It’s been such a long time since we’ve chatted. Life does that sometimes… gets in the way in the craziest of ways. Forgive me for neglecting you, but I’ve had soooo much going on. I don’t really wanna get into it and bore you with the details of adulthood *blah. The good news is, I.AM.BACK, and not a minute too soon, if you ask me!
Today kicks of #ankaraweek over on Instagram, a ‘challenge’ hosted by 2 fabulous sew sistahs: @julietuzor and @thatlenaking. The focus for the week, which runs from July 12th – 18th, is to highlight and appreciate all things Ankara. Today’s prompt? Mini, midi, maxi skirts and dresses!!! You know I’m a dress girl so today is my day to shine lol. Funnily enough, I mentioned the word ‘Ankara’ to both my brother and a friend of mine… both asked “Ankara, as in Turkey?” lol… boys will be boys I guess *shrugs
Yes, Ankara IS the capital of Turkey (5 points if you already knew that), but the Ankara I am referring to, is actually a type of fabric! (5 more points if you also knew that) lol. Traditional Ankara fabric is a colorful wax print fabric originating from the African continent. Many feature bold colors and tribal prints on a cotton fabric, making Ankara fabric stable and easy to work with. There are loads of places you can purchase Ankara fabric, but one of my favorites has to be afriqueclothingstore, on etsy! I purchased 3 gorgeous Ankaras from them, (one of which is currently a work in progress) and the quality is ah-ma-zing!!! But more about that in a later post.
The vibrant colors and fun prints of Ankara have made their way onto other fabric bases, such as this one that I got from @moodfabrics for Christmas 2020 (i think). The base of my fabric is actually a stretch cotton twill, but the print mimics an Ankara pattern. If you wanted to stay true to traditional Ankara, but you also love this print, then head over to afriqueclothingstore, because I’m certain I’ve seen this print, in a few different colourways, while aimlessly browsing their collections.
I had hopes of turning my fabric into this year’s birthday dress. As I inched closer to the day, I had to come to grips with the fact that my pre-planned fabric choice, clashed with my last-minute Mexican-themed party decor. [ironic right?!] Even though I didn’t wear it on my birthday, every time I walked past it draped over the table in my sewing corner, I was excited. Sooooooo I pulled it out over the weekend, and cori-favoured with my brother to photograph me… and MAN am I glad I did!
The dress is actually a mash up of 2 patterns. For the bodice, I used view C of Mccalls #M7778 combined with the straps from view D. For the skirt, I went with view A of Butterick #B5982. Unfortunately, B5982 is now out of print, but it is still available on the Butterick website (and presently on sale), incase you wanted to check it out!
This was my first time using #M7778. I’ve had the pattern in my stash for a little while but for some reason hadn’t sewn it up. I’m really into grommets at the moment and was really intrigued by view C. I started with size 14 and blended to a 16 at the waist. I performed by usual ½” Full Bust Adjustment to adjust for my C-cup. If I followed the pattern size recommendations, I would have sewn up a size 18 at the bust. I can tell you right now, that THAT woulda been a disaster!!! If you’ve been around the sewing block for any time at all, you already know that you get a better fitting garment by selecting the bodice size closer to your High Bust Measurement, and performing an FBA. If you didn’t know that, make a mental note and vow NEVER to forget it!
I shortened the bodice by ½” instead of my usual 1” because, from the line drawings, it seemed as if the bodice of this pattern was already designed to hit above the natural waist. With that adjustment, the bodice now hits me at my natural waist (hey hey to all the short-waisted people!!)*insert wave here lol
I combined the bodice with view A skirt of #B5982. I’ve used the skirt portion of this pattern before and I really really liked it. It’s different, in that it has both pleating and gathering at the waist, and an invisible zipper at centre back. The pleated centre front and center back reduce the bulk at my (already too large) waistline, while the gathers give me the volume I like. IMHO this combination is perfect and I’m questioning why I have not used this skirt pattern more often!
I really took my time cutting out the pattern pieces, especially at the CF and CB because I was wary of the pattern placement. I am pretty damn stoked with how the pattern matches across the centre fronts and centre backs. The side seams are a little less impressive but, let’s not tell anyone that bit.
I sometimes love something on the hanger and hate it on my body for one reason or the other. Anyone else? Thankfully this mash up did not disappoint me and I felt hella suave in my dress. As much as I love my back yard, I am getting a little bored with snapping pics infront my flowers, and in any event, I felt like the boldness of this fabric would get lost on a floral background… so I hit the streets, pulled up on the side of the road, and VOGUE BABY!!!!! Okay, okay, okay maybe not quite Vogue, but you get the point.
I’ve viewed the other prompts for Ankaraweek. I probably won’t be able to join in every day, but I’ll definitely be scrolling through the ‘gram looking for tons more inspiration. Join me and check it out! You WON’T be sorry… of that I am sure!
Are you about that Ankara life? Drop me a comment and lemme know 🙂
Gotta luv ya and leave ya…
Until next time,