Sophie Kingo Blogs

Insight into Sophie Kingo's African-Scandinavian inspired clothing and accessories


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A New Sophie Kingo Website

It’s that time, ladies and gentlemen, to release on the world the new Sophie Kingo website.

I decided a couple of weeks ago to explore how much my own domain name would cost and look at developing a great website showcasing my African print girls’ dresses that continue to grow in popularity.

One thing led to another, and by the end of my lunch hour I was in possession of a domain name and web hosting service. Fast forward a couple of weeks, several nights web developing (with some much needed development support from a techie friend), and testing by a few friends and family and it’s ready.

You can find information on how to order your own Sophie Kingo African print girls’ dress and where to buy Sophie Kingo Afro-Scandinavian inspired jewellery, along with information on available fabrics and testimonials.

More will be added over time – including, I hope, a gallery of Sophie Kingo dresses in use by the lovely little trend setters who are lucky owners.

This blog will still be in action to showcase all that I am making whether it’s for me or for others, but please do share the new website with your friends and family. You can find it at http://sophiekingo.co.uk.

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A kente girl’s dress

This morning I made a new dress – an order from my neighbour for her lovely little 16-month-old daughter.

Kara and her daughter came round on Wednesday to discuss options. Kara was interested in the colours and feel of the fabric and which colours complemented her little girl’s skintone, while her daughter was more interested in the zebra mask lurking in the ‘blue room’ – our storage-cum-music-cum-fabric room.

Kara opted for the printed kente – a gorgeous bright print – which I think deserves an explanation and history lesson.

A history of kente

Kente cloth is a Ghanaian royal and sacred woven cloth (or nwentoma), traditionally worn by the Asante people of Ghana in times of extreme importance. Kente is still highly regarded across Ghana today and is often worn for special occasions such as traditional Ghanaian weddings.

Asante kente can be identified by its dazzling, multi-coloured geometric shapes and bold designs and each design has an individual meaning. The cloths are identified primarily by the patterns found in the warp threads and different colours hold different meanings (see here).

The dress

This kente design (sadly not woven kente which is very expensive, but instead printed) uses gold, ping, green and blue, conveying:

  • wealth, royalty, high status, glory and spiritual purity (gold);
  • femininity (pink);
  • vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal (green); and
  • peacefulness, harmony and love (blue)

And here it is:

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New Fabrics

When I posted the blog on my new skirt, my workmates Nina and Catherine decided they each fancy one. So, on Saturday, Jeffrey and I took a trip to Brixton to meet up with Nina to pick out some fabric so that she can join me and make her second item of clothing.

Of course, I couldn’t leave Nina to buy some fabric on her own; I had to buy some for a skirt or dress for me, and to offer for the African print girls’ dresses.

Here they are. You can also see them on the available fabrics page should you wish to buy a girl’s dress in one of these beauties:

photo (2) photo (1)

And this Saturday I plan on using some of them. But before then, I will be making a dress in printed kente for my neighbour’s gorgeous little 16 month old daughter. And I’m taking orders, so if you would like a dress for a little girl near you, please check out details in the ‘shop and drop me a line.


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Two new African print dresses – For sale

I never realised two blog posts could result in 570 blog views in two days. But it seems that’s what blogging about gorgeous home made girls’ African print dresses and how Burberry Prorsum was inspired by me can bring. And what a great reception. Lots of people have been sharing the link, and I’ve had enquiries from four people about making dresses for girls of six months, one for a four year old and one for a 10 year old, so I’m going to get to the drawing board this weekend to make that happen.

But as for the turquoise, red and pink dresses I made at the weekend, I have now sold one. The age 1 turquoise dress has been snapped up by a teacher colleague of my husband‘s. Her little girl has red hair, so she  is undoubtedly going to look adorable in it. And what a steal. That lovely little dress was proving a real favourite amongst many and I’m actually quite sad to see it go as it was the first one I completed.

But, it is gone, and a cute little girl in West London is hopefully going to look lovely wearing it. So it’s time to add a couple of other dresses into the mix.

Tonight’s additions are two purple dresses – one for age 4, the other age 5. Again, both are 100% cotton, 100% hand made by me, and 100% one-offs. None of your mass produced cotton/polyester Primark tat here. The one on the left is age 4 and is made from beautiful batik fabric bought at Obuasi market in Ghana – pretty special – and is one of my favourite dresses so far. The one on the right is age 5. Here they are:

left age 4, right age 5

These two dresses are for sale at the introductory price of £22 each plus postage.

If you would like to snap one up before it goes please email me. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter. I’m not picky about how you get in touch.

And if you can’t bear just for your little girl to have something in African print, take a look at these Oyster card holders for you. Get one for just £4 when you purchase a dress. Bargain!

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And finally, if you’d like to see more about Obuasi and other parts of Ghana, which have inspired this range of dresses, click here for our holiday snaps.


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Little girls in African print – Dresses for sale

As I mentioned in my previous post – Burberry Prorsum inspired by Sophie Kingo – African print is again on trend this spring summer.

Over the past two years I’ve made lots of dresses using West African print fabric – both for me and two little girls, and have also made oyster card holders (for sale), a foot pouffe, birds and cushions out of my leftovers. I just love the bright colours and bold patterns of West African print fabric and like to link into the heritage of my (relatively new) husband and extended family. I just don’t seem to be able to stop buying fabric from a great little Ghanaian fabric shop in Brixton market to make myself more new dresses – but I’m ending up with quite a lot now.

A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to two colleagues – Fancy and Lauren – about some of the things I’ve been making and they planted in me the thought of making more dresses for little girls. To sell. And what better than in African print, for fashion conscious mothers (and fathers) and on-trend little girls?!

So I stepped to it and last weekend started making three little dresses – one each for a one-, two- and three-year-old. All are 100% cotton with matching fabric covered buttons and entirely hand made by me.

And here they are. Ok, granted, one of them isn’t in African print fabric, but two are. And more are in production, so if you have a 4-, 5- or 6-year-old and want to get your hands on one then do come back soon.

These three dresses are all for sale at the introductory price of £18 each plus postage. 

To buy one for that special little girl in your life, drop me an email. I can also make dresses to order. Please get in touch to discuss options and price.

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Child’s bird mobiles (for sale)

As if I haven’t made enough fabric birds lately (my Mum and I made approximately 60 for my marriage to Jeffrey last month) I’ve gone and made more.

I first stumbled across a lovely pattern for fabric birds last year and made a grown up bird mobile out of scraps of West African cloth for my and Jeffrey’s first owned home together. For Christmas last year I made a couple of simple triple bird mobiles (one for my Mum and Dad and one for my cousin) which went down a treat.

And since then I’ve had many people admire the birds – with one neighbour asking if I can make her one for her daughter’s bedroom.

So, this weekend, having found I have twitchy hands after everything that I’ve been making for my and Jeffrey’s wedding (more on that here) I decided to buy some fabric in primary colours from a great local fabric shop on Seven Sister’s Road in Holloway, and got to making. The result? Four triple bird mobiles in red, blue and yellow with embroidered wings. Each is different with different embroidered wings and with different colour placement. Unfortunately the light was too bright and the wind too strong for me to get images sideways on, but you hopefully get the idea from the images below.

I’m hoping to sell these and will take them along to a craft fair my sister, her colleague and I will be selling at in November at Lauderdale House in Highgate. Alternatively, if you fancy one please get in touch with me and we’ll sort something out.


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2010 – the year of craft

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking of what I’ve made in the past year. No wonder I at times thought I was developing RSI in my right hand. I was knitting like crazy. Here’s what I’ve knitted/crocheted/sewn/beaded between December 2009 and January 2011 (a total of 13 months), complete with links to the relevant posts:

And, that’s about as much as I can recall right now. But I think that may do for 13 months of knitting, sewing, crocheting and beading – at the very least 100 individual items. If I remember anything else, or if you think I’ve missed something off, let me know. But I’m rather proud of that!

Here are a few pictures: