Nigerian Lace Outfit

I never knew blue could look so good!

In Nigerian tradition, it’s often common for groups of people to wear the same fabric, tailored into desired styles for a specific occasion. On this day, I went to a 60th birthday celebration and the celebrant gave me some fabric to make my outfit with.

Women basically have the freedom to have any style they want tailored although, fishtail and peplum styles are the typical designs sought after. For men, it’s usually trousers and a basic top with heavy embroidery around the neckline.

I wore the traditional Western African head tie, called a ‘gele’ in Yoruba.

Making my dress

My dress was straight forward enough to put together, drafting it was also very easy. With V-necklines (or any altered neckline), you run the risk of it gaping so to avoid this, I did some contouring, which produced a very flat and well fitting neckline.

The top and bottom half of the dress were drafted separately. I drafted the skirt based on the dart positions of the bodice and put them together.

The dress was meant to be longer than what is it. I initially added a fishtail to the bottom but really hated how it looked, so I removed it and suddenly I had a short dress with no other way to make it longer 🙁 so my only option was to cut off the lace trimming from the main fabric and add it to the hem of my dress.

Lace finishing

The flutter sleeves I drafted from a basic sleeve block that I quickly drew up since, for some reason, I don’t actually have a permanent sleeve block that I can just turn to – I’m literally always drafting a new sleeve block for every new project. I finished the hem of the sleeve with silver bias binding to match the silver lining of the dress.

Flutter sleeves

You can check out the flutter sleeve tutorial. It’s very quick and very easy!

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5 Comments

    • Thanks a lot! It’s a gorgeous fabric but very stressful to sew. I broke about 6 needles on the diamanté ornaments scattered across the fabric – very annoying!

  1. You guys are adorable. What a cool tradition that lets people literally see who goes with who! Is this lace traditional Nigerian fabric? The hem finish is a cool idea.

    • Haha thank you 😊 haha it’s not always couples, whole families can go matching, or during a wedding the brides family wear their own fabric and the grooms their own too.
      Lace in general is very massive in Nigeria. Just a shame it’s so expensive or I’d work with it more frequently

  2. Hiya,
    I’m just getting into sewing and was wondering if yoou could do a tutorial on how to sew the mens cloths you have pictured? They look great

    Thank you!!

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