Istanbul: Shalwar

Lifting my hems to show off the Shalwar

Lifting my hems to show off the Shalwar

One of the last garments I made for my Turkish outfit is the pants – Shalwar, described from my overview as:

” Very soft and lightweight ankle-length pants. Wide at the thighs, narrowing at the ankle. Could be white, or patterned cotton or silk. “

I wasn’t sure if I would have time to make these as well, so thought of a) using my Norse pants (which also have a wide hip, and the “narrow cuff” would tuck into my boots anyways. or b) using some linen purchased pants instead

However… I DID end up having enough time to sew these up!


Master Rashid’s pattern schematic

I used the pattern on Pinterest attributed to Master Rashid. This is an incredibly fabric-conservative pattern, basically taking the leftover from what is cut off to make the ankle narrow.

The schematic suggests making the “waist” quite large so that there can be a lot of gathering creating the big-hipped look… so I followed nearly as much as the schematic suggested (but not quite) for my muslin…

Muslin for the Shalwar

Muslin for the Shalwar

I made the muslin using a purple/blue cotton that I was given, and it turned out well… but really way too big. It really just wasn’t flattering.

The pants were also way longer than they really needed to be, so I also had to adjust that.

I ended cutting the finished pants from some lightweight navy blue linen, which is the same linen I used for my navy linen Norse underdress.  If I’d had more time, I might have printed it like the other garments – perhaps for a future version!

I sewed the pants up entirely by machine, and used the triangle from the leg to make the gusset for the crotch.

Marking the blue linen for the shalwar

Marking the blue linen for the shalwar

I did a waistband for the pants, but instead of just doing a drawstring (which I suspect would be the period option) I also fed elastic through the waistband, which just feels more secure.


I skipped making the Gomlek for this costume – because I already had a white linen underdress. The Gomlek is descriped (from my Overview post) as a:

“lightweight, sheer undershirt with long and narrow sleeves and a round neck. Later period Gomleks have wide, long sleeves. Appears to be generally white cotton, silk, or linen. May have embroidery or tablet weaving along the seams and hem.”

The underdress I ended up wearing with this outfit is a medium-weight white linen – with wider sleeves (like the later-period Gomleks). I would have preferred a lighter weight if I had something, but this works just fine. The red couching was already on it from before (I made this dress probably 10 years ago), not intentional for the Turkish theme…