Not All Fabrics Are Created Equal

So I am in Balogun this fateful day snooping around their 5k per yard bargain fabric section — displayed with all the sequins, leather, fur, cord and orisirisi. For the benefit of those living outside town, Balogun is the famous zone for textile and fabric in Lagos… you know, the kind that carries poles of fabric worth more than your rented one-room.. lol, unbelievers will be thinking I’m exaggerating now.
Anyway, I shift base to a more user-friendly stall and I’m minding my business in the one section that has fabric my ATM card can handle, when I stumble across this very plain, quiet, stretchy and cost-accommodating fabric.. hehe. My brain immediately hits ctrl-cut and patterns were already taking form in my head.. snip, snip snip.. “This will be perfect for an LBD, yess!!” By the way gentlemen and ladies, an LBD is short for Little Black Dress.
Ehen, so I get back home humming delightfully to some Jon Bellion human condition, pleased with the inky blackie-stretch fabric I had just acquired uno, and ready to tailor it right into a wearable something. Ashe, I dinnor know that I was in for an undeserved struggle.
The night is young and I still have ample time to make the dress before going to bed. I toy with the thought of doing a quick dig into the peculiarity of stretchy fabrics (considering that I had not handled stretch before now).
But no o, typical Miss ‘No time for serenren’ a.k.a Miss ‘I-can-do-bad-all-by-myself’ disregards the urge and gets right to assembling the pieces.
“Pffttt! It’s sha not more than stretch,” I convince myself.
The plan is to chuka chuka chuka on my Brother® sewing machine and finish up the lil’ blac’ dress in about an hour.
Well, I succeed ∗∗BAM!∗ The dress is done. ∗∗BAM!∗ It’s simple.. ∗∗BAM!∗ and beautiful ∗∗BAM BAM!∗  
Breathing-in an air of accomplishment and making a mental note to believe in myself more often, I gingerly try on the dress for final fittings.
Alas brethren, every attempt to wrap myself in the dress welcomed me with strands of thread being yanked off . As in, the whole dress was literally going “pra-pra-praaaaa”, rhythmically getting ripped at the seams!
“Haba nauw,” is all I managed to mutter.
It was impossible to ignore the mischievous chuckle from the dress and I was pinching myself for several minutes following this ordeal.
See ehn, if there is one art that serves a complete syllabus of lessons, it just has to be sewing! Tailoring tells you to go with your guts, channel your creativity and “just do it “. This same tailoring reminds you to “Slow down Slow Signand be logical; because the items you work with today, will most likely differ from what you’ll be handling the very next day.
And this translates kind of nicely to real life . . . the extra effort we put into being more tactful and truly understanding that people/situations/moments are different and can not be treated or handled the same way, determines if we’ll go far in life be left standing with a ripped dress or a stunning LBD.
And just because we are not sure which way the wind may blow us next, I’ll leave this here for the future tailor in you ☻;
When sewing lycra, akpoche (or anything stretchy or tough) with a regular mechanical machine, please remember to work with a newspaper, tissue paper or wax from a candle (which is what I eventually used for this dress even after my balloon had been deflated unmercifully).
In my stretchy opinion sha, I’d say just get a stretch-prone machine, saves time uno.

Folabomi - Little Black Dress
Little Black Dress

Muse: Toluleye

Black Dress: Folabomi |Draped-in-Wealth|

Base Ball Cap: Koded Signature

Photography ?: V O Photography  

17 thoughts on “Not All Fabrics Are Created Equal

  1. First off, i loveeeeee d dress, it’s simple but really beautiful nd dat body hugging feature of stretchy materials ehn. Secondly, stretchy fabrics av shown me pepper in dis lyf, i usually use paper but trying to remove it afta d d sewing z one work I’m not fond of. Wait o, so d dress literally tore? What a wow i can’t stop laughing rai nao. Balogun market z crazy, first tym i went i was excited as per a bigger market dan aleshinloye market z ere yaaay not knowing i was in for it lol, i love going to d market so first tym i just entered small nd didn’t buy anything. D d day came nd i saw hell lol, i had to walk literally everywhere cos me sef i no get direction, eventually i got what i wanted but it appeared fabrics are more expensive dan in ib 🙁 was sad ehn, i think i prefer tejuosho tho, balogun z crazy abeg

    1. ?? Thanks darling ?? ?? As in ehnn… stretchy fabrics are not friendly one bit ?? I agree o, the paper method will require that you start peeling off the paper afterwards.. I opt for candle wax instead. Lmaoooo!!! The first time I window-shopped Balogun, I went with a designer friend who had a good grip of the market already,so I was just a surveyor for the day .. Hhahahahaha you’ll need to critically explore to get great stuff (for a reasonable price) in Balogun ??…. Good ol’ Aleshinloye.. Kai Jolaade.. you just brought back memories of Aleshinloye nauw.. fabrics are expensive there too, but ihz noh az bad as Balogun .. and they can drag someone for Africa ehn

  2. This is wonderful. Great designs, masterpiece prose. Tolu, why not consider waiting for a style magazine? I think you have it. Even those of us who no know book are still doing tuketuke as if we are there. Come out and shine joor.

    1. I’m rolling in laughter here daddy ??…. If you claim to not know book, then I must be a complete dullard!!!! ???? Thank you for your kind words sir. God bless you ☺. And daddy, #AmaShineWhenAmaShine in
      Jesus Name ?

  3. All fabrics are truly not created equal. Learning to understand, accept, accommodate, and deal with people with their respective characters was something I struggled with at some point. Personal experience as reflected in this article helps us understand and learn better. I wish many people understand the lessons here.
    Good stuff!!!

    1. I just wish Femi! ☺☺ The way you summarized the essence of this article just gladdens my heart.. chaiiii . Thank you.. thank you kindly.

  4. Afi Praaaaa!!! Dazall! !!! Those Balogun people be like “Fine geh come na, I get your size, ” You be God. Sorry about the initial tear, But in reality.
    The Hustle fashion designers go through is not scriptural, but that’s what removes them from Tailor ??????????

    1. Lmaoooo ?? @”I get your size, You be God??” ! Christy ooooooo ????…
      Yeahhh o, the hustul is intense.. Dassraiii!! *waving hands in a celebrity-like manner* Thank you, thank you.. ????

  5. Nice write-up. Good to see “everyone” represented. I should feature in next edition. Thank goodness the dress wasn’t for a client.

  6. Laughs, thanks for the post @folabomi, life lessons learnt from it. I enjoyed the comments, ? All of them.

  7. This was an amazing story…all the chuckles in-between and life lessons carefully woven in. I appreciate this. Your dress came out wonderful! I like the sleeve length and slightly body-hugging feature. Oh and the first thing I loved were your shoes!!! Looks amazing on your legs, girl! ????

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