My friend is getting married next week, and true to form, I have left sewing my outfit to the last minute. How else does one manifest self love than by piling pressure on ones self?
The bride is a Nigerian and, in keeping with wedding trends within the Nigerian community, her family and close friends have to wear the Aso ebi. I found this definition from the Urban Dictionary, and thought I should share it as I could not have explained the concept of Aso ebi better.
(Pronounced ASHO EYBEE)
Nigerian outfits made from matching fabric to be worn by a group of people to a party, wedding, or funeral as a uniform. Wearing a certain aso ebi identifies the group of wearers. For instance, at a wedding, all the bride’s friends might wear blue and gold, the bride’s family might wear white and gold, and the groom’s friends might wear black and pink, and so on. Usually at weddings, the various fabrics for the aso ebi are decided by the bride, and are then announced to all the guests months in advance so they can prepare their outfits. Guests are usually expected to buy the aso ebi from the bride, but close friends and family members and certain prominent individuals may be presented with the aso ebi as a gift. Aso ebi for parties and funerals are generally simple, but aso ebi for weddings may involve many complex changes with entirely different aso ebi for different days of the wedding, and for the reception.
The Aso ebi colours assigned to friends in this case, are yellow and red. Yellow guipure lace, yellow silk fabric and a red gele (head tie).
Have you ever been to a Nigerian wedding? If yes, it’s possible you might have already seen the Aso ebi in action. Though people start with the same piece of fabric, the finished items are anything but identical. No one wants to be outdone, so women come prepared. Dressed to the nines, fish tail skirts and all. A simple google search
should be enough to show you how serious women take the Aso ebi.
Now to the matter of what I will make out of my lace. I spent the last 2 weeks trying to find inspiration, and thankfully, Lizzy
pointed me to a lovely dress, aptly called the Majestic Dress
, which I absolutely fell in love with. She posted a picture on instagram of her modelling the dress, and I was sold. Hopefully I will look half as stunning as she looked when I am done with mine.
I have never sewn with guipure lace before, so any piece of advice would be much appreciated. I scoured the internet for tips, and came across Carolyn’s posts
about sewing with guipure lace. I also read a 2006 Threads article by Susan Khalje on sewing different types of lace, which is all well and good, but I still am not sure how to proceed, and I still do not understand the descriptions on how to do the zip area. Dense much?
Copying Carolyn, I intend to work with four layers of fabric. The lace, silk organza, stretch crepe, and silk habotai as lining.
I did not have the lace with me when I bought the silk organza so I was not certain of the colour to go for. There was a deeper shade of yellow that matched the lace, but I thought a paler yellow would be better. How wrong I was. It kind of ruins the look for me, so I either have to go back to Goldhawk road for the correct shade of yellow, or, sew the lace directly to the main backing fabric, or, horror of horrors, applique the lace to the finished dress, one rose at a time. What do you think?
For the pattern, I am still trying to decide between Vogue 82880, view A, with cap sleeves……
……and New Look 6123, view C but with the sleeves of view A. This pattern actually represents my best chance to recreate the Majestic dress, but I really love the sexy neckline of the Vogue 8280. Which would you go for?
I have 24 hours to decide before I cut into my muslin later today, so I am going to bed now, to hopefully dream up a choice.