Makeover of your old sarees to new – 25+ Trending ideas for you

Just to recollect some nostalgic moments, we store in our wardrobe some of our favourite old sarees. They carry some pleasant scents of memories we ponder forever. The first used saree, first saree with first salary, first saree for a romantic dating, first saree presented by your husband, saree used for engagement and so on. You may show those sarees to sun once in a while and fold and place in almarah once again. You may not use it again, may be due to old style, but you never leave them. You can wear these old sarees again, by giving a stylish look and make them appeal trendy. Here I suggest 25 such trending tips with old sarees to reuse.

1. You might have some old silk saree with ice cream or payasam/pudding stains in saree body. But its silk border might not have spoiled. You can cut its border and stitch it with a matching cloth or plain saree. If it’s done on Kerala traditional off-white saree, it gives an elegant look. You can also experiment with different colour borders on upper and lower borders of your saree.

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2. Have you got bored with the same colour of your old saree after repeated use? Dye it and change its colour and use it as a new saree. Kanjeepuram silk, Binny Silk, Crape etc can be experimented with this technique.

3. Everyday same saree with same pallu, there is an easy method to bring freshness to your saree. Cut the pallu, and stitch another one. You can choose three colours quite matching the saree body and use them to stitch at pallu part. You can change it whenever necessary using running stitch, suiting the occasion when you use the saree. Choose the same material for blouse also. As running stitch is used to stitch pallu to sari, you can remove it easily.

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4. Change your saree to half-saree. Buy heavy work border and stitch to saree. Take care, while stitching border to old saree, give it a ‘half-saree’ look.

5. You can print desirable prints in your old plain Kanjeepuram saree. You can experiment with screen prints, Rajput prints or any design print of your choice. It adds a royal look to your old saree.

6. If you are bored of wearing the same saree over and over, remove the portion of saree where pleats appear and stitch net fabric well matching with saree colour or border. Choose net fabric blouse also. Otherwise, remove the saree body’s middle portion in a lengthy rectangle shape. Stitch a contrasting piece of cloth instead, and do thread piping.

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7. Pastel sarees may easily reach your almarah corners, and you may not prefer to wear them always. Dull look is the reason. To make these sarees beautiful, fix crouch, lasses or frills with contrast colour cloth. Also stitch a matching blouse to get a unique and fancy look for a night party.

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8. You can turn a creative artist and do embroidery work in the chest portion and pallu areas of your old plain saree. First wear the saree and mark the left shoulder portion of the saree. From that point, 16 inches downwards is the portion of right breast of saree. You can make embroidery works in semicircular patters or any of your preference. You can try with mirror work, sequence and any embroidery work of your choice. Do the same work in the sleeve of blouse also.

9. Remove the border and pallu of Kanjeepuram saree, and fix velvet cloth matching with saree body. You can do zardosi work to give a royal look, with northern style blend.

10. Net saree was trending a few years ago. If your net saree is old or torn at some parts, you can cut its border and stitch to cotton or chiffon clothes. New saree is ready.

11. If the silk border of your old kanjeepuram saree has lost its glorious colour and brightness and ‘wrinkles’ have appeared here and there indicating its age, you can create magic using Kalamkari. Cut off silk border and pallu, and in its place stitch row silk or tusser with Kalamkari printed. You can choose cotton or silk kalamkari for this purpose. Kalamkari print’s fashion is always trendy.

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12. Buy mirrors of different sizes and stick or stitch on your saree in beautiful designs. You can choose shapes of trees, elephants, flowers etc. Even if you fix mirrors without thread work, it’s attractive. In chest part and pallu, you can try bead work too. You can try bead work around applique work in your saree. While buying beads for work, demand cut beads only, especially reserved for sarees. Its lower end is flat, and stays longer on your saree. Rounded beads may not give the same output.

13. You can bring changes to your normal Kerala traditional sarees by fixing contrasting colour cloth beneath the border. You can also do piping at its border to make it more attractive.

14. In old set saree or mundu, you can do screen printing quite matching its border. You can also try mural painting.

15. Polka dots in saree still trends as before. In plain sarees, you can fix small circles with colour of your use. A Kerala saree can be given a brilliant makeover using polka dots.

16. Cold shoulders can be experimented with old sarees. High neck, boat neck or heavy work blouse can be used as combo. You can also try Ikat print.

17. From tailoring shops, you can buy ornaments quite matching your sarees and blouses. You can buy small bells and hangings and fix in saree borders and pallus. In old cotta sarees, you can fix decorations made using jute, wood etc. You can also buy woolen threads and cut them to make tussles and fix at pallus. 

18. You can cut trees, flowers, leaves and designs from an old saree in shapes and stitch to another saree body. Give a simple stitch at the centre portion only, to give a realistic look to flowers and leaves in your saree, which gently nod in breeze. You can also make flowers using satin cloth or ribbon and fix to old sarees.

19. Printed sarees can be tried by young ladies also, by giving a stylish makeover. Cut the pallu, and fix organza cloth quite matching with saree body. Stitch an organza blouse also. Above the prints of saree, do running stitch or embroidery work in contrast colour, but same design. In your mother’s old saree with deep blue flowers, give orange borders to bring a youthful look and you can wear use it for a special occasion.

20. Unused two sarees can be cut and blended together to create a new saree. You can cut the sarees half and stitch together, or cut them in a uniform pattern and join together.

21. If your old saree is torn or thread work is damaged, buy readymade applique pieces and fix on those damaged areas. But if done on those torn areas only, it looks artificial. You should find a pattern and complete it in the saree throughout.

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22. Cut Kalamkari clothes in the shape of pictures seen in Kanjeepuram saree borders and do applique works. You can fix such designs to your old sarees. If the border bears mango or flower shapes, cut kalamkari cloth of same design and do applique work. If the silk border or designs has faded, you can fix such designs above it or in between. You can do bead and sequence work to beautify your saree.

23. Colour trends of Chiffon and georgette sarees change very often. You can stitch contrasting colour chiffon or net material beneath the saree to give it a double shade.

24. Silk sarees with cut work are trending right now. If you have a single colour plain saree, you can try cut work. Choose the colour of pallu or contrasting colour of saree body to do the cut work. It also suits ladies of any age, and its fashion never fades easily.  You can also do cut work at chest part and pallu areas only.

25. Never throw to dust bin your very old sarees. From the undamaged areas, cut small square pieces. You can cut similar pieces of different colour sarees and stitch them to a dark shaded saree as patches.

Read a few articles on recycling old things. Here is the page link. Click on the images in the gallery to read

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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