I have a dream. That one day I will be the greatest in everything I do.
And a while back I had this wonderful dream, that one day I would be be an awesome designer and seamstress, creating beautiful designs, sewing them perfectly, and being discovered as the next Christian Dior.
I was sure I would give Giorgio Armani a run for his money, make Chanel desire to be a part of my house and run Sylvia Owori out of business. I was going to be the one.
I was also into beaded and African design jewellery and I made my own; sometimes selling a few pieces to friends and colleagues.
And I knew, I just knew, that I needed just one gig that would boost all my designs and make me the next hottest designer in town.
I was convinced that Coco Chanel had nothing on me. I even had a name and a vision for a fashion house complete with a runway and gallery.
Since I was already starting to see where the jewellery business would take me, I felt the need to complement it with my other interest — fashionable wear.
I began drawing designs, imagining runway shows and googling all manner of fashion designs and fashion houses, comparing designs, trying to improve others, and sometimes copying theirs to practise my drawing skills.
And then came the hard part — the actual sewing. I researched on several sewing machines. I bought sewing accessories — thread, needles, tape measure, tailoring pins, pin cushion, fabric shears, tailor’s chalk, tracing paper, seam ripper...you name it. I bought a mini sewing machine to start with as I saved for a more professional one. I read about sewing, bought books on sewing, downloaded free and paid-for patterns. I finally bought a few pieces of different fabric...and my journey began.
I decided I would be the dummy, so I measured myself, wrote down all measurements in a new journal; and cut out the patterns with as much precision as I could muster.
I practiced on a few small pieces of material and then lay down the soon-to-be masterpiece on my work table and began sewing away.
As I was struggling, my friend knocked on my door. She had come to pick up a jewellery order, and was amazed at how far I had come; truthfully, she never believed I would have bought any sewing item or even attempted it. Yet, here I was. She watched excitedly and assured me she would be my first customer.
She even downloaded a number of designs and showed them to me in between juice breaks, promising to send her choice on WhatsApp. Even saying I should look for something that matches with her jewellery set.
I smiled as I toiled away, dreaming of being a sought-after fashion designer, confident that I had done sufficient research and that my first project would automatically become a success…
After about a two-hour struggle, I turned the dress inside-out to see whether my dress was taking shape.
Lo and behold! I had no idea what I was holding. Gunia afadhali.
My ever faithful friend kept turning her head in angles and I could see the questions in her eyes that she clearly did not want to share. I turned the item in different angles and then gave up.
“Maybe I should have started small…” I said.
“Probably. Or you could just practice. You’ll get the hang of it,” she said with a tight smile. “Or stick to jewellery,” she added, looking away and trying to stifle a chuckle.
Uuuuuhhhh, that stung. I should have practiced more before taking on this project. And to think I had promised to make a dress for my mum...
And there went my fashion designing career. But not so fast, I might just try it out again.
PS. Mum thinks I made her dress; but after my gunia garment, I took her fabric to a tailor. I fear she will ask me to make her another one, or worse, make one for a relative or one of her friends.
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