Traditional With a Twist – Buba and Iro

Hey y’all!!! Here’s my #sundayflow from last week, ha!

I have said before that I am not really into wearing trad. When I say trad, I mean the traditional buba and iro that Yoruba women wear. I tend to feel like it is for momsies and brides – lovely and all but I preferred to make my own designs. Now about two years ago buba and iro became trendy again for younger folk with olekufitted sleeves,  modified blouse styles and the tulip wrap BUT I still wasn’t interested.

At my church, the first Sunday of the month is Thanksgiving Sunday (thanking God for a new month and how amazing He’s been), and that is the day that a lot of the Nigerians like to show up in their traditional Nigerian clothes. Last month, I joined in for the first time :) I went vintage and wore my mom’s silk buba and iro from the 90s. I didn’t wear it the traditional way, I did the wrap skirt aka tulip style. After last month, I was determined to wear buba and iro this month.


I went fabric shopping with my friend and she got some lovely satin. I saw this charmeuse fabric that I couldn’t stop touching so I bought it. I had these grand plans of starting early but for where??? work was too busy. All I managed to do was make the dolman/kimono sleeve pattern and fit a wearable toile.

PLUS, I randomly decided I needed a panel of chiffon. Yall I couldn’t find any that matched – I went to the LA Fabric District, Michael Levine, Joann’s… Eventually I dragged Bekah to mood and found some silk chiffon. Not a perfect colour match but it worked. I got two yards because I refused to have any extra seams. I wanted it to go from arm to arm :)

So basically I made the buba on Saturday night, then sewed the iro an hour before leaving for church. It’s just a rectangle so the time was spent on finishing the seams.

I was quite fussy about not wanting to see the edge of any fabric and not seeing unnecessary stitches. The neckline is bias bound with the charmeuse while the chiffon-charmeuse seam is flat-felled.

The sleeve hems and side slit are hand sewn.I covered the side seams with rayon seam binding. The arm curve is gentle enough that I didn’t worry about the binding being on the straight grain instead of on the bias.

The bodice hem and wrap seams are hemmed with a blind stitch

I made this so the top can be work with jeans and a skinny belt. I had plans to go bowling that evening so I was going to change into jeans. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. I ended up having a late lunch then a meeting and boom, bowling time. Y’all I rocked my bowling looking like a boss – bowling shoes and all (at least in my head I did). LOL!!!


That being said, I think I do want to rock the more traditional wrapper style. It’ pretty quick to make so I will make a few more buba and iro styles:)

Have a blessed week – I will show you the Bernina soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: