Added Oct 18, 2007
Last week while walking around my neighborhood, I happened upon this Nigerian store that sells all kinds of fabric from Africa. We got to talking. She pulled me a chair and proceeded to show me from her imported magazine picture after picture of things I can do with the six yards of fabric I bought from her. I plan on swinging by and showing her what I made. I hope she likes it. I am discovering that I love this part of sewing, the social aspects of clothing and fabric, where it comes from and what you make of it. I realize globalization is inevitable but every once in a while you want to believe that there is that Sesame Street where you know your neighbors and what’s going on with Big Bird and Mr. Snophalaphagus. Where I grew up, every family had a seamstress or tailor that they would always go to for their clothes. We would go to an open market called Divisoria to select our fabric and take them to our favorite seamstress. Ours was a nice woman named Luisa. She had a binder notebook where she recorded all our measurements and she knew instinctively when they needed updating. I love this kind of “knowing.” It feels intimate. You feel more connected.
But I digress! About Desira—-It was quite easy to make and the pattern I know I would keep because wraps are timeless and are so forgiving of changes in our body sizes over time. I modified it by adding darts at the back for a nicer line and better definition especially for people who have no waists (I am raising my hand here). I have six yards of this fabric so I made myself a coordinating headband. I made it wide to emulate those complicated headbands that I saw on the magazine the Nigerian woman showed me.
Hand-printed cotton from Nigeria
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