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Now and Then

August 17, 2014





Still one of her favorites. It might be time to sew her another one as dress…

Kaba Ngondo my Way

August 17, 2014
tags: ,

This dress is actually from a year ago. Shame on me.

The kaba ngondo is the Cameroonian version of the is called a “muumuu” in the English-speaking western countries. Modern versions of the kaba are less loose and shorter than their traditional forerunners. For my version, I decided to use McCall’s 6553.

The fabric is a Cameroonian cloth. This particular motif is a classical that’s been on the market for decades. It even has a name: “n’gana”, which I unfortunately don’t know the meaning of. I wish I could say something about the symbolics of the pattern but I can’t. My mom gave it to me a couple of years back because she knows I’ve always been drawn to it and I finally got the courage to cut into it. I had to cut it cross-grain because the cloth is only 1.2m wide but since cloths are always 5 yards long, it was no major issue.

I skipped the belt. I don’t plan on ever wearing this with anything else than a store-bought belt.

Thanks to previous reviews, I cut the pattern based on my high bust measurement and did not make a FBA. That’s two sizes smaller than I would have if based on my full bust measurement. And the fit is spot on. That’s how much ease is in this pattern.

I really love the high-low hem. I had to make a rolled hem instead of the foreseen 3.2 cm- (1.5 in-)hem. So check the length if you’re planning on making this.

I also love the back, which I conveniently forgot to shoot a picture of (doh!). It reminds me of a Watteau pleat. I used a corded elastic for the back button loop instead of handmade french tacks. I’m lazy like that.

Other great use of African cloth can be seen here, herehere, and here.

Now and Then

August 16, 2014

That was then (blogged here):

This is now:

Side Panel Hypnotic Dress

August 16, 2014

This dress could possibly be used at the ophthalmologist to test one’s ability to focus.

The fabric is a sturdy linen, the dress is not lined and has an invisible side zipper. I was worried about sewing all those curves but the panels were surprisingly easy to sew together. The first challenge for me was to squeeze it out of 1.5 meters, knowing I absolutely wanted the side panels to match. And that’s the reason I ended up rather with a tunic than a dress. But one I like. The second challenge was that I was unsure on how to do a FBA so I did a cheat FBA but it was pretty clear at first fitting that that was not enough, so I had to let out the side seams. I actually think I should have done either: 1. a princess FBA on right and left separately or 2. a no-dart front FBA on each side separately, followed by a rotation of the dart into the sewing line. Oh well, in the end I made it work and that’s the most important, right?

Sewing Goodness Extracts

August 5, 2014

Have a look at:


Decisions Decisions – Poll Post

August 5, 2014

I need help. There are two polls in this post, to help me solve my dilemmas.

Dilemma 1:

The fabric:

1100% wool
The right side is the second picture, the classical houndstooth is actually the wrong side! The weaving is apparent on both sides, almost like a bouclé. It could be enough for a coat and a Chanel-like jacket (Vogue 8804?) too! But I digress. My dilemma is that I would like to use it in a pattern that features both sides, but I don’t think this fabric should be sewn up unlined: this weave may need stabilising. What do you think?

The patterns I’m considering:

Tamanegi-Kobo’s Rebecca:

Unlined, but wrong side would show.

Vogue 1320 by Issey Miyake:

Lined. Plus: I had actually bought another fabric (also wool, but green) for this pattern.

This little number from Manequim May 2014:

Don’t hesitate to comment to tell me which side of the fabric you’d use and/or how you would feature both sides of the fabric with your chosen pattern.


Dilemma 2:

The fabric:




Viscose (Rayon) knit

Patterns considered:

a remake of Vogue 1258 by Vena Cava (see the muslin and previous version):


a remake of Vogue 1159 by DonnaKaran (current version):


I love my previous make of both of these dresses and I would try, in a second version, to alter any of them to achieve more coverage. To be honest I’m leaning toward V1258 because the fabric is somewhat (but only somewhat) heavier than what I made both these dress in the past, and I think V1258 would adapt better to that. Please weigh in nonetheless :)

“Score!” Moment

July 24, 2014

…is when your supervisor, seeing that you’re sitting alone, comes in and says: “May I ask you something? (Of course, you’ll answer yes) You always have such particular, nice dresses, where do you get them from?” and you can answer “Well, actually, I made most of them”. Score!

I’m wearing Vogue 1159 today.


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