April 27, 2009
Well, not the hand-sewn white-with-sport-coat kanzu of traditional Uganda weddings and introduction ceremonies, but fortunately the on-line dictionary definitions say this long robe worn by East African men is “usually white.” And it’s my not my first attempt; I’ve made two. Both were made from Simplicity Pattern #8895.
Both my 2006 and 2009 kanzu were made for my foster son’s father.. They’re both all-over patterns, not white, because white is too hard to keep clean (I’m sure that’s why white is a ceremonial color). They both have chest pockets, because there needed to be a place for chewing tobacco. (I’ve also seen a pretty big roll of cash tucked casually into a kanzu pocket.)
In 2006 I followed the pattern and cut the center slit as far down as shown. That’s pretty far. Then I had to find frogs, dye the frogs (because I could find only white frogs), stitch the frogs. The result was this, which I have to say looks pretty good on the wearer.
But this time I made the neck opening just big enough to accommodate the head.
Both versions have the curved yoke, in the same pattern; hard to see. Next time I’m doing the straight-line yoke, so as to lessen the anxiety about symmetry. Maybe I’ll be organized enough to choose fabric a contrasting yoke. And right now, I’m cutting down the sleeves. But it still will be done in time in time for delivery.