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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

My DIY Brit-Bangla Dress

One of the things I was most excited about when I visited Bangladesh in December was going to the fabric stores and I'm pleased to say they didn't disappoint. I discovered vividly coloured, bold cotton prints, the type that are no where to be found in the UK. 
The first project I've made with my fabric so far is this tunic style dress.
I also added some sleeves using pink satin that I picked up in Khushboo Textiles in Birmingham. 
I used the same fabric to create pleats in the dress to give it a more interesting shape.
The fabric was actually 'suit fabric' - a lot of Asian fashion fabrics are sold this way. You get a large rectangle of fabric with the collar shape and you cut and style it to your own preference. It also comes with material to make trousers and a separate piece for a scarf - but I've saved both of those for other projects. In fact the scarf is so pretty it actually looks more like a table runner so I'm going to use is as 'interiors fabric' instead.
Choosing which fabrics to buy was the difficult part. I was travelling with a backpack so had to keep my purchases to a minimum.
Unfortunately I'm not sure where these photos were taken, I was on a rickshaw and all of a sudden we turned onto a street lined with fabric markets and shops so I got off and explored them. It was in walking distance of the Armenian Church, near a bridge - hopefully that's enough description to help find it if you too happen to be in Dhaka and love fabric.

My new dress is a pleasure to wear, in fact I am wearing it now as I write this. I'm very proud of it, it's the most 'Asian' item of clothing I currently own but I've given it my own British twist with the shaping - best of all it's great to know no one else in the whole world has my dress! 

The other thing that makes this dress special is the fact that while I was sewing it I had a major sewing accident: I sewed through one of my nails on the sewing machine and I can confirm it was more than a ouch. My finger was out of action for four weeks - it's now got a falsie on it and is my reminder of the perils of being a seamstress. 

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