“Abby! We’re having a party! Cathy came last year so you should come too! We already have a tissu picked out!”

Stop right there. I’m in! At parties in Benin, if it’s any kind of vrai party, you should pick out a fabric. Now, it could be just a pattern that comes in a few different colorways…

labor day 1(For instance, the three-ish day party right outside of my porch a couple months back [which was also all over town. Several locations party] had a fabric that was leaves on a background of squares. Most people chose the green and brown colorway, and then there was a purply colorway and a yellow and blue colorway which, though not popular, I personally found the most striking.)

…or you can have everyone in the very same pattern and color. Which was how I found myself eating two lunches and listening to music with about 100 women all dressed alike.

labor day 3

My camera, much like my kindergarteners, has trouble focusing.

I had fun.

Back to the story we started with. I knew fabric was involved, so I was already in, basically. But what kind of party was it?

What I heard was: It’s a party for femmes enceintes or pregnant ladies. What it actually was, was a party for femmes enseignantes or woman teachers. Of which I am one.

labor day 5

initial sketches

Even up to yesterday morning, though, somebody wished me a happy labor day and I thought. Labor day, pregnant ladies, well, that’s a clever play on words.

Regardless. I found out on Friday, I think, and went and obtained my fabric. I then spent the weekend drafting, chalking, cutting, buying buttons and bias and sew sew sewing!

labor day 4

Welcome to my kitchen…

labor day 2

Forgot my sunglasses.

This is the dress I made for the party, it’s based off the “Straight Skirt” pattern in La Coupe which I altered to be a “tulip skirt.” I’m not sure I did it the best way I should have but basically I drew both sides of the front and then drew a straight diagonal line from the left front dart to the right front bottom corner and freehanded a line in the shape I thought might be nice. Cut two and off you go.

The top is also from La Coupe, it’s the crossover top. I picked it because it seemed pretty simple and easy to sew in four days, and also because I have an idea that, if I get around to making it, will be based on this pattern.

As always, it’s all handsewn.

Happy May, y’all!





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