amazing fit simplicity 1914 + my fête de départ

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress26Here it is. Not the last project I sewed, but the last project and photo shoot for Benin – The Simplicity Amazing Fit 1914 Dress. Yes it’s shiny and yes my knees are showing, but hey, it’s my party!

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress10The dress was sewn a while ago, but I left it alone as I was saving it for my party. The fabric is shiny non breathable stuff. Polyester? So not good for hot season here, but okay in the cooler months. It was easy enough to sew but I didn’t follow the instructions completely as there were many “now have a friend help you pin it” – didn’t happen, so I just sewed it without fitting. In the end I took in the waist since it was too loose. There’s a slight back neck gape but I didn’t care much.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress01The day of my goodbye party began with letting Bosco climb on his favorite sand pile.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress02He likes to run back and forth between the sand pile and me.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress03Bosco thinks this is just any other normal play day. What he doesn’t know is that this is our last morning together because I am taking him to Brownie’s, who so kindly offered to host my party. Who also so kindly offered to take Bosco into her home for when I left. Who will become the new Mama Bosco. Or rather, Mamie Bosco since she’s much older.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress04I let him dig and play while I enjoy our last opportunity to hang out together.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress05Another neighborhood dog comes up… Bosco isn’t so keen.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress06But they warm up to each other.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress29Then it’s off to Brownie’s where he found himself fitting right in with the party.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress11I went indoors to greet the rest of the guests.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress12Since Brownie is American, the drinks were served American style – self serve. A large punch bowl with bottles surrounding it as well as plastic cups. If you want to drink, you helped yourself.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress13An awning (or a tent?) was set up outdoors to provide cover in case of rain or shade in case of sun. The sun came out, so that worked out nicely. The kids took over this area as most of the adults stayed inside.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress14Here’s the dress. Ta da!



simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress17With Pascal, my co-teacher. Recognize his fabric?

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress18A mini concert was even held for me.

When there is music, there is also dancing.

The dance party moved outdoors.

I don’t normally like dancing in Benin, but when it’s a party for me that changes things quite a bit.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress19So I’ve covered drinks, music, and dance. Let’s not forget the main draw for a party in Benin: the food. And this time it is not self serve, because it isn’t in the culture to serve yourself – you’re always given food. So when a Beninese is given the opportunity to help themselves, help themselves is what they do – mountains are built with the amount of food they can stack on a plate. The only way to prevent food from running out is to have people serving it.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress20Bon appétit.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress21Bon appétit outside as well.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress22The music never stopped once… just one continuous concert for a few hours.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress23Then the picture taking began.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress24Can’t have a photo without the host, can we?

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress25My handicapped kids came as well, which was a much welcomed surprise.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress27The kids before…simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress28…and after I taught them how to say cheese.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress30La grande dame herself.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress31Once all the guests left and the house calmed down a bit, the kids of Brownie’s guardian could finally have their second soft drink.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress32Bosco… he had no idea that this was goodbye. Saying goodbye to people went well, but when it came time to say goodbye to him I won’t lie – I did some serious bawling.

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress33The aftermath – dishes from a party with about fifty guests. Once the house was cleaned up, I went back to my house, Boscoless, for one last night before getting up early the next morning to load up a taxi with all my things to Cotonou…

simplicity1914shinybluefetedepartdress34This wasn’t a really well written post. I know I should be writing about my dress, my fabric, the sewing, the party, the presents… but the only thing I can think about is how I left behind a dog I really loved and that’s the only thing on my mind and the only thing I feel like writing about. I try to justify leaving him behind with how 1) He’s a dog 2) He wasn’t my dog in the first place 3) I only took him in because his owner left and I never ever planned on being a permanent owner to him 4) I made my post Benin travel plans well before Bosco came into my life – but I can’t help but still feel incredibly guilty and sad even if I did leave him with a good permanent home and owner. I’ll write a proper “goodbye benin” post later – this I suppose turned into a “goodbye bosco” post. Bye bye Bosco.

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