What to Wear in Madagascar- Part 2


My daughter has been in the Peace Corps in Madagascar for the past 2 years and 3 months, and she came home to visit for a few weeks this month.  Before she left in 2016,  I made her some clothes to wear, and blogged about them here in this post.  Those clothes have been worn to shreds by now, and she is extending her stay by one year, so she wanted some new things to wear!  There's not much that I can do for her 12,000 miles away, but I can sew, and I'm happy to support her in any way that I can.

What she found when she got there is that really, anything goes clothing-wise in Madagascar.  They can wear pants, skirts, dresses- anything at all as long as it isn't too hot.  Where she is at, which is in the north,  never really gets cool- just hot weather, followed by really hot and humid weather, or the rainy season, as she calls it.  So, in figuring out what to make, it really was all about comfort- breathable and lightweight fabrics were the priority.




Within minutes of arriving home, she was raiding my closet.  She claims that it's just like shopping at a store.  Even though she's not my size, she has quite the nose for clothes, and the first things that she picked out was my Vogue 9305 tunics that I had just made.  How did she know that I had just made them?  So, I knew that I wanted to make her one of her own.  We waffled back and forth for weeks about what fabric to use, and finally decided on a floral rayon jersey.  She had also discovered a pair of linen pants, and decided that they were pretty awesome.  So I made her her own pair of pants from an avocado green linen from Fabric Mart's designer linen section.


For her version, I shortened it 3 inches and also cut it a size smaller than her measurements, since I was using a really stretchy knit.  It's really pretty on her, and hopefully it will hold up. Rayon knits are not the best for longevity, so I was a little hesitant on this one, but told her not to wash it very often.  I'm sure that the pants will hold up- that linen will wear forever.  I just used an basic Kwik Sew pant pattern with pockets for it.



Next was the Kielo Wrap Dress from Named patterns.  I had just made myself one, and of course, she wanted one for herself.  I can't say enough good things about this pattern- easy, chic, and fits great!  I made hers out of a hot pink linen knit.  Someday, I'll blog about my version.



Here she is in her supermodel pose:


And here she is more like in real life, goofy.


We got so many good pictures of this one.  We're at Allerton Park, which is a beautiful public garden in central Illinois.






Next on the list was a tank top that she wanted me to copy from another tank top that she had bought. I traced off the pieces, and did my best at recreating it.  I made her a couple of these- this one is from a polyester crepe like fabric that is really pretty.  See the bag next to her?  Those are made in Madagascar, and her sister had given me one when she visited last summer.  I love it.  It's my favorite to take grocery shopping.



I also made it out of a green quilting cotton.  I told her that it wouldn't drape as well, but it still looks cute, and green is a great color on her.


And the last thing that I had actually made for me a couple of year ago,  but since I wasn't wearing it, and she liked it, it ended up in her suitcase.  It is a pair of wide leg wrap pants from Vogue 9191.    I just had to shorten them to fit her.  She's wearing them with a black linen t-shirt, so that the pants can be the star of the show.




So, she's already back in Madagascar, and looking forward to another year there.  I will probably be visiting myself later this year, so there may be a What to Wear in Madagascar, Part 3!  Or maybe not- I have a feeling that my suitcase will be filled with books to deliver to her, as she reads a lot, and books in English are few and far between.  She's been in an isolated village with no internet, no TV.  We've been able to talk to her every couple of weeks, and have tried to keep her up to date on what's been going on in the US, but she really can't keep track of it all.  Can you imagine not hearing everyday about politics for the last two years?


Here she is showing off how she can carry things on her head, one of many skills she's learned while there, including cooking over an open fire, rice farming, speaking Malagasy, and many more!  If you'd like to learn more about her experience, you can check out her blog at Recklessly Freckling.

Happy Sewing!!
Ann

12 comments

  1. I'm new to your blog and I was delighted to meet your daughter in this post and see what you'd sewn up for her. I think Vogue oughta give you a pile of free patterns b/c I found you thru your 9305 tunics - I bought the pattern today- and there are lots of folks whom you are inspiring! Certainly your blog post was far better than their pattern photos......

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    1. Oh, I wish Vogue would agree with you! I'd love a pile of free patterns! Thank you so much!

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  2. I would like to come shop in your closet as well. I love all the clothes you made for her. Do you remember where you found the stretch linen? I don't think I knew they made linen with stretch. Is it easy to sew with? Looking forward to seeing your Madagascar wardrobe.

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    1. Hi Sandy, Yes, I do remember! I got it at Fabric Mart. I also have it in a turquoise which I saved for myself! They don't have it right now though.

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  3. Your daughter is lovely! What a blessing you can sew for her all these beautiful clothes! I'm intrigued by the wide-leg pants, Vogue 9191. Looking at the pattern I wouldn't have been interested, but I love your version!

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    1. Thank you, Karla! The reason that I didn't wear it was because it has a tendency to separate when you sit down, showing the sides of your legs all the way up. My daughter who is 24, doesn't seem to mind this, but me, at 55, felt that this was too much! So, keep that in mind. I think safety pins in the right places might help.

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  4. What a labor of love for you to create so many amazing garments for your daughter! I know the time you shared together was precious, and she will likely think of you a lot as she puts on the things you have sewn. In 5th grade we had a Peace Corp representative in Fiji who we wrote letters to back and forth (yes, there was no Internet yet), and I fondly remember when we would receive correspondence about the work and adventures of our rep at the time. What amazing memories your daughter will have!

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    1. That's a really cool idea about corresponding with a 5th grade class! I bet the Peace Corp volunteer really looked forward to your letters. Yes, she has really experienced a lot in two years!

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  5. Love the clothes, and Allerton Park as well! We went to U of I, and one of my professors was on the board there. All of us landscape architecture students had to visit one time or another.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, Allerton is one of my favorite places. Went there to 4-H Camp as a child, and most recently they started having yoga sessions in the meadow! It's really inspiring.

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  6. Ann, I found your post because of the Keilo dress (it's been so hot in Michigan I've considered what can I make from linen this summer!) and what a lovely surprise to see Allerton as well! I, too, am a graduate of the Landscape Architecture department...as Mountain Woman said, a requirement, but one I welcomed. Is Fabric Mart an on-line source? Love all your creations! Your daughter is lucky to have all those beautiful additions!

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! What a small world it is! Yes, here is the web address of Fabric Mart for you: https://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/
      They have great prices on linen as well! I'm going to try to get out to Allerton again this month- summer is beautiful there.

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