Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2017

The Dress I Sewed in Africa

A free afternoon, a hand-crank sewing machine, and a dress that resembles a sack. Put it all together and what do you get? One very happy Alyssa! I had a plan and it worked out better than I expected.

It started with the sewing machine I found at the pastor's house where I'm staying this month. These hand-crank sewing machines are quite popular here in Ghana. When the pastor's wife learned of my love of sewing, she offered me use of her daughter's sewing machine. So, all month I've been looking for an excuse to use it.

The perfect excuse came when I commented on some pretty fabric one of my squad-mates had in her stack of clean laundry. She told me it was a dress she'd been gifted last month, and I was welcome to it if I wanted it. She didn't want it any more. So, I grabbed the pretty "fabric" off the pile and this is what I found.

The creative wheels in my mind started turning, so I took the dress home. About a week later I had a free afternoon, …

My African Princess Dress

Well, I did it. I bought the fabric, designed the dress, and let someone else sew it.

A couple weeks ago Mable, one of our translators here in Sunyani, Ghana, took a few of us World Racers to a fabric store. It was amazing! So many pretty fabrics to choose from! After admiring everything I left with only two pieces of fabric. . .

Six yards of this red fruit fabric. . .

And six yards of this green and burgundy fabric, covered in trees and flowers and little scrolls that say "dua kur gye enum a obu" (which approximately translates "A tree alone will fall, but if two trees stand together they will remain strong").

I decided to save the red fabric to take home (sometime next year, once I'm reunited with my sewing machine, it will be turned into something) and have the green tree fabric made into a dress.

Once everybody had picked out fabric, Mable took us to her dressmaker's shop. Here we sat down and were handed magazines showing us the latest Ghanaian styles …