Easy fix: shorten a salwar

Try this quick, reversible fix for a salwar that is too long

1. The top of the classic salwar has a wide band of fabric with a drawstring at the very top. This band is called a yoke in the US, and a belt in India. Fold the top half of the yoke down toward the outside, all the way around.

2. Next, you'll run a line of stitching alongside the fold, all the way around the yoke, to create a horizontal pleat to take up the extra length. The pleat is inside the yoke, so it won't show at the side slit of the kameez. To figure out how wide to make the pleat (how far to stitch from the edge of the fold), divide the amount you want to shorten the salwar by 2. To shorten the salwar 1", run a line of stitching 1/2" away from the fold, all the way around the yoke. To shorten the salwar 2", stitch 1" away from the fold, all the way around the yoke.

In most salwar, the crotch is quite low and you can take up 3-4" of length without bringing the crotch too high. However, if the crotch is already close to the body, you won't be able to shorten the salwar much using this technique. In this case, you can take a pleat at the top of the leg, just below the crotch. 

If the alteration is permanent, you can take the salwar to an Indian tailor near you and ask them to shorten the salwar. Most tailors will shorten the salwar at the bottom and recreate the cuff.

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