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SARONG SAVES THE DAY

SG-300-Ppl-DfnIf you’re planning a trip this summer, consider the sarong as a faithful travel companion. You may be wondering how you’ll fit everything into one suitcase. With airlines charging for bags these days, we’re all trying to pack lighter. Tucked into otherwise wasted spots in your bag (yes, that’s singular) this summer could be at least two sarongs. And you may not wear either one in the usual fashion.

A Sarong’s Not For You?

You may feel that wearing a sarong, or pareo, is not for you. It simply doesn’t fit  your own image of yourself, and previous urging have not swayed you in the slightest. I understand. Don’t wear it. Pack one or two anyway. They have myriad uses, some of which may not have occurred to you. Modesty, for example.

Modesty? Really?

Possibly modesty isn’t the first thought that enters your mind when you hear the word sarong. You may picture a lovely Balinese woman in an exceptionally becoming, tightly wrapped sarong. But imagine this: you’re in a foreign country,  dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, standard apparel for summer travel. In your wanderings, you come upon a hauntingly beautiful house of worship. It somehow captures your heart. You’d dearly love to go in and experience this piece of local culture. But the sign clearly indicates that visitors must be covered up. It says so in three languages, and in case any doubt remains, there are sketches that make it perfectly clear that shoulders, upper arms, and legs have to be hidden. You don’t even come close to meeting these requirements, and there’s no time to dash back to your hotel to retrieve more appropriate clothing. And today’s your last day here.

Made It!

If you have a sarong tucked into your tote—they’re so lightweight you may have forgotten it’s there—you’re in luck. With a little practice, over there under the tree, you can drape it over yourself in such a way that all “objectionable” areas are covered. Whew! You made it! You step into the cool, peaceful interior in time to hear the beautiful melodies of this culture’s worship. For years afterward, you’ll think of this visit as the highlight of your trip.

That’s how a sarong has saved many a day for travelers, and that’s one reason to pack a couple of sarongs this summer.

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How to make a lungi from a sarong

The traditional lungi, or Indian sarong, is a tube of fabric that one puts on like a skirt and knots and wraps it in such a way that drapes comfortably and stays on without elastic, clips, pins or buttons. They are most commonly worn by men, but women sport them too!

If you’ve ever worn a lungi around the house, you know how comfortable it is!

It is really easy to turn an extra long sarong into a lungi with only one seam and without cutting your fabric at all. Here’s how to make a lungi out of a sarong.

Start with a plus size sarong, or a piece of fabric measuring approximately 45″ by 76″. For plus size individuals increase the length to 80″ or more. If you are using a raw piece of fabric instead of a sarong, be sure to finish the edges so they don’t unravel in the wash.

Fold the sarong in half so the fringed ends meet and pin the ends together to keep them from shifting when you sew.

Sew it with a machine or by hand, tying knots or back-stitching at the beginning and end of the seam. Sew the seam about a half inch from the end of the fabric.

Snip off any loose threads. Voila, you are ready to wear your lungi!

Here are some good instructions on how to wear the lungi.

Lungi