Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Awesomeness of Sarees

I'm always trying to costume on the cheap, cause as a stay at home costumer married to a grad student money is  tight. Unfortunately I have expensive taste, and want to be as historically accurate as possible (none of that faux silk from Joanns for me!). These 2 things do not go together well. fortunately I am a master of finding random crap on ebay to use for my costuming needs. I will leave my love of ebay for another post, today will be all about the awesomeness of Indian sarees, the traditional dress of Indian women.

 I have been buying sarees off ebay to make into anything form edwardian evening gowns to reticules. Now making regency gowns form sarees is nothing new, a bunch of costumers  have made amazing regency gowns from sarees . I  always admired the bright bold and beautiful gowns others had, but always assumed that the material must be expensive. However it tuns out that while some sarees are indeed expensive you can buy pure silk sarees for next to nothing,  if you know where to look. You see I found this seller on ebay that is AWESOME!
This place sells vintage silk sarees that may or may not have some flaws like stains and tears, perfect for cutting up! Most of their auctions start at .99 cents plus $7.99 shipping and $5.99 shipping for any additional sarees.  This summer I got 6 for under $50 including shipping all the way from India! The seller states on ebay that these sarees are used and have flaws so i was not expecting these delightful creations that arrived in the mail!

The package of sarees came in a hand sewn fabric bag all the way from India!

out of the 6 sarees i bought only 3 had any flaws 3 are in pristine condition! Though they where a bit smelly, something that can easily be remedied with cold water and shampoo, yes shampoo you can hand wash silk with shampoo!  All of my sarees are just gorgeous, soft subtle silk , some hand block printed others hand  embroidered, and interwoven with gold thread.

Blue purple and white hand block printed silk.

Red and Yellow silk with a woven in pattern.

All are about 4 yards long, at less than $10 a saree that is less than $3 a yard! You can't even buy polyester costume satin for that, never mind silk, and nice silk at that, not that dupioni crap! My latest saree purchase is this lovely magenta colored piece. I had been looking for some magenta colored silk for the under gown of  that 1912 evening gown I plan to make for Dress U.

1912 dress I plan to make for Dress U

But  I could not find any silk I could afford. Sorry just can't drop $15 a yard on fabric for a costume that I will most likely only wear once. So I went back to my favorite ebay saree seller and snatched up this lovely beauty for $22.

Magenta silk saree I plan to use for the under dress of the 1912 gown

Hand embroidered green silk saree for the overdress

I got 5 yards of magnificent magenta silk with a stunning golden woven border! And cause it's so pretty and I don't need all 5 yards just for the under gown I think I'll  also use some of this sari silk to make a nice little sleeveless spencer to go over my little white regency dress to wear at Jane Fest (got inspired to make one over at Natalie's Blog http://zipzipinkspot.blogspot.com/ )!

Short sleeved spencer. they did exist!
 Unless I find a pretty peacock blue saree to use for the spencer that is! I think this year will be the year of the saree costume, actually I'm pretty sure I will never buy silk at the fabric store again!


  1. I've been worried about buying from small sellers in India but you've convinced me to try it!

    Thanks so much for the tips,


  2. This ebay seller really is very good i was very very happy with the sarees he sent! i totally want to buy more!

  3. Hi, I just discovered your blog. I have looking at sarees on ebay for about a year, I've seen the seller you mentioned and there were a few others, but have been worried about ordering from overseas. Seeing that you have been having good luck, I may have to order some. I don't sew yet, I just love the way I look in a saree, But learning to sew is on my list of things to learn this year and hope to eventually be able to make stuff, so it's great to know that's a good source for material.
    enjoying your blog.

  4. Thank Lynn
    I Promise you won't be dissapointed with this seller. I just got another saree from them this weekend and it's so pretty I don't think I will be able to cut it up for sewing.

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  6. Best Collection of Indian Wedding Sarees. I was looking for such clothes for a long time. Finally got it here. Thank you so much. keep up the good work.