Sunday, July 01, 2007

Baju Kurung - The traditional costume for Malaysian ladies

I have made some drawings on how to cut the Baju Kurung. Baju kurung is worn mostly by the Malaysian ladies, anywhere, anytime of the day and is the most seen dress in Malaysia. The following shows how the baju kurung can be cut and sewn. It is quite difficult for me to explain in words as I am not a professional tailor. The drawing below was actually drawn when a friend of mine has specifically requested on the pattern of the baju kurung. For those who wanted a furhter explaination, please do not hesitate to leave your comments and I will, InsyaAllah, revert to you.

Have fun. Sorry if the drawing is a bit too small!





15 comments:

susan said...

terima kasih. I was searching for a baju kurung pattern, mau jahit.

maklang said...

susan:

it in malay...boleh faham ke?

©Opah De said...

Salam Mak Lang... ekekekekee... OD pun dah lama tak menjahit baju kurung nih. Tahun ni nak cuba jahit sendiri untuk hari raya. Biasanya, upah kat Malaysia atau orang-orang kat sini saja. Kalau hantar ke Malaysia, bila mai hantar balik ke sini, tak sampai... ekekekeekeke.... kalau suruh orang kat sini buat, tak sedap... sabar je aku. Cam koi lak, tak sedap. Sihat ke Mak Lang?

KK said...

salam maklang,

apa rahsia mau kasi baju kurung sedap dipakai...KK dah buat 5 helai baju kurung tapi tak sedaplah pakai...ca ne tu? tolonglah mak lang

Nina said...

Mak Lang,
Thanks for sharing the baju kurung paper pattern!!!

Alena

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for this pattern ... have been looking for one for a heck of a long time!
will sew one for me and my girls next Raya, whoo-hoo!
sarah :)

Anonymous said...

please i am not malaysian can you give me a better description i am planning to make one for my school project thank you

Anonymous said...

Dearest Mak Lang,

Thank goodness for the internet! And thank God for people like you!! You are a life saver! I am Rosi from Singapore. I won’t tell you my full name for now because siapa-lah tahu apa yang Rosi nak buat besok nanti tak cantik – not because of your patterns, but because I’ve not been standing close to the sewing machine (to sew clothes) for almost 30 years. Sunday my aunt’s daughter is getting married & I wanted to wear something new. In Singapore there’s plenty of shops selling ready-made baju kurung, but NO ONE EVER SELLS them in the materials I want. Rack clothes are usually of materials too beautiful or too glamorous they’re a toss-up between dressing for Raya, a formal event or a wedding – but NEVER one which you can wear straight away to suit any occasion. (e.g. you’d never wear stuff you bought for Raya to the market would you? Or the office?). Even the cheapest ones are made “too nice”. The thing is I can’t compete with clothes that’s too grand – they tend to squeeze me out. My mum used to say “pakai baju, jangan baju pakai kita”. In his thick, deep baritone accent even my grandfather had this opinion, “Jangan pakai baju macam mak chik rumah sebelah sidai kain batik atas pagar”. I think he meant a bad choice in attire would not only destroy the beauty or value of the dress, but the possibility of the wearer to shine, as well. To be likened to a “pagar”, that’s not very complimentary at all. My grandfather was full of these things, he’s Javanese of the old perfect ways & dress customs and very wise, very “tertib” with plenty of magical advice & knowledge from his journeying days. Even after years of retirement he would come to the dinner table with long-sleeved shirts ironed stiff with starch, and his going out shoes polished to a shine we kids marveled they’re like mirrors!

Rosi from Singapore

Anonymous said...

Hi Mak Lang,

Message continued.... Rosi of Singapore

Anyway I am running away from my point here. You featured the baju kurung pattern, no matter how sketchy to you – to me it’s fine, it is very wonderful of you Mak Lang. I bought the material this afternoon during my lunch hour, and then thought only of the problem afterwards do I even remember how to cut the cloth?? So when I stumbled into your webpage 2 hours ago, your pencil sketch to me is worth any famous architect’s drawings. And so for that I am very grateful.

Well, the truth is for years my mum usually does this for me & my sister – whenever she goes out she would often buy materials in the fabric & colours we love, and would simply set to sew without telling us. From we were kids, to married women with kids we would be surprised by her thoughtful and loving handiwork from time to time. Although of course the more flashy materials e.g. satins & lace we reserved for Raya, it’s the ones which we can wear everyday too that makes its mark. Simplicity is the key, usually in small prints or large/tiny flowers but oh the prettiest & sweetest ones when it comes to the colours & the entire fabric as a whole. That thing she has about not letting clothes wear a person? In that small ideology of hers, I finally realized being plenty of truth …. A pretty baju kurung need not be too fancy that the wearer is swamped within it, it enhances to feature of a young girl the innocence & sweetness of youth, a newly-married bride the radiance & tenderness of newfound happiness, and years later it even lends the now middle-aged woman (me) some kindness from the harsh lines of aging & the ample figure. To be honest, in all the baju kurungs by the hands of my mother is a history of her unselfish love, a wish that her daughters would look into every mirror and believed that they are beautiful. And yes, Mak Lang, what she did worked – we got comfortable enough to be confident in everything we do, never at any time lesser than any person. It’s like when you think you’re pretty, you can take on the world!!

Anonymous said...

Continued Rosi of Singapore

If you’re wondering why the wedding is Sunday & so close yet I’ve just only started hunting (& in every respect too, materials/sewing pattern), that’s because the Christmas series is just out in the stores. Here in Singapore this time of year fabrics of the Christmas theme starts arriving from England & Australia. I wish you could visit here & see the collection, the shops are a tailor’s dream! These are very, very beautiful fine fabrics in good quality cotton mostly. Although of course some are of the usual X’mas trees & Santa Claus & reindeer, the rest are delicate yet dynamic prints of all the deepest, richest, loveliest colours!! I especially love the beautiful tones of dark & sky blues, greens, maroons & reds it’s all very understated & elegant – and the best part is, when you wear it to office it looks perfect & sweet, when you go to a wedding it looks dressy, when you go to a kenduri the deep colours adds a serious solemnity. The one I’ve got today is a flowing pattern of bright tiny orange strawberries tied with deep red ribbons, on a deep green/black background. And another also of a rich navy blue with bouquets of pink roses – this is the one I’m cutting for Sunday.

Well, Mak Lang I’m about to go cut the cloth – wish me luck, okay? Of course I will baca Bismillah first. Believe in myself, that’s what I have to do – with your artistic sketch eh ehh. But once I get to the sewing I’ll be fine, it’ll be like meeting a dear old friend again (sewing machine). Maybe I might take a photo of the baju kurung once I’m done, send it to your mail? One of your readers wrote about sewing so many baju kurung & yet tak sedap dipakai – the trick is to cut when your mind is at peace, and at the time of sewing don’t force edges that can’t meet, always leave ample room for the stitching. Sleeves, bodice, underarms all have to be “roomy” but also not overly much, and flows down the figure softly. Ahhh – also some materials aren’t that great to the skin (static electricity), rustle too much or stuffy.

Why mum doesn’t sew anymore …… My lovely mum – you see – well, she’s passed away 6 years ago. So yes now you know - apart from the fact that she’s the wonderful mother me & sis dearly loved – and remember always - we have indeed also lost the greatest tailor in the world. Our very own special tailor with her “magic” fingers, weaving love & goodness in our clothes. Which reminds me, I don’t have any brown paper in the house!! It’s 2.13 am in the morning (I always sleep late watching movies & reading) so I think I’ll do it mum’s usual way that she did before – the newspaper!!

Thanks again, Mak Lang. How old are you anyway?? I’m sure I’m older!!
My email is : Sembeth2000@yahoo.com
I’ll try to send you photos also of some of the fabrics which I meant.

Rosi from Singapore

Anonymous said...

Continued Rosi of Singapore

If you’re wondering why the wedding is Sunday & so close yet I’ve just only started hunting (& in every respect too, materials/sewing pattern), that’s because the Christmas series is just out in the stores. Here in Singapore this time of year fabrics of the Christmas theme starts arriving from England & Australia. I wish you could visit here & see the collection, the shops are a tailor’s dream! These are very, very beautiful fine fabrics in good quality cotton mostly. Although of course some are of the usual X’mas trees & Santa Claus & reindeer, the rest are delicate yet dynamic prints of all the deepest, richest, loveliest colours!! I especially love the beautiful tones of dark & sky blues, greens, maroons & reds it’s all very understated & elegant – and the best part is, when you wear it to office it looks perfect & sweet, when you go to a wedding it looks dressy, when you go to a kenduri the deep colours adds a serious solemnity. The one I’ve got today is a flowing pattern of bright tiny orange strawberries tied with deep red ribbons, on a deep green/black background. And another also of a rich navy blue with bouquets of pink roses – this is the one I’m cutting for Sunday.

Well, Mak Lang I’m about to go cut the cloth – wish me luck, okay? Of course I will baca Bismillah first. Believe in myself, that’s what I have to do – with your artistic sketch eh ehh. But once I get to the sewing I’ll be fine, it’ll be like meeting a dear old friend again (sewing machine). Maybe I might take a photo of the baju kurung once I’m done, send it to your mail? One of your readers wrote about sewing so many baju kurung & yet tak sedap dipakai – the trick is to cut when your mind is at peace, and at the time of sewing don’t force edges that can’t meet, always leave ample room for the stitching. Sleeves, bodice, underarms all have to be “roomy” but also not overly much, and flows down the figure softly. Ahhh – also some materials aren’t that great to the skin (static electricity), rustle too much or stuffy.

Rosi of Singapore

Anonymous said...

Continued Rosi of Singapore

If you’re wondering why the wedding is Sunday & so close yet I’ve just only started hunting (& in every respect too, materials/sewing pattern), that’s because the Christmas series is just out in the stores. Here in Singapore this time of year fabrics of the Christmas theme starts arriving from England & Australia. I wish you could visit here & see the collection, the shops are a tailor’s dream! These are very, very beautiful fine fabrics in good quality cotton mostly. Although of course some are of the usual X’mas trees & Santa Claus & reindeer, the rest are delicate yet dynamic prints of all the deepest, richest, loveliest colours!! I especially love the beautiful tones of dark & sky blues, greens, maroons & reds it’s all very understated & elegant – and the best part is, when you wear it to office it looks perfect & sweet, when you go to a wedding it looks dressy, when you go to a kenduri the deep colours adds a serious solemnity. The one I’ve got today is a flowing pattern of bright tiny orange strawberries tied with deep red ribbons, on a deep green/black background. And another also of a rich navy blue with bouquets of pink roses – this is the one I’m cutting for Sunday.

Well, Mak Lang I’m about to go cut the cloth – wish me luck, okay? Of course I will baca Bismillah first. Believe in myself, that’s what I have to do – with your artistic sketch eh ehh. But once I get to the sewing I’ll be fine, it’ll be like meeting a dear old friend again (sewing machine). Maybe I might take a photo of the baju kurung once I’m done, send it to your mail? One of your readers wrote about sewing so many baju kurung & yet tak sedap dipakai – the trick is to cut when your mind is at peace, and at the time of sewing don’t force edges that can’t meet, always leave ample room for the stitching. Sleeves, bodice, underarms all have to be “roomy” but also not overly much, and flows down the figure softly. Ahhh – also some materials aren’t that great to the skin (static electricity), rustle too much or stuffy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mak Lang,

Why mum doesn’t sew anymore …… My lovely mum – you see – well, she’s passed away 6 years ago. So yes now you know - apart from the fact that she’s the wonderful mother me & sis dearly loved – and remember always - we have indeed also lost the greatest tailor in the world. Our very own special tailor with her “magic” fingers, weaving love & goodness in our clothes. Which reminds me, I don’t have any brown paper in the house!! It’s 2.13 am in the morning (I always sleep late watching movies & reading) so I think I’ll do it mum’s usual way that she did before – the newspaper!!

Thanks again, Mak Lang. How old are you anyway?? I’m sure I’m older!!
My email is : Sembeth2000@yahoo.com
I’ll try to send you photos also of some of the fabrics which I meant.

Rosi from Singapore

Anonymous said...

Dearest Mak Lang!!

This is Rosi again! I did it!! - the baju kurung of your sketches!! Although of course I finally took off about 1/2" in some places, 1" in others since I think you based the sketch on someone really BIG. Did you?? Meant it for a big person?? Aahh, it was the best prototype template of all!! Anyway, the prints made it beautiful too & one of the aunts thought I bought it off a boutique in town. I went to the wedding feeling great about everything - well, when you're dressed nice what else could you be - so I do thank you, VERY MUCHHHH!! I took photos I'd like to show you (of the dress & colour) but am having some trouble with the scanner & will mail it to you as soon as I can .... this baju wouldn't have "stood up" if not for you!! YOU ARE INVALUABLE I'm very much grateful for your bountiful help!!

xxxx
Love from Singapore,
Rosita

Anonymous said...

Hi Mak Lang!


I do know malay can you explain in English please as well as drawing is too small is that possible to help me by big drawing.