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Desira sera

Added Oct 18, 2007

by amarie

Chicago, Illinoi...






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.

Material Notes

Hand-printed cotton from Nigeria





Maquam Royale Fabrics

Burdastyle – Desira 7911

6 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Fb55b741fcf611437fba87092ddc61de7868b135_large

    Jul 14, 2008, 09.18 PMby sugabelly

    lol, I’m Nigerian, and I think your story is sweet. They’re not headbands though. In Nigeria when you have an outfit made, you get a long fairly wide strip of matching fabric to go with it which you tie around your head in a certain way. We call it Gele (pronounced GAY-LAY). Here’s a picture of the correct way to tie it.

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    Oct 18, 2007, 09.52 AMby mirela

    Great story! I like how we fabric buyers connect with the fabric sales personnel :) I was friends with the ladies from the fabric stores back home, they always showed me what was new, on sale, cut a few more inches just for me! Cute outfits!

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    Oct 18, 2007, 09.05 AMby benedikta

    Hey Amarie, we feel what you feel and I really like how you express it. And even though we can not create a real little sesame street, we hope that we can provide a virtual place for all girls and boys out there that are looking for like minded people.

  • 2925467294a46d427c21f1cf841de682cd05855e_large

    Oct 18, 2007, 12.11 AMby amarie

    It’s not scientific how I do it, but for front darts I put the shirt right side out. Then I put a pin at the top of the bust and another one straight down below about 5 inches or so apart. The back darts are even less scientific, I pinned, tried it on, pinned, tried it on, pinned, tried it on. :)

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    Oct 17, 2007, 10.49 PMby pinkhibiscus

    Love the fabric and the contrast. Exotic fabric are so cool. I will collect as I travel fro now on!

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    Oct 17, 2007, 10.00 PMby definatalie

    i love this, and your story! my mum brought back a lot of fabric from nigeria and i’m too afraid to cut into it because it’s phenomenal!

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