A long time ago, someone very close to me went to Kenya with Free The Children and brought me back a Masai Shuka, which is an African blanket that the Masai Tribe of Kenya would wear.
It was so beautiful, but SO big. Like there was no way I could wear it as a scarf without drowning in it. I tried styling it a few different ways but always felt like I couldn’t get it to work…so I debated cutting it and turning it into something wearable for months, but I was nervous I’d screw it up and ruin the entire thing.
Let’s fast forward to almost a year and a half after receiving the Shuka. My skills as a badgyal seamster had grown, so I decided to pull the Shuka out of my stash…and just go for it!
My skills as a badgyal seamster had grown, so I decided to pull the Shuka out of my stash…and just go for it!
So I settled on making a dress with two layers of skirt and pattern matched the entire thing. It was my first time doing that and I was pretty happy with how it turned out! Even the shoulder seams are pattern matched! I left the edges raw because I thought it looked cool (and was also one less thing to do ha!).
To piece the entire thing together, I used pieces of various patterns I had lying around:
Skirt – McCall’s Stitch N Save #3287 (shortened to 20″ length for the longer skirt and 17″ for the shorter one)
Bodice – Simplicity #1827
Sleeves – Simplicity – inspired by Project Runway #1650
Shoes: Zara | Watch: Skagen | Fabric: Shuka
Photographer: Ahilan K.
The Shuka Dress