It is an old attire which is made from the ancient 'Aso-Oke', an old fabric known with the Yotruba's, But, over the years, the attire had transformed into a modern-day dress which even the millennials wear to express themselves in a different style.
''Oleku'' a prominent design of Iro and Buba took prominence over the long-tailed Iro worn in the '60s. It is a short-'Iro', sewn to reach the ankle and also to lift the back-side of the women who wore them.
Iro and Buba are relatively easy to sew, as it does not involve enormous technicality aside from precision on how the blouse- Buba and Iro-wrapper would stay fit on the body of the person wearing it.
To sew a good-looking Iro and Buba.
1. Get your materials
The materials you'll need to sew a perfect-sized Iro and Buba include,
A very good fabric of your choice
and a French curve
2. Take your measurement
If this is for you, you'll need a friend to help you make his measurement but if you're sewing for someone, take these measurements;
1. Hips circumference - A woman's hips are often the largest circumference for most women. Measure the largest circumference between the hips, waist, and bust.
2. Measure the mid-back from the wrist, elbow, or to any desired sleeve length.
3. Buba length - I usually use 28 inches for mine but often this is the nape point (where the neck meets the shoulder).
3. Choosing your fabric
If you're using the popular Ankara fabric, get a 45-48 inch length fabric, about 6 yards. For lace, guinea brocade, velvet, or any other fabric with a double length of 52 to 60 inches, get 5 yards.
4. Cutting your Iro - Wrapper
The Woman's size often determines the size of the wrapper that would be used. but the standard size of Iro are;
2 yards and 9 inches
2 yards and 12 inches
2 yards and 8 inches. respectively.
You may need to use up to 2 and a half yards for plus-size women.
If you're using Ankara which is not up to 52 inches in length, cut out a yard of the Ankara fabric. Divide it into three equal parts- in a horizontal manner. Do a joining of these three divisions together and sew it to the edge of the Iro/Wrapper.
5. Buba - Blouse
After carefully cutting out your Iro/wrapper, take a measurement of your Buba along the selvage of the remaining fabric. Double or fold your material into two halves( you should have a vertical shape).
Turn the fabric over such that the fold is now in a horizontal manner and it's at the top. Calculating the hips circumference add 4 inches and divide by 2.
Cut out the value you get from your fabric and add a one-inch seam allowance. Fold the fabric you just cut out - fold it out vertically.
You're supposed to have four layers at this point and then measure its width. Note this down as it would be used to determine the length of the sleeve.
If you have a 52-60 inch length fabric, which should be enough to cut out the sleeves, first, cut out your neckline. The neckline should be cut at that corner where both the upper part and the sides of the four layers have been folded.
A normal standard Buba neckline are measured as;
3 inches by 4 inches
4 inches by 5 inches
5 inches by 6 inches
Choose any one of these base on how wide you want the Buba neckline to look.
Subtract the width of your Buba from what was measured earlier when the fabric was folded in four from the center back to the wrist or elbow, to get the length of the sleeves.
You'll have the sleeve from the fold of the leftover fabric that was divided into four after folding it.
7. Gele - Head tie
Your traditional Iro and Buba are incomplete without a proper head tie. The leftover fabrics after cutting your sleeves, Buba, and wrapper.
There you have your Iro and Buba, ready for sewing. Try these first with unused material if you're a newbie.
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