Have you ever visited the Ankara (African) fabric shops on Petticoat Lane in East London? If not, you should! The variety of prints and colours are mind boggling and most of the shops are incredibly cheap, you can pick up 6 yards (they all measure in yards, not metres), for £15.
Aaron has been saying he wants Ankara print pyjamas for months now, so a few weeks ago we took a trip down to Petticoat Lane. We went in every single shop and spent over an hour picking out the print he wanted. There is honestly SO much choice it’s kind of overwhelming. Most of the fabrics are printed in Holland using the traditional wax method. There are different traditions associated with the different patterns and colours, which relate to particular African countries. One of the shop owners told us about some of the differences and I’d love to go and ask him for more detail soon – I’d love to write a whole blog post on them!
Eventually Aaron picked this bright yellow and green pattern, a close second was a purple with geese all over it… I picked up the pyjama pattern from Ray Stitch in Islington. It’s unisex which is handy because I’m going to make pyjamas for everyone for Christmas!
The pattern was really simple and the fabric is super easy to use. It’s stiff and quite thick so there’s hardly any need for pins. Apparently the stiffness makes it good for the sculptural headdresses and clothes that the African women make.
One of the conditions under which I agreed to make Aaron these pyjamas was that he HAD to let me photograph him and blog them afterwards. You’re welcome.
After making the pyjamas I thought I’d round the whole thing off (and add some hilarity) with an eye mask. He’s been wearing this creepy one that I got given at the Annabelle screening H and I went to with beauty vlogger Hannah. Waking up in the night and seeing those eyes staring at me has given me plenty of night frights so I decided to cover and banish them forever. I cut a piece of fabric the right shape then used some gold bias binding to stitch it in place and cover the raw edges.
The whole outfit is hilarious, I giggle every time he walks into a room, but it strangely suits him. Time to get started making everyone else’s Christmas pyjamas, it’s going to be fun picking prints to suit everybody – who wants the geese?