How to make a Jli Kurdi

Traditional Kurdish women's festive dress

Listen to instructions in Sorani Kurdish below and read basic instructions under the سۆرانی كوردی tab.

Kras (dress):

1- Measure the desired length by draping the material (raw edges together) on the floor, about three fingers from the woman’s toe’s up over her shoulder. Hold the material where it lays across the top of her shoulder, and cut the material there. This will be the kras (dress).

2- Measured the desired width. With the materials you just cut to length laid with raw edges together. With your thumb and fingers extended away from each other, measure off about the span of four hands for a small/medium sized woman. This will be the finished width of the skirt to the hem. Cut a straight line four-hand-spans (or desired width) down the length of the kras material. You now will have two wide and two thin rectangles.

Qoly nawerrast (middle of the sleeves)

3- From these thin rectangles, cut two rectangles one-open-hand-span and two fingers by two-open-hand-spans and two fingers. These will be the middle section of the sleeves.

Fuqria (long, tapered sleeves)

4- Take the remainder of the two thin rectangles, separate them, and fold each in half so that they are half of their length. Measure from the folded edge of one thin rectangle on the cut edges about two finger’s width, then the span of one open hand. Cut about the length of one hand straight toward the raw edges. Then, turn in a graceful curve and cut on an angle the desired length for the fuqria (long sleeves)

5- Lay this cut fuqria on the other folded, thin rectangle and cut out an identical, second fuqria.

Kras shaping

6- Now go back to the wide rectangles which will soon be the body of your dress. Fold the two pieces with the cut and raw edges still together, in half. Measure an-open-hand-width and two fingers from the top folded edges and cut about four-finger-widths in straight towards the length-wise folded edges. Then, make a graceful curve and gradually angle back out toward the raw and cut edges. You are making the bodice shape, so try to estimate the curve so that it will fall nicely over the woman’s bust and hip. It should not be tight and remember that she will have to slip into the krasJli Kurdi are not made with fastenings.

7- Lay the longer edge of a qoly nawerrast to the edge of the kras sleeve opening. Line then up but cutting a notch in the center of each and matching the notches.

8- Sew these together by folding the edges together twice and stitching over them, so that the raw or cut edge is completely hidden. Repeat this process for the other sleeve.

9- Sew the fuqria to the qoly nawerrast in the same manner.

10- Sew up the angled edges of the fuqria all the way to the hem of the krass.

11- Cut and finish the neck line as desired.

12- Hem the kras.

Piroza! Congratulations!