Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Buying a tailor sewn designer dress for only 6 dollars - cheap and easy

One afternoon in Tukuyu I took my girlfriend out to spend a dress on her. Before going to Tanzania Nabil had showed us a nice suit he got made in Mbeya for 20 dollars, so we talked about making a copy of a high fashion dress.
In the Copenhagen airport my girl and my little sister bought 3 woman magazines. I didn't understand why they wanted to pay for 3 different ones when every woman magazine (in Denmark) are hopelessly similar. Anyway, of course they had a plan invisible from my male perspective.
When the day came in Tukuyu where my girl couldn't wait any longer to go to the tailor I realised that she was well prepared. She had chosen a dress from the fashion section of one magazine and made her own drawing of how she planned the back of the dress. It turned out that the tailor had a even better suggestion for the back.
We took a dalla dalla to Tukuyu. Jumping of the bus we met a guy, Jackson, that we previously had exchanged English and Swahili with at Bongo Camping. He was waiting for the bus to Songea where he would do some business. But instead of taking the bus he took us through the lividly market to the tailors of Tukuyu. There are about 10 tailor shops in the same street so I had imagined that we could easily check out which looked most appropriate for copying western fashion. It turned out that on the outside they all looked alike (like woman magazines) so how to find the tailor with the right competencies!?
Jackson had no doubt – he took us to a woman in her early twenties by the end of the tailor street. In no time she understood, with the translation of Jackson and by looking at the picture of the dress and my girls drawing, how to make the dress. We went out with her 50 meter to the fabrics street to buy the fabric that my girl wanted. Then she told us to come back kesho (tomorrow) and we payed half of the price of 6 dollars – all inclusive!!
Like that she was gone. I grabbed my girls arm: “hey, she didn't take your measures!!” But the tailor had taken the needed measures – apparently while we were trying to express how to make the dress. I was impressed so far. And my girl, all hyper, couldn't wait to see the result.
The result was brilliant I would say. And we went back to get some more made – also one for my sister. Beautiful dresses for beautiful girls. And, they say, highly fashionable anno 2008!

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