The Bamenda traditional wear “toghu”

The bamenda traditional wear formally known as the toghu is the heart of the bamenda (Cameroon) tradition. It has made its make for ages and geting even more popular as day pass,its colourful appearance is attracts you even from a distance seamlessly making the best traditional wear


The most important steps in the process of making a clothing item comes at the beginning with the drafting of the sewing pattern then cutting it properly according to its grainline. If you are a sewing beginner, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by some of the terms used when discussing the process of aligning, pinning and cutting a sewing pattern. 

Terms like grainline, selvage edgecut edge, or cut-on-fold can all seem like a big blur for someone who is just starting out. However, once you understand the importance of these elements when preparing your fabric and eventually cutting your sewing patterns, you’ll be glad you put in some extra effort to understand them.Below, we’ll walk you through 4 basic ways to align and cut your sewing patterns according to fabric grain but first, lets start with the basic understanding of grainline and selvage edge- the two most important elements used in the fabric cutting process. 

The grainline on a  sewing pattern is depicted by a double pointed arrow. It is positioned within the body of the sewing pattern (as opposed to the edge) and essential in the pattern alignment process.

The grainline on the sewing pattern should match the grain of the fabric which can be identified using the selvage edge. Here it is, another term- the selvage edge is depicted by the finished lengthwise edges of the fabric piece. These edges do not fray and are used as a guide in the pattern cutting process. ​When the fabric is taken off the bolt or roll, you’ll notice it is woven such that it has two selvage edges on both its lengthwise sides. Vise versa, the width edges perpendicular to the selvage edge are called cut edges representing the direction in which fabric is cut off the bolt or roll.​At the fabric store, the length of the fabric (in yards) is measured along the selvage edge and cut perpendicular to it (cut edge). It is incorrect to cut a fabric piece along the selvage edges as this edge should remain intact and is an essential tool for aligning your sewing patterns in the sewing process correctly.Lengthwise Grain: How to Align A Sewing Pattern On The Lengthwise Grain.  ​The lengthwise grain of fabric is positioned parallel to the selvage edge. Due to the nature of the lengthwise grain’s durability and drape, this is the most common direction in which sewing patterns are cut.

The first step in understanding whether your sewing patterns are meant to be cut on the lengthwise grain or otherwise is by identifying the grainline mark on the sewing pattern. As mentioned above, this is depicted by a double pointed arrow positioned somewhere within the body of the sewing pattern. This arrow is essential in pattern-making and pattern-cutting thus you will seldom come across a professional sewing pattern that doesn’t have a grainline marking.​Once you identify this arrow (grainline), note its placement in relation to the top and bottom of the garment– A lengthwise grainline will extend vertically on the pattern, pointing towards the neckline/shoulder seams at the top and the garment’s hem at the bottom.​A lengthwise grainline is also (almost always) parallel to the Center Front/Back. The Center Front/Back is a vertical line, whether visible or invisible on the sewing pattern, that represents the center-most vertical line mark at the front and back of a clothing item.  It is important that you understand the concept of these two center lines as they determine the correct balance, size and proportion of the garment and used a lot as the starting point in the pattern-making, cutting and draping process.Once you’ve determined the grainline of your sewing pattern, align the sewing pattern on the fabric such that the grainline on the sewing pattern is parallel to the selvage edge of the fabric. This is actually the #1 rule of aligning a sewing pattern to the fabric correctly: Always place the sewing pattern such that the double pointed arrow on the sewing pattern (grainline) is in parallel relation to the selvage edge. ​The most accurate way to do so is by using a ruler. Measure from one end of the grainline (arrow) to the selvage edge and place a pin through both pattern and fabric to secure this placement. Next, measure the same length from the selvage edge to the other end of the grainline (arrow) and place a second pin through both layers to secure. Pin the rest of the pattern at the seam allowance and cut it out carefully.!2&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=LVaw6cytPD&p=https%3A// Grain: How To Align A Sewing Pattern On The Crosswise Grain. As opposed to lengthwise grain, the crosswise grain of fabric is located perpendicular to the selvage edge.

​Although most pattern pieces are cut on the lengthwise grain, some sewing patterns require to be cut crosswise on fabric. This is mostly done when attempting to fit as many pattern pieces as possible on a smaller fabric space.In other cases, patterns may be cut on the crosswise grain if the pattern or weave perpendicular to the selvage edge is more desirable for the design at hand.

​Crosswise and lengthwise stretch is also taken in consideration when deciding on the pattern’s cutting direction. If cutting the sewing pattern on the crosswise grain allows for more stretch in the finished garment, then a crosswise cut  may end up being the more appropriate choice.​For the most part however, the crosswise grain of fabric is a bit weaker and features a different drape than the lengthwise grain, especially when it comes to woven fabrics. This difference in drape can negatively affect the fit and comfort of a clothing item once sewn. For that reason, it is usually recommended that most sewing patterns are cut  on the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage edge).​To identify whether the sewing pattern at hand displays a crosswise grainline, find the double pointed arrow marked on the pattern as described above. As opposed to a lengthwise grainline, a crosswise grainline will extend horizontally from one side seam to the other, perpendicular to center front or center back. Vise versa, the lengthwise grainline extends from the top of the clothing item to the hem, parallel to the center back and center front.To align a pattern on the crosswise grain simply position the arrow of the grainline parallel to the selvage edge as described above. You will notice that while the grainline on the pattern remains parallel to the selvage edge, the direction of the garment pattern itself is different than that of a lengthwise grain placement- The pattern piece is perpendicular in relation to the selvage edge. 

Without overwhelming you with too many terms, keep in mind that the woven threads that are parallel to the selvage edge (lengthwise grain) are called weft and and those that are perpendicular to the selvage edge (crosswise grain) are called warp.

Weft= Threads on lengthwise grain
Warp= Threads on crosswise grain ​Bias Cut: Aligning A Pattern On The Fabric BiasA bias grainline can sometimes be a bit confusing for sewing beginners, but if you follow the same logic as described above and work with the selvage edge of fabric, you’ll find that a bias cut is just as simple. The bias represents the diagonal direction within the fabric, and is positioned at 45 degrees in relation to the selvage edge. ​​You might wonder why you would ever need to cut a sewing pattern on the bias. Well, bias cuts are actually used a lot more often than you think, mainly in evening wear/bridal and for making bias binding. While it is more costly due to the fact that it requires the use of more fabric yardage, it allows for a beautiful drape with added stretch even for those woven fabrics that completely lack stretch along the lengthwise and crosswise grains.Don’t believe us? Try this experiment: Pull a woven fabric vertically along the selvage and note it’s stretch. Now do the same horizontally on the fabric, perpendicular to the selvage edge. You’ll notice that the lengthwise flexibility of a woven fabric is usually identical to its crosswise. Now, stretch the fabric diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner- notice the stretch? The intersection of the threads diagonally allow for more movement and increased comfort.A bias grainline is positioned diagonally on a sewing pattern at a 45 degree angle in relation to the center front/back line.  It points from one corner to the opposite corner of the pattern piece intersecting the lengthwise and crosswise grainlines.To align a bias pattern piece on fabric, follow the steps described above by aligning the arrow mark on the pattern parallel to the selvage edge of the fabric. Make sure you position the grainline at exactly the same distance from the selvage edge throughout- use a ruler for precision. ​You’ll notice that aligning the bias  grainline parallel to the selvage edge will automatically position the pattern piece diagonally on the fabric. This is the beauty of grainlines- once they are marked on the pattern piece, all you have to do is place them parallel to the fabric’s selvage edge and you’ll always achieve the correct alignment. Cut on fold: Cutting a Sewing Pattern On Fold Cutting a pattern on fold is conveniently used when limited on work space, to save pattern paper, or simply for cutting comfort. Keep in mind that not all pattern pieces can be cut on fold. In the case of an asymmetric design or when the fabric is too difficult to handle or cut while folded, cutting patterns on fold is not an option. ​Vise versa, in the case of a pattern piece that has symmetric sides separated by a straight line (usually center front or center back), cutting on fold can be quite convenient. A cut on fold mark on the sewing pattern is usually depicted by a double arrow pointing downwards towards the edge that is aligned with the fabric fold (see image bellow). ​As is true for all pattern cutting methods, it is important to look at the grainline on the sewing pattern before determining whether to fold the pattern crosswise or lengthwise. Follow the directions above to determine the grainline’s direction in relation to the selvage edge.

A lengthwise fold as shown below is the most common of the two. A lengthwise fold is generally more stable, easier to measure and align. ​When folding the fabric lengthwise, make sure the distance from the fold to the selvage edge is exactly the same throughout. This is important in achieving the proper cut and fit and avoiding off-grain  comfort issues in the final garment. Once the fabric has been folded, align the cut-on-fold edge with the fold on the fabric- they should be perfectly matched and overlapping.

Once the pattern piece has been cut and the pins are removed,  you’ll notice that opening the folded fabric results in two identical,  symmetric sides. For a step by step guide on how to fold, pin and cut a sewing pattern on fold, check out our tutorial: Cutting a Sewing Pattern On Fold.!3&btvi=3&fsb=1&xpc=Pons4JLcXq&p=https%3A// THE LEARN TO SEW BOX BJ LAWRENCE11/7/2019 09:53:58 AMon fabrics where you can’t tell the right side from the wrong, which way does the selvage edge roll ?
Thanks for your time
BJREPLYDOINA ALEXEI LINK12/9/2019 06:23:20 AMGreat questions! When both sides of the fabric look the same, it is up to you which side you’d like to use as your face. Sometimes (although not always) the selvage edge can actually give you a hint as to what side was intended as the face at the manufacturing level. If the selvage has any marks or writing on it, the side this is visible on is considered the official face of the fabric. Hope this helps!REPLY


Ankara Skirts: Tips How to Wear them Stylishly

Ankara skirts are hard to miss. By now, you’ve probably seen the bold Ankara skirts brightening up the fashion world. And apart from being a great statement piece, they’re also incredibly versatile and something you can wear to work or weddings.

Ankara skirts

If you’re looking for some style inspiration, look no further. We’ve got 15 easy ways to style Ankara skirts right here.

A Brief Background of the Ankara Skirts

Ankara skirts have quite an international history. Originally, they were made for the Indonesian market, but they blew up in West Africa, where they’ve become a wardrobe staple for the continent’s fashionistas.

Even though they feature bold, African prints, they work equally well around the world. You’ll see stylish ladies wearing them throughout the United States and Europe, too.

Do you want in? Here’s how you can jump on this iconic bandwagon.

1. Long Sleeve Tee

Because Ankara skirts are quite bold and daring, one of the best ways to wear them well is to pair them with a solid color tee. If you’re wearing a long, maxi Ankara skirt, a long sleeve black tee or white tee is a safe bet.

You can choose from different necklines like boatneck, V-neck or crew neck, depending on the length and waistline of your skirt.

Click here to see more skirts&index=aps&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=ur2&linkId=f38e38a4fac05005a4b6375fbf7944f8

2. Short Sleeve Crew Neck Tee

For summer days and evenings, a basic crew neck tee, like this J. Crew Mercantile t-shirt, creates a balanced look: simple on top and lots of attention on your fabulous Ankara skirt.

Of course, you can wear boatneck or V-neck tees, too, it just depends on the shape of your skirt.

3. Crop Top

If you’re wearing a high waisted maxi skirt, a crop top is a winning combination. Your top can be white, black or even match with your skirt. The most important thing is that it draws attention to the narrowest point on your torso before everyone goes Gaga for the beautiful prints on your Ankara.

4. Contrast

One of the key features of Ankara skirts is that the prints themselves are high contrast and visually engaging. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, pump it up a notch by wearing an equally contrasting top.

A sunburst orange tee like this Simlu’s keyhole top looks amazing when the Ankara print is primarily azure blue. If your skirt has lots of deep, vibrant greens, wear a fire engine red top to create a big, wow factor.

5. Denim

Wearing a denim or Chambray top is an almost foolproof way to style your Ankara skirt, regardless of the print design. Fashionistas prove again and again that wearing a classic denim button-up is a casual, effortless solution.

6. Graphic Tee

Whether you have a cool graphic tee in grey, cream, white or black, chunky letters can really hold their own alongside a strong design. Or, to play up the West African vibe, pair your skirt with a French-inspired top like this j’adore tee?

7. Belt and Blouse

If you’d like to look a little more professional with your Ankara skirt, dress it up with a crisp white blouse and a brown or black leather belt. It’s an office-appropriate look that embraces a little joie di vivre, too.

8. Front Knots and Off-the-Shoulder Tops

Create a cool, hip look by tying your tee in the front or to the side. It’s a great way to wear a crop top, even if you don’t have one. Off shoulder tops are playful and sexy and make for a great date night outfit.

9. Blazer

Who said you had to wear solid colors in the office? Wearing an Ankara skirt is a fun way to keep your 9 to 5 job from getting too serious. And don’t worry, you can balance even a wild print with a sensible and smart blazer.

10. Pencil Skirt

While we’re on the subject of office attire, consider switching from the traditional black and blue pencil skirts to something a bit more avant-garde. You can always dress it up with a tucked in blouse, or a professional blazer.

11. Matching Tops & Bottoms

Depending on your complexion and the print design, you might be able to get away with a playful crop top and skirt in the same pattern. It’s a fun ensemble that you can wear on vacation, to a summer party, or just for a night out with your favorite girlfriends.

12. Mix & Match Prints

Are you the kind of girl who writes her own fashion rules? If so, go the next step and coordinate Ankara printed skirts with a different Ankara printed top. Not only will you look great, but you’ll inspire others to be more experimental, too.

13. Biker Chic Meets West Africa

If you like to keep your wardrobe a little alternative and edgy, pair your Ankara skirt with leather Chelsea boots, a leather jacket, and even some fishnet stockings.

14. Bold Jewelry Pieces

Before you choose the perfect necklaces, earrings, and bracelets for your Ankara outfit, make sure you’re wearing a simple and basic top, like a solid colored tee shirt or blouse. That way, your accessories will stand out without getting lost in the strong design of your top and skirt.

15. Let’s Talk About Shoes

When it comes to footwear, you can be super casual or go formal. It’s all up to you. For example, a maxi skirt with flat sandals is instant summer. Going out on a date? Try wedges or stilettos, especially if your Ankara skirt is knee length. You can also pair your skirt with converse sneakers or leather biker boots if you enjoy a more alternative vibe.

Another great fashion tip when it comes to shoes is to pick a secondary color in your Ankara skirt. You can make that color pop by wearing matching heels. You won’t be able to stop checking yourself out in the mirror!

Ankara skirts are a girl’s best friend. You can dress them up or down. You can wear flats or heels. And no matter what your traditional style, there’s always room for this bold statement skirt in your closet.

Latest Ankara Styles In Vogue For Ladies/Women-10+ Pictures

It’s no longer a secret that Nigerian women like bright colours and standard fashion solutions. Therefore, the review of the latest  Ankara styles in vogue for women attracts increased attention every season. Here are some latest Ankara styles for women with taste…

Fashion switches with the season but the style is influenced by how factors like moral upbringing, religion, association with others, weather, etc. have affected you. No wonder Yves Saint Laurent said “fashion fades, style is eternal”

Jill Chivers says “fashion distracts, style connects”. The reason why fashion icons are who they are today is because of how they have created their own style from fashion and the funny thing is not all fashion designers are fashion icons but anybody can be a fashion icon. We love the versatility of Ankara styles.

Ankara styles are universal… We invite you to consider the latest trends in Ankara and fashion industry, choose a style and slay.


When it comes to Ankara fabrics, there is certainly no limit to what designers can do with these beautiful fabrics and the beauty of this fabric is that it seem to suit any style of fashion.

We love the versatility of Ankara fabrics.

Check out this latest Ankara styles in vogue and find out the right style for you.

7 Ways You Can Make Your Nails Beautiful

Having beautiful nails doesn’t stop you from being a lady who carries out the basic chores and work that requires the use of the hands. I am not a fan of the idleness. But, if I was to be in the position where I wasn’t constantly carrying, typing, cleaning, holding, fixing or using my hands to do the things it was actually made forthen what would stop my nails from being short of amazing.

Having beautiful fingernails or toenails require no special dietary supplements, expensive topical treatments or total withdrawal from carrying out manual labor. All that is needed from you is to follow simple rules carefully,  live by them and watch as your nails grow long and health.

Stop Picking

This particular tip is the number one rule you must learn to follow to the bitter end unless the chances of you getting those beautiful nails is zero to nothing. I would write this over and over again if I am chanced. Do not pick, chew,  bite, peel or carry out any other destructive fussing operation on your nails. Don’t! Importantly, don’t pick or peel polish.

Before you pick those nails again, know that you are removing an essential component from those nails. In the nail plate, the top most layer consists of cells which act as lubricants and which keep the nail strong. When the polish comes off in sheets,  those important layer of cells comes off as well.

Leave Your Cuticles Alone

Your cuticles are very important and should not, under any circumstance  be cut. Why?  Cut cuticles have the ability to leave you at a high risk for bacterial and fungal infections. It is even worse when they are pushed back before a manicure as this can lead to serious damage.

When you don’t know the function of a particular thing, that thing tends to be abused. The role of the cuticle is a very vital one. The cuticle serves as a bridge to join that space between the skin and the nail plate. This in turn produces a waterproof barrier that protects the nail from germs and infections.

The reason as to why the cuticles can be cut or pushed is because a short cuticle usually makes the nail look longer than it actually is.

Wear Polish

Did you know that a nail that has polish on is safer than a nail that doesn’t? Here’s why:

  1. With polish on, the nail is sealed against unwanted damages.
  2. The nail is protected such that it can comfortably grow and repair itself in peace. There are no interferences from external bodies.
  3. Who picks nails with polish? Just think about it. With that beautiful shade of pink or even black on those nails, it would be hard for you to pick, bite or peel your nails.

Some people may not like the idea of having crazy colors on their nails but that is cool. There is also a regular coat of white polish and that works as much as the others.

Take it Easy on Polish Remover

Some of the popular nail polish removers contain acetone and/or formaldehyde as a major component. This component has an ability of sapping or removing moisture from the nails. Moisture in the nails is very important and essential because without it, the nails are prone to being dried out,  brittle and can cause damages such as splitting, peeling or cracking.  After a day or two, if you notice that your nail polish is wearing out or chipping away, other than starting the whole process of cleaning the nail polish entirely and putting another one,  simply touch up the manicure with more polish.

It is healthier to limit your use of nail polishes remover to once a week and make use of polish remover that are acetone free to be even gentler.


Just like your hair needs moisture, your nails which are surprisingly made up of the same material-keratin also requires moisture. Moisture is required and very necessary on the journey to having perfect, beautiful nails so always make sure that your hands are treated to a rich,  emollient lotion on a regular basis. You should always bear this in mind and practice it daily especially after removing polish, working with cleaning products like detergents and soaps or getting your hands wet.

File Right

When it comes to filing,  there are two basic rules you must bear in mind.

  1. You must never file your nails in a back-forth motion.

Some nail technicians however might actually file your nails in a back-forth motion. This is an exception for them because they make use of professional-grade files and they are trained specially such that they know the appropriate amount of pressure that must be applied. While at home, it is safer and advisable to pick a particular direction and then file in long, broad strokes as this will avoid unwanted problems such as the nail splitting.

  1. Ensure that the nails are totally dry before carrying out the filing operation.

One might ponder as to why this is necessary but it is now a known fact that wet nails are more vulnerable to damage than dry nails.

Be Gentle

Be well informed that your nails are made of alpha-keratin and not titanium or steel. You should take caution not to use those nails to carry out tasks that can easily be done with the use of tools. There is no room for comparison between your precious nails and pliers, wedges, scrapers or even hammers. Don’t try to open up soda cans, remove batteries, or pry off duct tape using those nails instead make use of the tools.