Mali dress turned summer shirt

I have this dress my friend Kim brought back from Mali several years ago. I love it, even though it’s pretty crazy with the tie dye. More importantly though, I love the hand embroidery. At least it looks like hand embroidery. I also love that it came from Mali. I don’t have anything else like it.

The thing is, I never, ever wear it. It’s basically a sheet of dyed fabric sewn up the sides with a headhole. So it’s hung in my closet for years and years. When I joined Wardrobe Refashion, this was one of the items I had in mind that could use a “refashion” so to speak.

Here’s the before shot:

And here’s a closeup of the embroidery:

And here’s what I did with it!

I’m very pleased. There are, of course, problems, namely that it’s too big, the shoulders are too low (part of the same problem), and it puckers a bit at the shoulder where I wanted it to slant down for some shaping but wanted to preserve the embroidery. At the moment though, I don’t care, because I MADE A SHIRT! I figure I’ll leave it like this until we’re done having kids because it’ll probably make a nice summer maternity shirt too. Then I can take the sleeves off, bring it in a bit, and it’ll fit nicely later on.

I made the pattern by tracing another shirt. In my meager search of the internet, there aren’t a whole lot of plus size patterns. That’s okay though, I have a book on hold at the library all about making your own patterns. Whoop! I can’t wait to find time to make another shirt. This time out of an African pillowcase, obtained in London. Hurrah!

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One Response to Mali dress turned summer shirt

  1. Julie Leung says:

    Hello! Congrats on your lovely shirt. I realized I hadn’t looked at Wardrobe Refashion in a while (turns out the feed I have in my aggregator has something wrong with it) and when I stopped by that blog, I recognized your photo! Thanks for coming over a couple weeks ago. It was great to meet you and I am so impressed and inspired by all your creations here. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a great holiday weekend. Love the “Apache wife” ID. πŸ™‚

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