Out of all of the places that you can choose to study abroad, one of my friends chose Uganda, and had a lovely time in Kampala, the capital city, and toured some of the countries that have been in the news for not-so-great news over the years.
When she got back, she was just as bubbly as ever, but having read her blog of her adventures, it was clear that the experience had changed her deep down, which is really what such and adventure is meant to do.
Our schedules didn’t match up much for that winter break, but the one time we were able to get together she gave me this lovely African wax print cotton fabric that she had picked up there! It’s a gorgeous color and feel and just plain lovely.
I’ve worked with batiks before, when I’m quilting they’re my favorite, but this was different. This was special. What was I going to make?
So I delayed, I waffled, I forgot about it for a while, and I waffled some more.
My mom suggested a suit, like a pencil skirt and jacket. Now that I know more about construction, I know that would likely have been difficult construction-wise, since I would end up wanting a long sleeve jacket, and pencil skirts out of wovens take up fabric because the grainline really does matter… And I don’t like pencil skirts, which counts against this plan too.
I did like the idea of a jacket, and in the future, I may use the scraps to manage that. But in the meantime, I made a dress.
I happened to be muslin-ing a pattern for my Susan costume, and realized that the corset pattern I used for that costume, when actually fitted to my body without the insane ease, had pretty nice lines. So I muslined half the pattern for Susan, which I have not continued working on yet, and the other half for a woven dress.
My methods from this point on grow a bit…sketchy. I managed to get the bodice made up quickly, and even cut out a lining and sewed that up too. Then I started on the skirt. I measured the fabric and it was only 40 inches wide… Which was not anywhere near long enough to make a 3/4 circle skirt, which is definitely my favorite kind. It was barely going to be decent with a full circle skirt (at least in my mind). So I cut out a waistband, which hadn’t been planned. Even with that addition, I’ve still got to wear tap pants, mostly due to the sitting-down factor. I like to sit down, and I especially like the extra insulation of not sitting down and getting my legs and maybe butt stuck to the seats. Just a personal preference.
But the dress is lovely, and I’m so glad I was able to use my special fabric in such a pretty and useable way!