Dupatta Design – Cape Style


Today’s DIY is an easy dupatta design in the trending cape style, inspired by the likes of Tarun Tahiliani and Pratyusha Garimella. I converted a basic off-white hand-loom dupatta into a edge dye (natural dyeing) dupatta cape with placement embroidery.

You could use net dupatta with ready embroidery, printed Georgette dupatta, multi-colored silk dupatta or any fabric of 2.5 mtr of your choice. I will be showing a step-by-step tutorial of the dupatta cape – from neckline shaping, embroidery attaching to edge dyeing. In case you do not want to add embroidery or dye your dupatta fabric, just follow steps 1 to 4.

Dupatta Embroidered Cape Style


Dupatta (2.5 mtr fabric of approx 38″ width)
Matching sewing thread – 1 piece
Hand sewing needle – 1 piece
Measuring tape
Embroidery bootas/ patches
Pearl pins
Fabric marker/ pencil

Project time: 3 to 4 hours

Project cost: Rs.150 (dupatta) + Rs.150 (embroidery bootas) + Rs.100 (misc. including dyeing materials and thread ) = Total Rs.400

Dupatta Design How To

Step 1:
– Fold the dupatta into half width-wise. Leave about 2.5″ extra on the side which would fall in the front.
– Next fold the dupatta half length-wise. This mid-point would be our guide for the neckline.

Indian Wear How to Sew

Step 2:
– Measure the circumference of your head (or the broadest part above the neckline) and subtract 1″ from this. Then divide the new number by 4. We subtract the 1″ because we will be folding a seam around the neckline thereby increasing the circumference measurement.
– Using this measurement mark a point from the mid-point of the dupatta fabric.

Neck Slit for Indian Design

Step 3:
– Cut all four folded layers. Place your scissors about 0.25″ below the mid-point at the vertical fold- this provides with the needed curve around the neckline.
– In case you want a more defined neckline shape use a paper pattern from an existing suit neckline and cut in shape. Remember to add 0.5″ seam allowance around the neckline pattern.

Hand Sew Indian Ethnic Wear
Neckline Finishing for Dupatta Cape

Step 4:
– Fold a 0.5″ seam along the neckline and pin it. I prefer to first work one half and then move onto the next half.
– Using slip stitch/ blind hem stitch sew around the neckline.
– The two corners are a little tricky to work with, just make sure it looks neat from the front even if the hem folds become uneven.
– The bottom right picture shows the front view of the neckline after hemming.

Sew a Dupatta Cape

The finished hemmed neckline looks like this. A little uneven at the corners but overall a neat appearance.

Dupatta Cape Design

Step 5:
– Once the neckline is complete put it on to place the embroidery.
– The benefit of placing embroidery while wearing the dupatta cape is that it helps understand the contours of the shoulder and body making the embroidery sit well.

Indian Embroidered Dupatta

Step 6:
– Similar to the embroidery attaching technique in the embroidered kurta post, use basic running stitches around the embroidery shape to sew it in place.
– Depending on the choice of your embroidery’s thickness and intricacy, this step will be time consuming.
– Once I took of the cape dupatta I clicked a picture of the embroidery and removed the additional bootas because it was difficult to work with the pins. This step is optional.

Hand Sew Embroidery Patch

Step 7:
– The left picture shows the back-side of the sewn embroidery boota patch. Keep the stitch lines as small as possible.
– Next sew on the rest of your embroidery.

Natural Dye fabric

Step 8:
– Even though not a single step I am writing the entire dyeing process under step 8.
– I used this guide from Remodelista for the dyeing process. I altered the quantities of the materials (turmeric, water and salt) and the fabric folds to suit my dupatta cape.
– For an edge dye effect work in two parts. First pleat both the shorter edges and secure with rubber-band about 1.5″ below the actual dye line. The dye water does seep through a little over the rubber tie. Complete the processes of soaking in salt water, heating with turmeric dye and drying with the shorter edge.
– Next pleat both the longer edges individually and follow the same steps.
– Lastly, iron out the dupatta and wear it on.

DIY Dupatta

I paired my light gold embroidery – turmeric colored – dupatta design with a floor length cobalt blue gown. You could even pair this dupatta cape with ecru palazzo and beige top. Get creative with the styling! 🙂