Original Yellow Sisi

A friend and I were visiting Cape Town. By the end of a day spent doing touristy things, we were tired and quite desperate to hop into a taxi and get some rest.

We had a bit of difficulty finding a taxi stand, so we decided to ask a kind-faced South African lady.

The following conversation ensued:

Us: Hello, where can we find a Cab |KAB|, please?

Her: *puzzled look* Cab? |KAB|

Us: *big smile* Yes, a Cab |KAB|

Her: *bewildered look* You want a Cab? |KAB|

Us: *slightly slackened smile* Yes, a Cab |KAB|

We went back and forth like this for ten seconds or so. At this point, I was thinking “Oh sweet Baby Jesus, in your cute little Mothercare onesie, sucking at your crucifix-shaped pacifier, please help us all understand each other”.


Her: *looking more confused than ever* You mean a Baby Lion?!

I had my aha! moment right then and there, when I realised what had just happened, and I roared with laughter (spot the pun).

Us: Oh Noooo! We need a Taxi

Her: Ooooh! You meant a Cab |KEB|

Us: Yessss!

Well, Mma Phonetics, the beautiful Calabar mistress of Zeus (If you find this doubtful, go study the mythical Greek-Nigerian mythology), had just shown us that her shiny brass eting hair pin is actually a double-edged sword that pierces one, this way and that way.

  • Baby Lion:
    Nigeria- Cub |KUB|
    South Africa- Cub |KAB|
  • Taxi:
    Nigeria- Cab |KAB|
    South Africa – Cab |KEB|.

Likewise, Perspective is also a double-edged sword. Half-full. Half-empty. Lemons. Lemonade. One’s choice of perspective is the epicenter of their power, their peace, or lack of it.

How to sew a bra cup bustier dress

Anyway, once I regained 75% flexibility in my ankle, 2 months post-cast removal, I started to drive. I was also able to press down on the sewing machine pedal comfortably (I sew with my right foot).

Cast was off, I wasn’t going to pine or whine about the lost months or slow start to my year or delayed plans. What happened had happened. I was going to move and keep moving. That was my preferred perspective.

I hadn’t sewn for five months, I decided I wanted to resume by making a celebration dress in a happy colour.

I chose a maxi dress with a bra-cup bustier bodice and gathered skirt. Fabric was a lemon-yellow printed cotton, which I bought from an ankara seller at Balogun market, and lining was a synthetic raw silk.

Pattern modification – I started with a basic sloper set, the front bodice pattern had a shoulder bust dart. I did 100% bust dart increase, under-bust tightening and developed the bra cups. A total of 6 panels emerged from the process, 2 from the back pattern and 4 from the front pattern.

I sewed up a toile to fit the pattern and made a few adjustments. I find that a test garment is essential when making elaborate designs.

Then I cut the shell and lining pieces.

How to sew a bustier with bra cups

I later attached fusible interfacing to the lining pieces to give more structure so it could support the boning strips, and also inserted under-wiring beneath the lining cups.

Used a flared skirt for the lining piece and gathered skirt for the shell piece.

I do hope your preferred perspective is always as sunshiny bright as my dress.



Portraits by Chuck Daniels Photography



  1. I love your posts. You have inspired me for a while. Your comment on perspective being a source of power and peace was so needed. I’ve taken a couple of years to learn about sewing, fitting and drafting. I would beat myself up because of perfectionism and feeling like I’m not progressing fast enough. Now, I’ve realized that I do have to mess up in order to get better and it takes time to get better, especially if you’ve never touched a sewing machine or anything. Sending love from USA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi lady,

      Thank you so much for stopping by.

      Perfection is sooo overrated! I got better at sewing while learning from my mistakes.

      I do hope you’ll continue with sewing, it’s such a beautiful skill.

      Have a lovely week 😘


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