Tuesday, May 1, 2012

a little african flair

The original plan today was to work in the garden. The little bit of rain we had this morning altered things a bit. Just too soggy. As I am anxious to get to those linen pieces I bought yesterday, I decided that before those projects could be started, I needed to complete the one I had began last fall.

Almost eight years ago, my parents came home from a church mission to Mozambique. My mom brought home some very beautiful fabric pieces. They've been sitting in my closet all this time. I felt it was a shame that they weren't utilized. So I was inspired to make a tunic with one of the larger ones. The pieces sat out on my cutting table all winter, beckoning.

The colors and leaf motif are a little fall-ish, but I still think I'll be wearing it now. It's comfortable and roomy top to wear, plus it makes me happy, knowing that it will always be a reminder of those sweet associations with the Africans my parents learned to love. I also love the quarter length sleeves and hip length styling. I think I'll have to make more of these.

The pattern- Simplicity 4149- is pretty straightforward, which is definitely a necessity with me. I often get confused and frustrated, trying to understand what the instructions are trying to say. (That's why I always seem to have to open up the pattern and make sure I'm smart enough before making the decision to buy it. Am I the only one that does this?) I had a little trouble getting what they were trying to explain about the collar. I just threw up my hands and did it my way- turned and hemmed the edge under and called it good.


  1. Love it! That "capulana" is beautiful. Can I borrow that pattern from you when you done? I was driving to the Library for some sewing books today to do exactly something along those lines. I like the peasant blouses but I prefer these tunics for me (fit). I love when you create - always something beautiful comes out. I was thinking about using some whimsical floral cotton material for myself. Congratulations Emily, it will go with almost anything.

  2. The tunic looks great, Emily! Isn't it wonderful to finally use up fabric that is beautiful and meaningful? Even better when the project works out so well. This pattern is very flattering - you definitely should make it again. I have a similar tunic pattern but with slightly more flared sleeves. I like yours very much.

  3. That tunic is beautiful! We went to Africa twice to bring our adopted children home and I love african inspired fabric.

    Regards from Luxembourg,


  4. This is STUNNING on you Emily! I'm headed out to San Diego to visit our 24 year old daughter today, and I'm taking along a new Janome sewing machine! I taught her to sew when she was home over Easter, so exciting to pass this little bit of knowledge along to her.

    Beautiful work, can't wait to see what else you turn out. Creativity has a way of soothing the soul....