Week 3 is here and I am so very glad to still be here – Thank you! This is my favorite week – Celebrations around the world. You didn’t doubt me picking South Africa, did you? I was very fortunate to be right in the middle of the action ( I was in matric/senior in High School) when South Africa became the Rainbow Nation. Unfortunately 6 months short of voting age but exciting nonetheless
Freedom day – 27 April
South Africans do love to celebrate and it almost always include a braai (barbeque) with lots of meat and good friends around the fire. Is there anything better to celebrate than FREEDOM?
Freedom day in South Africa celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. The elections were the first non-racial national elections where every one of voting age (18 years and older) including foreign citizens permanently residing in South Africa, were allowed to vote.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela
So much thought and emotions went into this outfit so I will try and take it piece by piece. South Africa is very rich in Art and have very vibrant creative people, so I went big on color (just like I like it)
The Jumpsuit ( which she can rock at any Barbeque ) – South Africa went from a 3 color flag to a very vibrant 6 color flag in 1994 to represent the people as a new nation so for my jumpsuit I used a golden yellow (South Africa is known for gold , in fact my dad worked in a gold mine all of his life and I grew up in a miners town) , white and black linen. If you look at the flag you see where the two green lines from the outer corners joins and become one ( which represents the people from South Africa before apartheid and the togetherness as one after 1994) I replicated the symbolism of that in the bodice with the color blocking. To add a bit of blue I added denim. Patterns used was the Friday dress by Petit a Petit and the Graphite trousers by Made by Toya. (two great patterns collided) I used the short sleeve version and for the pants I took away the pleat and widened the bottom legs quite a bit. I finished the whole suit and my girlie loved it, but it felt very boyish to me with the sleeves so a week after finishing it, I decided to just chop them off and used the gathering method that is used in the LOL swing top to make the fit perfect around the shoulder blades. There is snaps so she can get it off easy at school and belt loops for THE BELT the belt,the belt, how I love the belt. I think it’s my most favorite part. I hand embroidered( Hand embroidery is very popular amongst South African women) those colorful geometric freehand shapes on black linen over the past ten days, during piano-, dance lessons and netflix and I am so glad I started early enough and finished. Fully interfaced so it goes through the buckle and stays in and it is still easy for her to get on.
The Jacket – Oi this was my challenge piece but my non-negotiable piece. Bella saw and fell in love with a navy blue adult version at the J. crew outlet and I thought how awesome a velvet green and gold bomber jacket would be to go with this week. ( If you earn National colors for Rugby in South Africa you earn your green and gold jacket) After sanctions was lifted in 1995 South Africa played their first Rugby World cup in a very long time, South Africa hosted and won the Rugby World Cup. It was the biggest celebration I have ever witnessed. I searched far and wide to get a non-stretch green velvet and finally found some on fabric wholesale direct. I hoard African fabric like its nobodies business and these zebras was perfect for lining. I should have just used a pattern but I wanted a specific look so I used my block to draft and cut the fabric. Fully lined, metal zippers with the pockets and I could not for the life of me find ribbing to go with it for the collar (If I can’t find anything in local shops , my next option is always second hand clothing stores but couldn’t find anything there either) and had a genius idea of using gold and black wide elastic and it worked out brilliantly. I used the moto jacket pattern by Jennuine design to check my fit and proportions, struggled with that zipper on velvet about a thousand times but succeeded, added my label and a hook to hang it on and voila.
The skirt was a self-drafted 10 panel skirt, with flat panel in the front and elastic in the back waistband with leather belt loops WITH POCKETS (YAY) and horse hair braid in the hem. Again the fabric was some ankara out of my stash with the perfect colors to represent the flag. Blue was missing so I made a fitted blue Shirt to match.
I also finally perfected the flounce I have been wanting to make on the shirt ( I’ll have to make a tutorial for that) and even changed all my serger thread to royal blue to make the lettuce hem around 2 layers of flounce and my insides all were blue.
Accessories – I got so inspired with this outfit that I made some leather and seedbead earrings and bracelet/necklace to compliment the outfit ( beads are very popular to use in crafts as well as hand embroidery amongst South African women) Made her a head wrap, watched a couple of youtube videos on how to get the headwrap on and she was ready to take pictures. This has been the hardest outfit to keep clean and not have her wear it outside to spoil the reveal so now she can finally wear it . You can find more pictures on my blog here I hope this outfit makes you as joyful to look at as it does me.
VIVA the RAINBOW Nation ( Viva means Long Live)
You can vote over at Project Run and Play Here