DIY Designing a lehenga

There was almost an year’s gap between my engagement and wedding, and when that happens, your brain kinda goes into planning some pretty unrealistic projects. You know, stuff like what you want to do on your wedding day, who all should be there, what everyone should be doing or wearing… totally random.

So I got this idea in my head that I will make my own sangeet lehenga since most of the lehengas I checked out in the shops were not what I wanted. And the ones which actually caught my eye were way too expensive.

Now I have a very simple taste, I don’t like a lot of embroidery work on my garments and usually go for something elegant and classy. I used to shudder at the thought of being buried in a lehenga which resembled a chandelier — both in cost and look.

Fashion Designer Vyoma Kawdikar
Fashion Designer Vyoma Kawdikar

So my fiancé’s cousin, Vyoma Kawdikar, who is a fashion designer and owns a label called Vyoma, got on board with this idea. She lives in the USA now, so we had to discuss most of the things online. She helped me out with what colours would go with each other and what kind of borders I should use on them.

Our combos changed almost every fortnight. But she was really patient with me and finally we zeroed in on the combo which was very very in at that time — emerald green lehenga, hot pink choli, and yellow dupatta.Then my colleague introduced me to Kaveri Batla in Delhi, who owns a boutique in Lajpat Nagar, who (again, very patiently) ironed out other design issues like what kind of fabric I should go for and where I would find all the raw material. She told me a gher-daar lehenga would need at least 8 metres of chanderi fabric which is light weight silk, about a metre of raw silk for the blouse, and 3 metres of net fabric with sequins work on it for the dupatta.

So I scan the Delhi markets and buy everything that I would need.

From Lajpat Nagar

1. Green Chanderi fabric – Rs 900

2. Raw silk in hot pink – Rs 250

3. Brocade fabric in hot pink, for sleeves – Rs 100

4. White net with sequins buti on it – Rs 450

From Chandni Chowk (Kinari Bazar)

The final product

1. For dupatta, yellow border with kundan work (9m) – Rs 2000

2. For lehenga, golden heavy sequins lace (15m) – Rs 250

3. Golden ribbon – Rs 50

4. For lehenga, hot pink narrow lace with leafy design (9m) – Rs 350 (for two rolls)

So I buy all this, and give it to Kaveri, who got it stitched for me in her workshop. She added lining in blouse and the petty coat of the lehenga from her side and charged me Rs 3,750. She even dyed the white net fabric in yellow, which saved me a lot of running around the market. And voila! in just two weeks I have this lehenga ready which was very simple and the flair of the skirt caught everyone’s attention. I was damn happy that I achieved this within my budget in just Rs 8,100. A similar lehenga in Hauz Khas or Shahpur Jat would probably cost Rs 20,000! Way to go.

Check out Vyoma’s collection here

While Kaveri’s work can be viewed here.


12 thoughts on “DIY Designing a lehenga

  1. The best part is you can use all three components of this lehenga separately as well. So you got a lot more bang for your buck than people going for the readymade stuff ever do! Way to go Anamika Nandedkar.

  2. Beautiful lehenga!
    I don’t live in Delhi but will hopefully visit this year. Can you let em know if you bought all the material form Lajpatnagar? Also any specific shop or did you just found it in random shops?

    1. Hi Rhea, thanks for stopping by. I am glad you liked the lehenga. If you do visit Delhi, go to Lajpat Central Market to shop for your fabric — the shops you are looking for are Mona Lisa Fabrics (A-94A, Lajpat Nagar) and Ram ji Sons (1, Central Market, opp Police station).
      For laces and borders, however, go to Chandni Chowk’s Kinari Bazar which is at five minute’s walking distance from the metro station (behind the huge Gurudwara).

  3. Hi anamika,
    Great work, I m thoroughly impressed.I ve my wedding saree which has heavy work.I dont like to wear it as its too eye catching.i want to turn it into a simple outfit.pls help.Its a designer saree.I m not sure of the material its made of.may be I can send u the picture.shiny green designer saree with pink border and white Stone work on border n pallu.its a stiff smooth silk like material.very heavy:(

    1. Hi, since I am not a professional fashion designer, I cannot give you sane advice on what to do ;P. Why don’t you get in touch with Vyoma, whose facebook page link is given at the end of the post. She is the best person who can help you out,… I have seen her reconstruct many of her mom’s old sarees :).

  4. Hi Anamika,

    Lovely lehenga u designed there. I need some clarification. For the lehenga, can I know how much meter of chanderi silk u used and what’s the width of the fabric? And also for the Lining of the skirt. Thank you so much.


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