Hi fellow Sewcialist! I am Martha from @garichild on Instagram and contributor for Sewn magazine. When you get a chance to peruse my me-made wardrobe, you will notice my love for Ankara fabric 😍. The bold patterns, colors, styles… yup I am ABSOLUTELY enamored with everything about it!!! So when I saw this striped beauty in Ankara fabric I knew I had to have it.
Stripes?!?! My sew sisters questioned my vision for a minute but how can you not see the stripes in this fabric?!
According to Oxford Dictionary:
stripe: strīp/ plural noun: stripes
1. A long narrow band or strip, typically of the same width throughout its length, differing in color or texture from the surface on either side of it.
Yup that sounds about right because I pretty much can spot stripes in everything. Spot…Stripes…🤣😂🤣😂 I’m such a nerd. Blame it on my engineering brain. Ok ok ok back to the project.
When the Sewcialist announced #sewstripes month it was the perfect motivation I needed to get started on a project I have been putting off out of fear that I couldn’t do it justice. This summer I had the pleasure of going to a pilgrimage to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines where my Garifuna ancestors are from and there are just no words that can truly describe it so I’m just going to post this picture below and hope you can feel the warmth, beauty and exquisiteness of it all!
While there, I volunteered my novice sewist self to make traditional Garifuna attire for these incredible women I met on my trip.
What was I thinking?!?!? I still consider myself newbie in my sewing journey but I’m always there for the challenge.
Traditional Garifuna attire typically consist of a midi length skirt, blouson top usually with a yoke design on top and head wrap as shown by me here in plaid (but you know see stripes on this ensemble too right 😉 you too will start seeing stripes in everything).
First thing I tackled were the skirts.
I didn’t take the measurements so I wanted to make sure to have some room for error in the fit so I did a fixed front and enclosed elastic in the back waistband for a more flexible size range on these gathered skirts. Also great strategy for picnic ready clothing. Ask me how I know.
For the top, I pulled out the Valetta Top pattern by Blank Slate. The Valetta Top is a peasant shirt with split front yoke, soft gathers and dramatic high low shirt tail hem. Very easy make and allows me to have some fun with color blocking, chevrons and more. The pattern comes with a sleeved version but its hot in Saint Vincent so I opted for the sleeveless edition.
These are just some of the skirts and one of the Valetta tops I made on the left. As you can see I was able to play with my “striped” fabric to create different looks for my skirts. Next one on my table is a chevron version and it looks amazinggggggg. Stay tuned to my Instagram!
This has been sooo much fun and the motivation I needed to get over my fear. I am beyond grateful to the Sewcialists for allowing me a space to participate in this month’s challenge.
That looks like a fun trip! Not sure you can claim to be a novice though… And yes, we see stripes 🙂
I love these, and I love the honoring of your heritage. 😀
I see stripes! What beautiful ensembles!
Here for these beauties!!! Sew all the stripes!
Beautiful!! Love the fabrics and designs! Thank you for sharing!
What an amazing job you did transforming this fabric into so many different directions, A.K.A. stripe! I love it! Thank you for the history lesson too! It’s good to learn about people’s cultures as we are all from the human family! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and share your beautiful clothes! 🙂
Very beautiful outfits. I didn’t know about the Garifuna people – thanks for sharing the wiki page. It’s always interesting to learn about different cultures.
Great job! Also, thanks for the tip about Blank Slate Patterns – they’ve got some nice designs.
Love this, spread this to all parts of Africa for it is called African wear