Sophie Kingo Blogs

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

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How to wear a Sophie Kingo African print dress

Here’s a three point lesson from two gorgeous recipients of a Sophie Kingo African print dress.
  1. Look cute
  2. Look proud
  3. Strike a pose
And here they are showing off their dresses.
And if your little girl has a Sophie Kingo African print dress, please share a photo with us and receive 15% off your next order. Email: or visit the Sophie Kingo website to order yours.

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Two new dresses

Adwoa, age 2 and Abena, age 2

Here are another two Sophie Kingo African print girls’ dresses. One for a colleague of mine and one for a colleague of the husband’s. Both for two-year-olds. I just hope the sun comes out for long enough for then to enjoy them.

Remember – if you want one for a little girl in your life, visit the new Sophie Kingo website.

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A new dress

I started this dress – from a new pattern I bought ages ago – last Sunday afternoon, but cutting it out took me so long I didn’t get it anywhere near finished before it was time to cook the roast. I decided to use the Serwa fabric I bought for the very popular Sophie Kingo African print girls’ dresses as it’s somehow understated yet very African andvery stylish.

I didn’t get round to picking up the dress again until yesterday afternoon . Of course, I had the same issues as I always seem to have with dresses – the sizes just didn’t add up. Once the zip was in place on the left hand side, I realised the bodice was just too large. So, I repositioned the zip. And repositioned it again. After two repositions – and by 10.30pm – the zip gave in. I couldn’t see what the problem was, and what with it being too cosy (read dark, or vice versa) my initial pride at having put in my first ever concealed zip vanished. I (annoyed) put the dress aside, called it a few names under the sun and decided I’d instead lie on the settee and watch Save the Last Dance. Please don’t judge me.

So, this morning I decided I needed to get the dress finished. It had gone on long enough and I worried if I didn’t get it done it would end the way of another dress that really annoyed me once and languish in our ‘blue room’. I unpicked the zip (again) and repositioned (again). Then – with the July sunshine streaming through the window – I realised the teeth had somehow been damaged and the zip was a goner. Luckily I had a spare in my sewing box, so I started again – for the fifth time. This time it was positioned correctly (or rather, even if it wasn’t I just told myself it was fine. I couldn’t deal with unpicking and resewing it for a sixth time); I just needed to increase the seam on the other side of the bodice and I’d almost be there.

After than kerfuffle it was time for the armhole finishing. I had contemplated adding little cap sleeves – which would have been another first for me – but I thought with the print and the gathering it would be a bit too much. So I decided to follow the instructions for the armhole facing – using bias cut strips of fabric. However, the instructions were shoddy, and once I’d done it the way I thought it could work I realised it didn’t really and the facing just wouldn’t sit right. So it was time to unpick another part of the dress and try again. This time I went off-piste and did it my way (I was done with this dress), which meant I then had to do some snipping, extra sewing and more snipping to make it work. But in the end we got there.

And with a quick machine-sewn hem for a change I finished it. Just before dinner tonight. Complete with two new firsts in the sewing history books for me – pockets and concealed zip. I LOVE it. I hope you do too.

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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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A new tween girl’s African print dress

When I first set out making African print girls’ dresses in March, my boss loved them. She bought herself an African print dress from a shop in Camberwell last year, and when she saw my girls’ dresses she had to have one for each of her daughters.

Green and pink dress, age 12

The girls are aged 10 and six and they are gorgeous. In March I had already made an age 6 dress which my boss loved, but she didn’t want matching dresses for the girls. The 10-year-old also asked for something slightly more grown up but still in a style that allows her to run around and play.

So, I  altered a girls’ shift type dress pattern to have tab shoulders like the other girls’ dresses and used some lovely green and pink African print fabric that my boss had bought in African Queen in Brixton. As you can see, the dress is much less a-line than those I make for ages 6-months to 6-years, but just as lovely.

And if you’re wondering why I made an age 12 dress for a 10-year-old, she is very tall for her age.

Here are the some pictures of the girls’ dresses:

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Two new African print girls’ dresses

The last batch of African print girls’ dresses I blogged about was six weeks ago now. And those five dresses have since winged their way to their recipients, who I believe (and hope) are very happy with their new dresses.

For a few weeks my brain has been focused on a few presents and a couple of dresses for me. Having completed my Liberty dress for two May weddings – the Wyman-Bratley and Hough-Learmonth weddings – yesterday I picked up my girls’ dress pattern and made a start on two new dresses. Both are for friends or family of two of my colleagues.

But here they are – the 13th and 14th additions to the Sophie Kingo range of African print girls’ dresses. The red, age 9-12 months, the turquoise and pink age 6 months. I’ve kept the buyers waiting a little while, but I hope it’s worth the wait. They are, after all, both beautiful… if you ask me!

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