I'm travelling to India once again at the end of the year, during their winter. This time I'm heading south, where the temperatures will be warmer, estimated between 17-33°C. During the Rajasthan visit two years ago temperatures were between 7-23°C, so I spent most of the time wearing jeans and layering several merino sweaters on and off, one over the top of the other.
Conservative dress is advisable in India, which I don't have a problem with (working corporate requires conservative dress anyway). Nothing too tight or revealing, keep shoulders and knees covered, plus if your wearing trousers, cover "the shape of your backside and front". Remember my camel riding shorts which were wisely left behind?
I bought kurtis (tunics) and had a salwar-kameez (tunic and pants suit) made last time, but it's looking unlikely I'll have a chance to shop before my tour starts. So I decided to make a couple of shirts using fabrics and patterns from the stash to tide me over, light enough to wear in the heat, while also offering some shade from the sun.
Simplicity 7521 (from 1978) is very much like a kurti style tunic. The fabric was given to me by a lovely woman I met in a St Vinnies store. After doing a burn test, I'm thinking it may be a light weight wool - it's just a bit scratchy, and steams beautifully. I lengthened the tunic to knee length and left off the sleeves cuffs, instead gathering them into an elasticated band. I also added a couple of waist darts in the back for some subtle shaping. The contrasting neck and sleeve bands are simply the wrong side of the fabric. Bonus, the fabric has flecks of blue, green and grey in it, which matches nicely to these navy linen-cotton trousers.
My original intention was to make the second shirt using the same pattern. However, because the fabric was originally a sundress, when I laid the pattern out I discovered while there was plenty of width, there wasn't enough length. Eventually, I settled on Style 2568 from 1979. I always loved the fabric - a lovely soft lawn, and do like the resulting shirt, however I feel like I have gone from one extreme to the the other in styles. There was something about the fabric and pattern choice of the sundress that always made me feel like mutton dressed as lamb. Now I feel like I'm wearing Grandma's gardening shirt! It does look surprisingly good tucked into a pencil skirt though, so I'm sure to get some wear out of it.