Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Necessity is the mother of invention (or I´d rather make something from scratch than do laundry by hand)

Well, that bout of malaria totally stole my sewing mojo!  I have only completed a few things this month, mostly underpants for my son.  I made him several pairs during the 8-1/2 day power outage during which I could not do laundry.  It was either that or buy more (bc I really didn´t want to wash them by hand).

Have I mentioned just how expensive things are here in Angola?  It is, after all, the second most expensive city in the world.  (http://www.mercer.com/costoflivingpr#City_rankings)  This is largely due to the cost of housing, but almost everything is ridiculously expensive, especially if you are comparing prices to the USA.  Here is an example:

The exchange rate is 90-100 kwanzas per US dollar.  So, that´s $38 for a Bakugan and $60 for a 5 pack of Hot Wheels!!
A pair of boy´s boxer briefs costs about $12 at our local superstore.  I think that´s too expensive, especially when the quality is suspect as well.  It´s not like he will be wearing these things for years.

Have I mentioned how quickly clothes wear out here in Africa?  It might be the poor quality detergent, the water, hanging clothes on the clothesline..... not sure.  But it´s really true.  I always thought my husband was giving away or losing his clothes when he would come back to CA after visiting Angola insisting he needed to buy new clothes because so many of his had worn out.  But I swear, things I bought less one year ago already have wash wear and holes!

Anyway, the point is, I decided to make him some myself!  And of course, I do have a stash of knits after all (I wish I could say the same for elastic).  So, here is most of his new stash of custom undies (he helped in the fabric and elastic choices for some of these).

UNDIES OVER AFRICA....


These sewed up so quickly and easily.  I´m sure I will be making him even more. He really loves them. I am currently working on making a pdf sewing pattern for these.  So, sometime soon, you could make some of your very own too!

I only managed to complete one other thing since contracting malaria, a pair of sleep shorts for my husband for Fathers Day.  These were made to his spec´s to replace a pair that wore out (remember what I said about Angola being hard on clothes?).



Unfortunately, I couldn´t talk him into modeling them.  Oh well.  He likes them and they fit just like he wanted.  And I even got them done for Fathers Day night! 

In other sewing news, I have a dress for myself cut out at the moment.  It will be perfect for the 4th of July because I am using a plaid in similar colors to those sleep shorts.  I won´t start sewing it though until I make some pants for my nephew who is about to turn 13.  And I have to make a pair for each of my kids too.  This is my first attempt at a Farbenmix pattern with lots of embellishments, and it´s all in German (yikes!).  I am really excited about these!  Click here to see the pattern I am using and what some others have made with it.  Oh! and did I mention that my nephew´s birthday party is at our house this Saturday?  I guess you know what I´ll be doing.....

4 comments:

JulieT said...

They are great undies and I am glad you are feeling better after the Malaria What a bummer about the power!

MoederKip said...

Super cute undies - your son has good taste in fabric ;)

margo said...

they look great :) Aand when you run out of elastic you can use a band of cotton / lycra (or spandex) knit fabric. I do this and it works perfectly well but it needs the lycra / spandex component.

dawnberries said...

Thanks! I thought about doing that, Margo. I have made karate/yoga pants with that type of waistband. Sadly, I have almost no knits with lycra. That´s what I get for being hung up on natural fibers....