I tell you I was bamboozled into this by my father. Over the years I've skidded away from my making outfits for the West Indian American Day Parade on Labor Day here in Brooklyn but this year I got caught and it's all my father's fault. He comes home and says his friend's daughter is going to stop by to talk to me about making her an outfit. I brush it off because if you learn anything about people that say one thing and do another. But truth be told, she actually showed up. We discussed the outfit, named my price and completion time. Fast forward a month later, my father comes home and gives me the money for the outfit.So she actually was serious. Darn it, now I have to make it.
No matter how much I tried not make any outfits I'm actually happy with the end result. I made a couple of tweaks to her idea to make it something I would put my name on.Plus it can't look like something she could of bought from one of the ladies on Church Avenue or Flatbush. Plus, her father is not going to come and kill me later.
So here's how I made this super cute Guyanese outfit that my father is even beaming proud of and representing his country.
I first pulled out my ruler, pattern paper and tape measure which I didn't even really use. Since when I thought about it. I didn't need to make any pattern since it was self explanatory. To me that is.
For this I used four Guyanese rags or bandannas. Which ever you decide to call them. Two for the skirt and two for the top.
I then turned the fabric right side in and pins the sides for the side seams.
Here's where I changed it up.She asked for a skirt but I added a split for mover ability. If you know anything about carnival and mas in Brooklyn or anywhere for that matter.There is a lot of dancing and walking. Let's not forget, jumping over barricades to get to from trucks. So a split is needed because god forbid she pops a seam while jumping a barricade.
Then it was time to get my sew on. I sewed the side seams, determine the waistband, sewed that, added the elastic, and hemmed it.
And the skirt is completed. Now onto the bandeau.Which was originally supposed to be a bra but you can get a bra anywhere. Really you can.
For this I used the two remaining fabrics since the width wasn't long enough.
I did need the pattern paper after all. I cut a rectangle of the paper at the length and width I needed.Normally, I wouldn't lay or even cut out a pattern on fabric face up because that's how I was taught and I've never ever seen my mother do that either. But I had to have the right placement to cut out the fabric to get enough of the flag so you would know upon first glance what country it was.
I pinned the side seams and then it was time to hit the sewing machine.
I sewed the side seams, finished off the edges, sewed the top and bottom and left all lil' pocket on each to put in the elastic.
Now I first sewed these strap pieces right side in and tried to turn them right side out but 20 minutes later with my finger cramping I gave up and tossed them to the side. Cutting 4 more and sewing them right side out and using a zigzag stitch. Which at this point the machine was not liking me but we're at the finish line.
Elastic in and straps attached and the bandeau top is complete. Added straps for two reasons.#1 if she wants to keep her boobs secure and the top won't get pulled off her. Better to be safe then sorry when in a crowd of hundreds sometimes thousands sandwiched into a small area. Anything can happen, right. #2 it's kind of cute. She can always tuck them in if she chooses not to use them.
And the outfit is complete and if I say so myself it came out really cute. Even if I didn't want to do it to begin with. Mind you I did this without a mannequin or a model. I prefer a mannequin at all times.But that's just me.
You should hear my father now.Next year.... Next year my foot.I gave him the stank eye of don't you even think about it. If he had his way I would recreate a whole line of country outfits to sell .Nope not going to happen.Sorry.