Sorry, no dolly talk but a Sari update…

If you missed it a few days ago, I shared that I am making a Sari for a friend at church… well, actually not the Sari, the Sari under blouse. She already has the yards of the “wrap around” fabric. I have to have this done by Sunday morning, so I’m doing “Sari sewing” instead of dolly sewing for a day or two…

Amma gave me the picture of what her Sari will look like…I think her Sari fabric is either green with red or red with green…I can’t remember…


Apparently you buy the yards of Sari fabric, but the blouses are separate and many times they are made by someone. She didn’t want her tummy showing so my version will be longer…just a bit past her waist.

I made one prototype and had her try it on… but it looked too much like a shirt, so I revamped my pattern and made another prototype. It was much better and had more like a capped sleeve top… It’s supposed to fit snug against the body.


The bright green fabric turned out NOT to be raw silk, which I thought it was… it’s just a very sheer, sort of organza like fabric.


I only had a piece wide enough to get 2 fronts and 2 backs, and a tiny bit left over where the gold metallic trim was… Believe me, when I said I prayed before I cut into it!! I looked at how I had it pinned, talked to myself out loud… it went something like this…”Okay… I have the darts marked in the right spot, I’ve got the back on the fold instead of the front, I have allowed enough for the hook and eye closures on the front opening, I added that “extra” bit of seam allowance for the shoulder,” and then “Oh Lord, please show me if something isn’t right…NOW…before I cut into this fabric. I have no extra and it came from India, so I can’t get anymore…”

Then I took the scissors and started cutting it out… 2 fronts, 2 front linings out of bright green satin, 2 backs, 2 back linings out of the satin, and then 2 cap sleeves and the linings for them. I marked the darts on all the pieces and started sewing.



I am going to have her try it on again tomorrow and adjust the shoulder seams. I’m pretty sure we’ll need a tiny dart across the top of the shoulder to pull it closer to her body. Then it will be finished off with facings or bias strips.

Here is the lining…


The fabric is between the settings on my iron… the “nylon” setting isn’t quite hot enough, but the “wool/silk” setting is too hot and the fabric melts… so I had to turn it up to the wool setting until it got hot, and then turn it down to the nylon setting and wait about a minute for it to cool off enough to press. It was quite stressful…but I got it all done…and never melted any good pieces. You can see here how wrinkled the fabric was…it HAD to be ironed…


Here is a close up of the metallic trim on the shoulder…


Amma gave me another under blouse to see how they did it. The inside is like a puzzle… the pieces look like they are all made and then stitched together like a puzzle. If I have enough time I may do some “decorative” touches on her blouse… then again, if I can just get it done, I’ll be happy!




So that’s been my Sari story up to now… the sooner I get it done, the sooner I can get back to Janie’s cowgirl set…

I had to have a root canal this morning, (UGH!!) so I’m getting ready to head to bed… It’s only 8:30 and I NEVER go to bed this early, but I woke up this morning at 2:00 a.m. “thinking” about it and couldn’t get back to sleep. I have TMJ in my jaw (can’t open my mouth but about 2 finger widths wide) and so it makes my jaw very sore when it has to be pried open for the 2 hours it takes…

But I’ll see you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    I feel for you, Jeanne, with your dental problems! I have had nothing BUT dental problems, and I joke with my dentist that I could easily pass for a guinea pig for dental students, as I have had so much work done on my teeth! I’m sure he has been on many a vacation from me paying for his services! Here’s hoping that things get better for you.

    Oh my, I had no idea what a sari involved! That is so interesting to see how you are making it and I guess no pattern either to help. I love the gold trim on the shoulders, such a nice touch! If anybody can do this—-Jeanne Marie can!

    • HI Linda,
      My biggest problem is I’m CHICKEN when it comes to going to the dentist…so when I found out I had to have a root canal… they might as well have told me I was going to the gas chamber… I was that nervous. Fortunately the dentist gave me 3 shots and I really didn’t feel any pain… just the jaw pain from opening my mouth for so long…
      Today is much better… I think I may start brushing my teeth 5 times a day to keep the dentist away…

      I’m taking the Sari to Amma to have her try on what I’ve gotten done so far…right after I work at the Food Pantry today. I’m hoping for a great fit so I can move on to finishing it.
      The gold trim came on the green fabric…it was like a border…
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    I thought this would be interesting, but I had no idea how interesting. I’ve often seen pictures of the underblouses, but the ones I’ve seen usually looked plain, and I had assumed that in recent years, knit would be the fabric of choice. It looks like I was wrong on that. I love the cord on the short one — a beautiful detail that will be unnecessary with the dart you anticipate adding.
    Will the front of the long one be slightly longer? I like that graceful curve in the photo. The blouse you are making looks graceful and elegant. I hope you’ll be able to photograph the complete outfit, front and back, and let us see it when you are done.
    What would be even better is to be able to photograph the process of arranging the sari with all those nice folds. This is definitely something that belongs in your record books.

    • HI Marilyn,
      I don’t know if they make Knit Under Blouses or not… all the ones I’ve ever seen have been satiny or shiny fabrics… knit certainly would be more comfy and easy to make…
      I’m hoping to make Amma’s sari as long as I can at the bottom. If I can get it to fit perfectly, I may do some decorative stitching down the front or on the back… we’ll see…

      I’ll have to see if Amma is up to “dressing up in her Sari” for us…I’d like to see that too!
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Good luck on your root canal. That must be so painful after if you can’t open your mouth wide. I am sure you will be able to finish the Sari top and it will look wonderful and fit perfectly. 🙂

    • Thanks for your vote of confidence on the Sari blouse, Christine. I’m hoping for a fitting today and then hoping for a good fit too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. So sorry about that, Jeanne. I hope you’re feeling better today. I had a lot of jaw pain with my last root canal too, almost unbearable. I mentioned it to my dentist and he said he had started using Schuessler mineral salt spray to help with his patients who had jaw pain during treatments. I haven’t tried it, just thought I would pass on the information.
    I like puzzles, but not the kind you are trying to complete. Great job so far though!

    • HI Cindy,
      I’ll have to ask about that mineral salt spray… I’ll try anything!

      I’m a big fan of puzzles too, but this kind is a little stressful for me… maybe it’s just the first one that you feel that way about…
      Thanks for thinking it looks great so far…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Looks awesome Jeanne! Hope you heal soon from the root canal. TMJ pain is so difficult to deal with. Pray it gets better soon.
    God Bless

    • HI Marsha,
      Thanks for the comments…
      Today is better… last night it was good to go to bed early!
      Thanks for your prayers…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Be sure to ask for a bite block to hold your jaw open. Once I found this out, I always ask for one as my jaw muscles are not left sore for several days from holding my mouth open for so long. Why don’t dentists always use one as the muscle can relax and not be tensed up?

    Great job on the sari blouse. It is covered by the sari itself so no need to get so fancy as the sample as only the cap sleeve shows. The details on the sample are like fancy bras under Western clothing. Amazing with so little fabric. Lucky lady who will wear this. You are truly a master seamstress as well as pattern maker.

    • HI Susette,
      My mouth is so small they couldn’t get the bite block in yesterday. They were going to use a child bite block but I asked if I could pass on it. I have spasms in my jaw if it stays open too long, so I just open for as long as I can and then I have to motion that I need to close my mouth and rub right in front of my ears… to ease the ache… I managed and today it’s better.

      I know… all this work and really the only part that shows is the neckline and the sleeve caps.. They are sort of like fancy bra’s aren’t they?
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Jeanne what tedious work the sari blouse is, but yours looks so good. I like the trim she chose for the sleeve. Does it match the sari’s trim? It will be very pretty when it’s done.

    Hope the root canal goes well. You may have to take a nap if you should be given something for pain. I’ve never had one so I don’t know the process. Anything at the dentist hurts if you ask me.
    Blessings, Paula

    • HI Paula,
      The trim was actually already attached to the green fabric when Amma gave it to me…
      I’m wondering if maybe you get the yards of fabric and a one yard piece of a solid fabric with the trim attached to one end to make the blouse out of. I’ll have to ask and find out…

      They gave me 3 shots to numb it up, but nothing for pain. He did tell me to take something when I got home because my jaw was open for so long…
      I don’t like the dentist and will do anything to not go, but I had to for this visit… I’m such a chicken…
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Charlotte Trayer says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your dental woes, Jeanne. I, too, have a very small mouth (contrary to what my younger brother used to tell me when we were kids! LOL), plus I have a highly refined gag reflex, so working in the back of my mouth is a real challenge! They found that sprinkling a few grains of salt on my tongue helps tame the gag reflex somewhat. Even so, I sometimes have to signal for them to stop for a minute so I can breathe! I’m not looking forward to the filling I need tomorrow–it’s just a small one, but still….it’s at the edge of a crown, so it needs to be taken care of before they have to pull the crown off to get to it! Fortunately my dentist and his assistants are very sympathetic.

    I have found it helps to get my teeth cleaned Three times a year instead of two–Heidi, my dental hygienist, says some people just tend to “make plaque” and I’m one of them!!

    So interesting about the sari. The underblouse is considered to be like underwear to us, even though one sleeve/shoulder shows.

    One hint about pressing delicate fibers: I used a press cloth (part of dh’s old undershirt) over the delicate fabric; that way you protect the fabric, plus you can use a bit higher heat so the steam will work (if you want steam). Be sure to test on your own fabrics to make sure it will work for you.

    Take care! Charlotte

    • HI Charlotte,
      I’m hoping your dentist appointment went well today and your filling was a simple procedure. It sounds like you and I are alike when it comes to dentist visits… we don’t care for them…

      Oh believe me, I’ve been using a press cloth for this Sari… I use one of my hubby’s old white cotton handkerchiefs… I tested a fabric scrap with the different temperature settings…
      Thanks Charolotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        Hi Jeanne,

        Dental appt. went okay; the injections before the filling were worse than the filling itself, because of the gag reflex thing as well as sinus trouble and cough. The filling only took about 10 minutes, I think! My mouth was numb for several hours, however.


  9. Jeanne:
    So sorry to hear about your dental problem. Hope that you are feeling better! You are doing a great job on your project. It looks great. I would loose mind trying to make that sari! I would still be thinking about it…. Hope you are feeling better.

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