Recently my parents went to Comoros, and when they told me I definitely had to look that one up, because I had no idea where it was. Here's what Google maps had to say about it:
It's off the coast of the African continent next to Madagascar. (Like from the movie "Madagascar." Haha.)
My family has a tradition of always bringing a small gift for family members and close friends when any of us return from overseas. Which, since my parents live over there, is ever time they visit. (It works out well for my sister and I, needless to say.) However, since I've moved around often the past few years and still have a few moves in the near future, I dislike knick-knacks. I just don't have a lot of room, and they're difficult to pack.
Thus, I prefer to have things I can use as souveniers, and my go-to favorites are items I can wear. Knowing that, when we were in Michigan my parents were kind enough to bring me back a beautiful cotton fabric from the Comoros! My mother explained that women there use these long pieces of cloth, and they have printed design panels in squares down the length of the cloth, the designs specific to Comoros. Each outfit is six design squares long. She bought me three squares worth of fabric, and it was so beautiful I knew I must make something of it!
However, it's a bit tricky to work with a pattern on a fabric made of squares of design instead of a contiguous pattern. Thus..... with much trepidation... I dared..... to make my own pattern.
It's the first thing I've ever done without a pattern, and it worked! The top is one large main piece cut on the bias (to get a symmetrical design from one of the design squares), with two triangles to bring the back up higher, and the remaining two design squares I simply sewed as a gathered skirt. I used the designs edge to make the straps which extend down to the waist in the back.
The fabric was starched to death, so it will take a few more washes to get the skirt to de-pouf a bit, but I was soooo happy with the results! It's vintage, but it still has that international flair and uniqueness that I love so much!
dress: handmade by me
belt: altered to fit
lipstick: Bare Minerals "Call the Shots"