How to draw a saree

In this tutorial you will learn how to draw a saree step by step. The saree ( also called sari) is a popular festival wear in India. It is a large piece of cloth that Indian women drape in beautiful ways around their bodies. There are many different ways to drape a saree. Here I will show you how to draw the nivi style of draping which is one of the most popular trends nowadays among Indian women. This tutorial will show you how to draw Indian saree in a basic shape and style. Once you master the steps, you can try to combine different shapes, colors, and patterns to create your own unique designs.
If you feel ready to start, grab your pencils and let’s jump right in this Indian saree tutorial.

Time, Tools and Difficulty:

Time to complete the tutorial: 20 min
Tools you’ll need: drawing paper, a pencil, colored pencils
Difficulty level: 6/10

How to draw a Saree easy in 13 steps:

Step 1: Model Pose

The choice of a suiting model pose is very important if you want your saree design sketch to look its best. For best results choose a figure template with her feet close together. Draw the arms either resting on the waist or in front of the body and bent at the elbows.

In this tutorial I used figure template #44 . Feel free to download it if you want to follow the steps exactly as shown here. Another good template that you can download is figure template #34 or, of course, you can always sketch your own croqui. You will find many tutorials on how to draw fashion figures here.

After you have a model pose suitable for a saree dress, go ahead and draw two diagonal lines. The first starts at the armhole and goes up to the opposite shoulder. The second line crosses the hips of the model.

Step 2: Draw the bord

Draw a second line parallel to each of the diagonal lines. Design the saree board with shapes of your choice. You can create any pattern or decoration here. Make the two bords identical, similar or completely different from each other.

Step 3: Draw the pallu

The part of the sari that hangs from the shoulder down is called pallu. Pull a line from the wrist down to the ground and erase the part of the board that gets overlapped. Draw another line from the shoulder down following closely the arm outline.

how to draw saree in fashion sketches

Step 4: End of the pallu

To make the saree drawing more realistic we need to sketch the end of pallu end look like it touches the ground. This means to draw the hemline curved, not straight. Notice the diagonal fold that crosses the outer line of the cloth for additional 3-dimentionality.

Step 5: Pallu side board 

This board is the same as the one that crosses the hips of the model, but with the direction of the pattern elements is changed (now they go down). Make sure you keep the width of the board consistent throughout the whole length of the pallu.

Step 6: Bottom board

The board that finishes the pallu can be the same size as the others, but more often it is much wider and has a different pattern. Usually, this bottom board reaches the calves of the figure.

Step 7: Pleats guidelines

This type of saree features pleats at the center front. There are usually between 4 to 8 pleats depending on the design. The more pleats, the smaller they are.

To center the pleats for this pose, pull two triangular guidelines that connect at the knee. The first triangle follows the tight and ends right at the knee. The second triangular guideline starts at the knee and hits the ground. Don’t make the second triangle too wide at the base.

Step 8: Draw the saree pleats

Add broad pleats following the guidelines you just made in the previous step. Notice how they overlap at the bottom.

Step 9: Draw the skirt

The skirt of the saree has a fishtail shape. Draw it form -itting until the knee and then let it become wide and full. It is important to keep the skirt underneath the pallu.

Step 10: Draw the saree blouse

Next, draw the saree blouse. It can be short, medium or long-sleeved. Notice that the end of the sleeve is slightly curved to create the illusion it hugs the arm. Avoid straight lines in your fashion sketches, especially when the garments are close-fitting.

Step 11: Draw the Folds

To add even more 3-Dimentionality to the fashion sketch, draw folds that start at the waist and head toward the opposite shoulder and arm. Make sure you vary your lines and they are not the same length. This could look unrealistic and stiff.

Add a couple more folds curving around the forearm to hint the arm shape.

Step 12: Design your Pattern

Erase the croqui lines that are covered by the cloth. Now it’s time to be creative and design your own pattern for the saree. You can go with abstract shapes, realistic flowers or any geometric shapes. For tips on how to place the patterns in your fashion sketches check my “How to Draw Floral Print” tutorial.

Cover the whole drape except for the large bottom board. You can leave it blank or create a different pattern for it.

Step 13: Add color

Color your saree fashion sketch in colors that you like. I recommend you to use a contrast color for the boards. Notice that the large bottom bord is different in color and texture from the rest of the design. Chose a color for the blouse that goes well with the saree.


I hope this step-by-step tutorial was easy to follow and inspired you to create new collections and draw saree in all shapes and colors. If you want to learn how to draw Indian girl faces check out my online course “HOW TO DRAW FACES” – it shows step-by-step videos and guides that will help you draw models of any ethnicity.

2 Comments

  1. I’m 9 years old and it really helped me a lot. I needed to use it for my paragraph and the topic was my favorite outfit. I love sarees a lot. I’m not kidding.

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