Finely Chopped Pieces

Go and sin no more, I assure you that the streets of heaven will be paved with hot, fresh-out-of-the-bubbly pan, golden brown, crisp puff-puff.

Ok, I’ll come clean, my actual agenda at weddings is the finger food a.k.a. Small Chops (SC). No Sir, the rice-moinmoin-plantain-coleslaw-and-chicken combo just won’t cut it.  That’s my Sunday Lunch Holy Grail (SLHG) anyway, and I firmly believe that some things should be kept sacred.

Violet

See, I don’t have time for wedding reception waiters who ignore my meaningful stares, my gently raised eyebrows, pregnant with hints, and that subtle cock of my ‘Yellow Sisi’ head towards the  empty table before me.  I have even less time for those waiters who pretend to take my SC order, promise and then fail to come back with said order. Those ones are real heart breakers, I tell you.

Me? I simply take matters into my own hands. I bypass the meddling-middleman waiter and head off tottering in my high heels, armed with my Ruby Wooed pout (which is all the ammunition that I really need) to the back of the reception hall, where the real action is.

Now, that walk to ‘The Backyard’ must exude dignity, one mustn’t come off looking like a starved person who left home hungry and desperate to eat awoof food. No darling… floaty stride, dainty walk, smile and gaze straight ahead at nothing in particular. 😉

The walk back to one’s seat is even more important, so much at stake! One must exude regal confidence, you are the Queen of queens of Small Chops (insert King of kings, if required).

me

“Oh! SC, where art thou?”

I digress… Ah! The Backyard deserves a post all by itself, the air out there vibrates with mouth-watering energy.  This is where the frying of Puff-puff, the crispening of Samosas, the springing of Spring rolls, the breading of Shrimp, the sticking of mini-Kebabs, and the mashing of Mosas happens live and direct.  And on those God-ordained days when one really wins the SC jackpot, there will also be spicy Asun beaming sunnily at one (see what I did there?).

Once I arrive at my destination, I quickly do a visual scan with my OgaRadar™,  it let’s me know who exudes the most in-chargeness vibe. It is to this Chosen One that I make my polite request for what is due to me, speaking in my clear, natural accent, words properly enunciated etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Yes, I ask for what is rightfully mine. I mean, I paid for the aso-ebi, plus it is my friend that’s getting hitched, so I respectfully demand to be fed.

puffy

McPuffy | Source

But really, how else will I do the Electric Slide? or even komole to Shina Peters? if hot puff-puff has not graced my tummy?

So if you happen to spot me at a wedding reception one Saturday, sweeping past and re-sweeping past you, armed with 2 plates of SC, try not to judge me.  Kindly understand that I did what you might consider “a walk of shame” simply for the agape love of Small Chops.


Fabric shot

Anyway, I used chopped-up pieces of 3 different fabrics (Daviva ankara, soft lace, and pure silk) to make this shift dress with a pleated peplum hem. Using the quilting technique, I cut and joined square-shaped, 4 by 4 inches pieces. The printed motif on the ankara was conveniently square-shaped.

Chops

While sewing, I underlined the lace with the silk, I like how the deep pink peeks prettily through the lace. I’d like to add that pure silk is even more slippery than an eel, it just kept shifting and changing shape!

Quilt stitch

Quilted down|Stitching in the ditch

35 square pieces produced a 20 x 28 inches quilt .  I used black Aba lining as my backing material/bottom layer and ‘stitched in the ditch’, by sewing between the seams of the “chops” in the top, to join both layers.

Shift pattern

Modified bodice block:  Front and Back

The pattern that I used is simply a vertical extension of my self-drafted bodice pattern, I simply ignored both the waist darts and also added some ease at the waist shaping originally done at the side seams, as I wanted a slightly boxy silhouette. I chose a simple jewel neckline and short, slightly fitted sleeves.

Back neck hem

Back view before attaching sleeves | Bias bound neckline (inside) | Double layered pleats

While, attaching the invisible zipper at the back, I made sure to perfectly align the printed motifs on the ankara fabric at the Centre Back (CB) seam.  The neckline edge was finished with a one-inch wide bias strip cut from black poly silk fabric,  I first under-stitched and then did hand-sewn discrete slip stitches.  Apart from the quilted front, the dress is unlined.

Jewel hem sleeve

Jewel neckline | Double-layered peplum | Sleeve

I sewed two layers of knife pleats, to give the peplum hem more body and flounce, the ankara fabric was used for the shorter, outer layer and a black poly silk fabric for the longer, inner layer. The rolled hem technique was used in hemming both the outer peplum and the sleeves.  I opted to finish the inner peplum hem with pinking shears, as I wanted the zig-zag frayed look.

smiles

I love my new dress, it’s fun and girly. 🙂

Sign

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87 comments

  1. I’m totally envious of your mannequin. They are so expensive I’m feeling too stingy to get one since I barely practice anymore. My sewing machine is gathering dust in the cellar and my scissors have been put to use for other stuff!!!!
    Beautiful dress and about those small chops, well I say go get em !!!

    Like

  2. I just came across your blog today and I’ve been completely glued to it. What you do is amazing and all the sewing tips I’ve learned I can’t thank you enough for!
    Btw, where did you get your dress form? I think I saw in one of your posts that you got it in Accra… I’d like to get one too and I’m in Gh. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tobi,

      Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind words, I am always happy to meet a fellow sewing enthusiast. 🙂

      I have sent you an email with the dress form details.

      Enjoy the rest of the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My mum is the Queen of Queens at these events. She will get up & march to the action side. When she’s through with them, waiters will be following her with food to serve everyone on our table. She nor dey joke with that kin tin especially if no be only her waka come!
    Looovely dress! I need to go learn basic quilting so I can try this. Question is: will I be patient enough to follow it through?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @ “waiters will be following her with food” 😄

      Ah! Indeed your mum is the Queen of ALL Queens. I love her style, she’s a real boss lady.

      Thank you so much! Lol… A massive dose of patience is required for quilting, but it’s worth it in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Preye,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

      Aww, I don’t sew commercially because of my full time 9-5. Hopefully, my sewing hobby will make the transition to a business venture someday.

      Have a lovely weekend.

      Like

  4. I love puff puff but the sad thing is simply looking at it makes me gain weight… I’m not exaggerating.
    It’s a good thing we’re not the same size… I’d steal all your clothes if I could, they’re soooo beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You tell it girl! After forking out a ridiculous amount for Aso-ebi you may never get to wear again, you own that puff-puff or meat pie or chin-chin and groundnut and that minuscule piece of cake that might never get to your table. Claim it!

    I demand to be fed at weddings too. I say no to fish head in my coconut rice.

    haha. Hilarious post. I like how you always come up with clever anecdotes and manage to weave it into your sewing posts. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi SEG,

      Your comment left me in stitches, I almost fell to the floor in a giggly heap, from laughing so hard at “fish head in my coconut rice” 😄

      Thank you so much for reading.

      Have a great rest-of-the-week!

      Like

  6. About Sc…haha! Now that’s hilarious. And to your reply on the first comment….you aren’t there to count people’s gele. Oh girl..
    can’t stop laughing. Love your style when it comes to looking for the SC. By the way,your dress looks amazing. I can imagine the time and stress you put into it,just like granny squares in Crochet. Thumbs up!

    modhancrochet.blogspot.com

    Like

  7. Father lord!!! The amount of work I think has been put into the making of this dress!!!!!! Respect!!!!
    As for SC, for some months now, I have developed some kind of policy against going for events where I dont know the people who can make things happen. By things, I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. That said, if it is an event of one of my personal persons, I have 0 shame in my game!!! Nada! Zilch! I will konk someone’s head, if need be!
    And if it is an attachee by force event, the person who has taken me there will know no peace until “things” are made available to me. Yes, it is that serious! I didnt leave my house for no’ng!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah! HD, your comment cracked me up 😄

      Lol @ “zero shame in my game”. Yes oh, I didn’t leave my house to count other people’s geles.

      Thank you so much!

      Like

  8. I respectfully disagree. Your love for small chops is not Agape, it is Eros. I mean, you admire the springiness of spring rolls, the puffiness of puff puff and the sunniness of Asun. You’re deep in food lust my friend and now, so am I.
    The dress, WOW! I’ve had a vague idea in my head about patchworks and quilting and you just put me through. Thanks.
    By the way, I’ve been wondering, where did you learn to sew? And is your machine electric? If it is, what make is it? I’m researching and saving up to get a new electric one and I’d love to know your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Uju dear,

      I knew your comment would be nothing less than witty and thought-provoking. 😄

      No, No, No, I see your point but, I promise you I thought carefully before adding the prefix ‘Agape’. Lol,

      You see…my love for Small Chops is a selfless type of love, with no lustful implications whatsoever. I really care deeply about SC, hence the almost respectful admiration. This is quite obvious when you see me munching delicately on a spring roll or tossing puff puff balls with oh! such grace into my mouth. I really savour the eating experience.

      On the other hand, for those who mindlessly devour and chomp, chomp, chomp, ‘Eros’ is apt. 😉

      Thank you so much, you are most welcome. I actually did a short course in dressmaking and pattern drafting, here in Lagos. I have both a manual sewing machine (Color Lion) and an electric sewing machine (Privileg). I also have an electric serger (Emel). I’ll send you an email with my thoughts.

      Have a blessed week!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I love that we can relate on sewing. I learnt the freehand way but gravitated personally to patterns because it’s more of a science which I relate better to. Less guesswork. Cold hard facts. I love that you get that.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. I love your new dress too. I want your new dress 😠
    Girrrl your SC moves are on check. Lmao! I need to stop hoping for fortune to shine on me and direct a stray SC waiter my way. I don’t even look directly at the food being offered me until it’s on the table before me, then I say a mildly surprised “thank you”. It’s an art I’ve mastered to hide my true foodie nature.
    No I need to take my destiny into my own hands and go after my rights. I’ll work on my “Nedoux SC strut”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sandra,

      Thank you so much. I enjoyed reading your comment, it left me in stitches. 😄

      Ah! I used your coded method in the past,- “lashes lowered, gaze averted, tummy rumbling, hoping they’d notice me” until I decided to take it a notch higher and take “my destiny into my own hands”.

      Yes dear, practise, practise, practise! I know you’ll be a pro at the Nedoux SC Strut. 😀

      Have a wonderful weekend.

      Like

  10. They pass me by a lot and me forming to be a lady won’t stand up to do your walk of shame…..Would be glad to tag along with you on one of those walking days..atleast someone to do the walk of shame for us.

    Your dress is really lovely….Crafted hands

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ogonna,

      I know what you mean, I am more than happy to be your “W.o.S” partner 😄

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Have a great rest-of-the week.

      Like

  11. Gorgeous dress, I like the pleated hemline and you have a very funny writing voice! Also, you seem to have nailed how to get your SC dues at a wedding to an art form! I must admit that when I’m in Naij, I dont go to weddings much but when I do, it seems I’m the only Long Throat and all the ladies are sitting pretty with mouths firmly shut. So its nice to read that you like to get involved with the cuisine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Biki,

      I sincerely appreciate your kind words.

      Lol, I’ve found that there’s humour in most things, if we’d only let ourselves see the funny side of life…

      “Long Throat” cracked me up. Ah! I do like to get involved when there’s food involved 😉

      Have a super nice rest-of-the-week!

      Like

  12. It is 6.00am here and I am laughing out loud on my own. This is your best so far. I love the dress, love the humour and every describing words used to tell this story! The only thing that got to me is the photo of the puffpuff. I have not eaten them in over 15 years now. I dont know how and have never tried to make them. But thank you anyway for filling my morning with laughter.x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Yvonne,

      You are most welcome, I am so glad this brightened your morning. 😀

      Thank you so much for reading.

      Crisp, hot puff-puff is really something, I’ve never tried to make them too. Perhaps I should, 9ja Foodie has an excellent recipe.

      Have a fantastic rest-of-the-week!

      Like

  13. *collects one plate of small chops from Nedoux and proceeds to munch happily on a spring roll*

    Until her eyes fall on an empty spot on the plate.

    *in a falsetto and not minding the liberal bits of half-eaten spring rolls that escape from her mouth she shouts*

    “Warris dis … No … No way! Diaris no kpoff kpoff! What kind of parry is this with no kpoff kpoff? I’m going home!”

    As she gets up, waiter approaches with tray of fried rice, coleslaw and chicken.

    “On second thoughts …. Let me just manage!”

    Lol! I just had to. 😀

    Of course the dress is lovely, but I was hoping you’d twirl in it! There’s still time.

    *whispering* “Twirl, twirl, twirl …”

    Have a lovely “small-chop-filled” week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All hail the master story teller! My dear Sharon, your mind is brilliant, I enjoyed reading this 😄

      Thank you so much. You are so right, I really wanted to twirl so badly for the photographs. Yes, plenty of time to twirl away, lol

      I sure will, hehehe…

      Have a splendid week!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh my! Where have I been all your life?!… Ehm, or vice versa! Now, I know why I liked you before I met you!

    Believe me, we would make a good team in the ‘walk of shame’ trust me. For the love of SC, I have learnt that the “good things happen to those who wait” does not apply o. Lol

    Neat job on the dress and it really is beautiful. I like your choice of fabrics too. And your use of words is topic for another day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Abeni,

      Your comment made me feel so warm and fuzzy, I sincerely appreciate your kind words.

      😄 You are hilarious, I agree with you, “The patient dog does not get the fattest bone” when it comes to SC. Lol

      Thank you, I am so glad that you came by.

      Have a beautifully blessed week!

      Like

    1. Hi Diana,

      Thank you so much, I am always happy to help. I’ve learned that practice (plus google) makes perfect!

      Indeed it is. 😄

      Have a great week.

      Like

    1. Hello Timi,

      Thank you so much, “Clever” is one of my favourite words. 🙂

      Some wedding party waiters have a naughty habit of “selective serving” that’s based on some secret criteria. I have a strong hunch that it is based on the height of one’s gele headwrap, the higher it is, the faster the service. Lol

      Have a lovely weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Lol….no judgment here. You are hilarious especially when it come to “SC”. Now onto this dress…..perfection. The work you put into this dress is truly amazing and it really paid off. Beautiful fabric choices and wonderfully executed. Girllllll you throw down in the sewing room and at wedding (lol) 😉 ……I love it!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Lady T,

      Thank you for not judging me 😀

      I really like the way the dress turned out. I sincerely appreciate your kind words, thank you so much for always reading.

      Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Maureen,

      You could learn little by little, then your wish would come true 🙂

      There are loads of sewing tutorials online. I am compiling a list in the “How to sew” page, you might find it helpful.

      Have a lovely rest-of-the-week.

      Like

  16. So lovely and elegant. Glad I found your page. I’m actually making something similar for a wedding next week but with a gathered peplum and no quilting. Started with a long dress but fell out of love with that.
    Wow, if you hadn’t mentioned it, I wouldn’t have know it wasn’t one fabric at first glance.
    Really nice.
    How long did the quilting take?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Chidi,

      Thank you so much 🙂

      The quilting was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. I can’t say exactly how long it took to make that portion of the dress, as I worked for a short while each day over a couple of days. If I had concentrated fully on it, I probably would have been done in a day or two.

      One lesson that I learned with the quilting, is to make sure the square pieces are actually identical in dimension so that the edges align perfectly from row to column.

      Have a nice week.

      Like

  17. If I hadn’t read the whole post I won’t have known you used lace and silk!
    I thought that was how the fabric was! I think I remember this quilting technique, it was called ‘patches’ in tailoring school, I saved up fabrics to do it but never had the time.
    I love peplum hemmed dresses, it’ scaled a trumpet dress or skirt or top. I love it. Oh and Aba lining is bae, I don’t know how anyone can use China lining (no shade please).
    Back to SC, I don’t bother with it at weddings, if my friend or relation invited me to the wedding because they know who is getting married I simply lay my complaints to them, otherwise I attend ‘family’ weddings with my dad and of course they’d serve us lol.
    Sorry for the long comment. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Bookie,

      Thank you for reading. You know I appreciate long, juicy comments like yours.

      Yes, quilting involves “patching”. Patchwork is stitching pieces together to form a top for a quilt. This stitchery then becomes a quilt when three layers come together. The patched top, the middle layer (thick wadding for warmth) and a backing layer. With my dress, I skipped the middle wadding.

      You are very correct, the silhouette is also referred to as a Trumpet hem dress. Lol, I prefer Aba lining too, it’s much more durable compared to China lining.

      “Of course they’d serve us” made me chuckle, some wedding reception waiters have a funny habit of gauging the guests and placing them on a scale of importance using a score card known only to them, as if hunger isn’t spelt H.U.N.G.E.R universally. 😄

      Have a great week!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hiya,

      “Commandeer of the Backyard” I love the way that sounds 😄

      Thank you so much, I agree with you, it does looks great. Have a wonderful week.

      Kind regards,

      “CB”

      Like

  18. Very funny write up on how u go after small chops at events…LOL…..Lovely dress. I so look forward to rocking one of your lovely dresses and skirts…well done

    Like

    1. Hello Ebi,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I really enjoyed making this dress, and I was so eager to see how it would turn out. 😀

      You should, I look forward to reading about it in your lovely blog.

      Have a super week!

      Like

  19. Very hilarious 😁. “I paid for the aso ebi” following every chop chop (big or small) at the wedding is as of right. (legal jargon ). 😅

    The outcome is beautiful and the dress is the perfect length for a chic and girly look. Can’t wait for you to make my own small chops inspired dress.

    Like

    1. My dearest designated lawyer, Indeed, it is! 😄

      Thank you so much, I really like the outcome. Yes, the length is perfect, can be dressed up or down with heels or flats. You know I will sew day and night just for you.

      Have a blessed week!

      Like

  20. ooooooh my goodness. I’m laughing out so loud, everyone in the office thinks I’m nuts. I would def love to sit with you during weddings and other social events as I’m sure to get small chops.

    And yes, that dress.. hmmm, just make sure you don’t ever invite me over o. It’s so lovely.

    With all that said, I dub thee ‘Small chops goddess’.

    Epiphany29.com | Weekend Recap

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Gracey,

      I hope your weekend went well. Lol, we can be wedding reception seat-mates. I love the title, makes me feel so special, and it’s made all the “walks of shame” so worthwhile 😀

      Hehehe! a comprehensive insurance cover has since been purchased for Sisi Clara and all my dresses. Thank you so much for always reading. Have a super week!

      Warm regards,
      “Small Chops Goddess”

      Liked by 1 person

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