compliment your designs. While some stores are masters at weaving and embroidery work, that has most designers running to them for inspirations too. Have a walk around these shops and you’ll be amazed with the burst of colours, patchwork, stonework and embellishments, as well as the variety of fabrics they have to offer. This will easily open a wide window for all the brides, who are looking to create their own unique lehenga and be proud owners of it too.
Few major markets where you can begin your hunt for ideas and inspirations are listed below:
- Bhuleshwar Market
- Mangaldas Market
- Pradhan Creative Collections
- Saroj Fabrics
- Janpath Market
- Hauz Khas Village
- Chandni Chowk
- Karol Bagh
- Shahpur Jat
What you waiting for lovelies, get set and go. Take control, be your own designer.
Have more suggestions? Let us know in the comments section below.