colette peony

tpeony01I’m rather addicted to Colette Patterns.

tpeony02I can’t help it. First off, its my style of clothing. Second, many of their patterns are printable (I am in West Africa and patterns just don’t exist. But printers do). Thirdly, most importantly, most of their patterns are perfect for stiff cotton fabrics, which are what dominate the fabric market here. Don’t be too surprised if all of their summery patterns end up here in my journal in West African Wax.

tpeony12The fabric I used this time actually isn’t wax. It’s fancier stuff, a bit more expensive because it has raised gold dots all over it. It also is sold in blocks of five yards rather than the usual six. I don’t know what it’s called, because when I asked the Beninese they told me there was no name for this type of fabric. When I pressed further about how they would describe it if they wanted to buy it from a shop, they said that they would just bring a swatch of the fabric to show the seller rather than trying to explain what they want. So it will remain a mystery fabric for now.

tpeony03The Peony dress was very easy to put together. However as I neared the end, there was one major problem… the hem. It was wrinkling and pulling diagonally as I tried to hem it. Normally an iron would solve this problem, but with this fabric, the iron was just melting off my glue dots and killing the fabric. What to do, what to do?

tpeony04Easy answer: online forums, specifically Burda Style. I asked a question, and instant answers. The solution was: baste the hem, then hand stitch the hem. I went with a catch stitch, and voila, a nice flat non wrinkly hem to my Peony dress.

tpeony05Front, side, back.

tpeony06But let’s not forget the best part: pockets! pockets! Pockets make happy, because pockets are where keys, loose change, and cell phones go.

tpeony07As fun as the self portrait sessions are… Benin as a background is a hundred times more interesting than the blue wall of my house. Good thing I’ve made friends here to help with the photography.

tpeony08Dirt roads and coconut trees are better than blue walls, right?

tpeony09The photo shoot is interrupted to pull Bosco, my boss’ dog, out of oncoming traffic. But he doesn’t want to budge.

tpeony10In that case, into my arms you go.

tpeony11And in front of the camera to be part of the Peony photoshoot!

Pattern: Colette 1017 Peony
Fabric: Apptex Print
Outdoor Photos: Rob H.

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