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Dec 18, 2010

Pattu Paavadai Tutorial - Part II

Online Teaching takes a new meaning with all those Tutorials floating online for free. Here is one from AdithisAmmaSews

Hope you gals (n guys) checked out 'Pattu Paavadai Drafting' tutorial posted earlier.

Are you wondering why is there no draft for the Paavdai a.k.a Skirt... Well let me clear that doubt off..
Silk Skirt or Pattu Paavadai does not need a draft and is based on a formula! Yes... it is as simple as that once demystified....

Pattu Paavdai is an all round pleated skirt.

Pleats that are best suited are :
  • Box pleats (especially for toddlers and little girls less than say 8 years), this adds more volume at hips and since toddlers and girls less than 8 yrs have waist and seat as almost the same, it also gives an illusion of shape (I personally heart Box pleats and use them in all the Paattu Paavadais i make)

  • Knife Pleats for grown up girls as i am sure you want to look shapely. 

Before we start sharpening our math skills, let us do the first step.

Measure the height of the fabric and see. [The fabric i have is 68"wide(Selvage is width here) and 36" tall ]

Height of the skirt a.k.a Pattu Paavadai = Total length of the child from Shoulder to Ankle - Bodice length

Height of the Paavdai i am making should be  = 41.5 - 10 = 31.5 

But i have 36 " , whereas i require 31.5" only. Of the extra 4.5"  1/2" would go off for seam allowance at waist seam, remaining 4" needs to be tucked in  so make a tuck pleat of 2 inch depth folded. Ta Da you have proper height altered skirt fabric....

  • Mark and pin  the required depth of Tuck to alter the Height (Tip: make sure the tuck ends atleast 1/2 inch before the Zari Border so that fabric hangs gracefully even after Tucking it)

Tuck of 2 inch depth i.e, 4 inch in total pinned up 

  • Before stitching the tuck check for the alignment of pattern (if any) on the right side of fabric; Once patterns or motifs are aligned then stitch the tuck

  • Press the Tuck to one side i.e., towards the Zari Border and see the neat finish on the right side

Now width of the fabric needs to be adjusted to suit waist round of the child

For this tutorial i am making a Pattu Paavdai for my Darling Daughter's dear friend whose waist measurement is 22 inches so i have added ease of 2 more inches so i need a waist of 24 inches all round box pleated. 

The width of the Silk Paavadai Cloth I have is 68 inches. (Width of the cloth for Paavadai as available from the shop needs to be measured along selvage ! )  After exclude 2 inches for seam allowance , all i have to work with and make pleats is 66" 

66" needs to be pleated and reduced to a waist round of 24 inches !

So sharpen your math skills, here we go; Aactually i borrowed on my Hubby's math skills, earlier i used to ponder and pin and re-pin pleats of different lengths when i sew the Silk Skirt a.k.a. Pattu Paavdais)

Thanks dear hubby for the super formula.

Width of the Fabric will be X
Waist round to be achived will be Y

I would like to have 10 pleats in all (5 at Front + 5 at back ; though we have only seam at Center Back)

Width of Pleat  = (X - Y) / (Number of pleats desired * 2) [For BOX Pleat]

Width of Pleat  = (X-Y) / Number of Pleats desired [For KNIFE Pleat]

Width of my box pleat = (66-24) / (10*2)

Width of my box Pleat = 2.1 inches.

The above width is the resultant box pleat width and for the actual box pleat to appear we would need 2.1*2 = 4.2 inches of fabric 

  • Along the selvage of fabric mark section 4.2 inches apart 

    (Mark (Width of your box pleat * 2) for each section)

  • Pin up the sections and make box pleat in each section
  • Check if the Pinned up fabric width equals waist round
Check Waist Round after Pinned up the Pleats
  • Top stitch the pleats for about 1.5 inch (it includes 1/2 inch for seam allowance while joining the waist to bodice)
  • Finish the center back seam ( i have used French seam coz the silk fabric unravels a bit more)
Pattu Paavadai is ready to be joined to bodice portion. 

Please do leave a comment or at least choose your reaction to the tutorials as that motivates me. Acknowledgement of any work is due isn't it... so please bring a smile on my face, give your feedback.

Happy Weekend.

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  1. Wow, absolutely beautiful. I love the colors that you have used.

    I’m your newest follower.
    I would like to invite you to the Follow Us Monday Morning blog hop @Frugality Is Free.
    Happy Holidays!

  2. Beautiful colors!
    I'm following from the blog hop.
    I'd love a follow back at


  3. This is lovely, wonderful colors!Hopping over to leave a smile on your page. Happy Wednesday and Happy Holidays. Hugs, Katherine

  4. Hi!
    Thanks for your useful tutorial for making the paavadai.Yours is the only ,best tutorial that I found on Google.

    1. Glad this tutorial was helpful to you. Happy sewing. Will be launching RTW Paavadai Sattai Sets for girls aged 1-10 by this month end. Please do spread the word around, will be back with details on the same on and also on . Please stay tuned.

  5. Great tutorial! Keep up the good work!


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