I really like this photo. Sadly it’s the only thing I like. I hate this dress. I hate this fabric. I do not hate the Colette Hazel, I just hate my choice of fabric and lack of understanding for fit.
I enjoyed shopping for my fabric though. I bought it at the Dantokpa market in Cotonou, the largest open air market in West Africa. Many people are afraid of coming here but as long as you are prepared to be overwhelmed and have a firm grip on your bags it is fine. Though if you are indecisive and need order, this isn’t the best place. But for those who like getting lost and wandering around while your eyes are inundated by visual delights… this is it.
I had used Ghalila bazin before, so that is what I thought I purchased the second time around. Instead I found out I bought Bara Ghalila which is not the same thing. Probably a knock off of a knock off. I don’t even know what brands are “real” and what brands are knock offs. There are just too many choices and I just don’t know. The words “superior quality” mean nothing here! Beware! The fabric is extremely transparent in sunlight so I will have to make a lining if I want to wear it – but I don’t care enough to so I won’t.
This fabric crinkles. Like wrapping paper. It is stiff. I even soaked it in water in an attempt to make it less stiff. Nope. After a washing, it still crinkled. I don’t know about you but if a fabric sounds like paper being crumpled up… that can’t really be fabric, can it? Paper disguised as fabric is what I shall call this. (The red ghalila bazin I used last time was also very stiff and crinkly, but after one wash it became much softer. not this green one!)
First off this dress was really wide around the bust. I don’t know if I miscut the pattern or what… but that was way too much space when zipped up! So then I took in the sides. Then it was too small and I had to rip out my sides so I could properly zip it closed. So in the inside of this dress is very ugly, but I won’t show you that here.
I most definitely do not have hips like that. This fabric just has a mind of its own and prefers to make its own shape rather than fall against my body. Though I admit I contributed to this a bit because I really liked the Hazel muslin on Sewaholic by Tasia. She cut a larger size so that the dress would be fuller and I decided to copy her. Except that I didn’t copy her with my fabric choice. Big oops. I decided to make pleats because gathering only made the dress look like a bowling ball.
Even better is if I grab the dress is the back and force it to conform to my body. Oh here is a like: I like how the stripes matched up on the top! I do want to play again with stripes, but with a different fabric.
My suspicions were confirmed when I pulled out the Peony pocket piece to compare. Hazel on the left, Peony on the right. Look at the difference! I’m so glad Colette made their pockets larger as I thought I just had abnormally large hands when I made the Peony.
Another thing is that I moved the bust up to a more comfortable level for me, but then that threw off the placements of the darts. So there is some very odd stuff going up there but I’ll figure it out the next time I make this dress.
My only comment here is… my arms are TAN. Woaaah! And I think I have beginner’s luck for matching up the stripes – I didn’t try at all, but they turned out nicely! Hmm so I don’t hate everything about this dress.
Ok. Random note. It is very important to keep a small fabric stash in Ouidah. Most of this isn’t fabric anyway, a lot is interfacing, ironing cloth, and discarded clothes I want to rip apart. Because even though Ouidah is humid, dark piles of fabric or clothing is a perfect home for…
TWO INCH SCORPIONS. I cannot wait until I am back in the states. Not because of electric machines or sergers or zig zag stitches or clear vinyl or new patterns or sewing books or fabric choices or jersey or whatever but because I will not have to worry about killing scorpions each time I pull fabric out from my stash! Don’t even get me started on the ants and roaches. Ugh. Sewing isn’t as stress free as I thought.