July 8, 2012

DIY: Budget Lehenga (Part 1)

If you like the colour, you don’t like the work..
If the work is interesting, you don’t like the style..
If the style is fine, you don’t like the dupatta..
If everything is fine, you don’t like the price!
I am sure everybody who has gone through the same saga must have felt like designing their own lehenga. But the fact that it is too risky as there are lot of external factors which has an impact on this kind of DIY project. External factors like finding a right tailor and “karagir” (Hand work artist)
Well, I am volunteering to be the guinea pig for you all! If it works for me you all can go ahead and have the perfect lehenga of your dreams!!
The reason I am writing this post so early before even completing the project is because it will give you some time to 1) Think about what exactly you want 2) Find if your existing tailors can make something like you want 3) Find a good “Karagir”
So lets get going girls. We aint got any time to waste!!

Deciding to make your own bridal lehenga is too optimistic according to me!! But you can make something for smaller functions like the Sangeet/Mehendi/Engagement.

Step 1: Check out with your tailor/ Handwork artists (optional) if he/she has ever stitched a lehenga before (refer this post on tailors). Get an idea if they are aware of the different styles - Fish cut, A line, Umbrella cut, etc. Ask him how much material is required for your requirement.

Step 2: Get inspired! Do a small research on the internet. See what you tend to like. Check out the colour combinations these A-list designers use. What if we cannot afford the lovely embroidery they do on the lehengas, you can still get those colour combinations you could die for.

Step 3: Get your fabric. This is when you tend to go crazy. There is so much variety available in the market. Stay focused.
Where to buy: Ashok Matching Center in Dadar. In any local market for eg in Vashi you get plenty of brocades in white which you can dye according to your requirement.

This is what I got:

Purple Brocades - lehenga
Tomato red - Kurta
Copper - Blouse/hem (yet to decide)
Base gold-ish - Pipings, extra strip / bottom of kurta

Lets talk business:
  1. Fabric: (Total: approx Rs 1500 for lehenga, lining and top)
    •  Brocade: Rs 280 per mt ---> Rs 840 for 3 mt
    • Lining: Rs 70 per mt ---> Rs 210 for 3 mt
    • Top (optional): Rs 280 per mt ---> Rs 420 for 1.5 mt
  2. Stitching: Rs 1000 - Rs 1500
  3. Handwork: Rs 3000 for some decent work quality. Totally depends upon your requirement. 
So you will maximum have to spend Rs 6000 on your dream lehenga. :)

Things to remember:

  • Apply the KISS principle (Keep it simple silly!!). At least for the first time.
  • Divide your project in parts (Only if you have time in hand). I am just going get my lehenga stitched first. Will do the handwork once the fitting is perfect. And then the dupatta with work/just laces. This way you don't put all your money at stake.

Stay in budget tips:

1) Avoid handwork - It cuts your cost down to half!

How do you do still have a lovely lehenga? Go in for brocades (they look rich with/without work). Put a contrast velvet wide patti on the hem along with some gold/copper/silver laces on each side of the velvet patti.

Just concentrate on the bottom border - Wide velvet patti

2) Every bride-to-be must have a plain gold/silver/copper blouse (princess cut) which goes well on any saree. You can team up your brocade bottom with this blouse.

More on DIY Lehenga here:


  1. Aditi where at Vashi can I find such materials?

    1. Diamond matching centre in Sector 9 market (Bhagwan cutpiece centre side wala market). These materials are expensive here. Also limited colours. They dye the material for you but at a cost. For cheaper options and more variety, you should go to Ashok matching centre in Dadar (Near Plaza theatre)

  2. I love the broad velvet patti idea - will def use it somewhere. Thanks!

  3. Aditi, how did this Lehenga turn out? did you use it for your wedding? When can we see? :)

    1. I am very happy with it. I further want to embellish it with laces and latkans.

      I shall be using it either while applying mehendi or on a day before the wedding (afternoon time) when no function is going on. All bridal outfit posts will be followed soon after the wedding. :)

  4. For bridal lehenga, to make it under budget, article has given really a great tips. we would also recommend to visit some designer at your locality as well, they would also guide you.


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