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Kaba Ngondo my Way

August 17, 2014
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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.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2014 22:23

    I love that fabric! I wish we could get more elaborate stuff like that here in the U.S., I would make a kimono robe out of that in a flash!


    • August 18, 2014 01:59

      You can find similar fabric in the US. Look for it in the afro shops. Or else order from


  2. sewbussted permalink
    August 17, 2014 22:28

    Great fabric, fun style and thanks for all the links. Super inspirational 🙂


  3. August 30, 2014 07:58

    Il est très sympa ton MuuMuu ! J’adore le côté assymétrique du dos.


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