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Lately I’ve been working with dolls; making my own and sewing clothes for the ones you can buy in stores.
I had mixed results with both endeavors, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it.

Of course, my focus is on Ethiopian clothes.
The problem is that unless you live in Ethiopia, there is no much access to detailed images of traditional or modern Ethiopian clothes.
For example I  haven’t been able to find a book, and much less patterns, that have detail descriptions and pictures of costumes.
The only book I have is “Ethiopian Costumes” published by the Ethiopian Tourism Commission in 1980 (quite a while ago) with very little information.

Ethiopian Costumes

There is always Google, but still, it’s not enough for me.
I don’t have the cultural background or access from here in the US to the real dresses so I can copy the models and add details to the dresses to make them more like the originals.

The first thing I made is an Ethiopian girl school uniform like the ones you can see children wearing around in the streets of Addis.
This particular one is for an 18 inch doll, which is much more easy to sew than Barbie clothes:

Ethiopian school uniform for girl

Ethiopian school uniform for girl

The classic white shirt, green skirt (or pants) and jacket. I added a backpack so she can carry her notebooks and pencils to school.
Everything is handmade by me.

I bought her for only $15 at a craft store (comparing to the $115 base price of an American Girl doll). She came without shoes and with just a thin tunic over her body for modesty. She’s turned out to be a pretty nice doll for the price!

Ethiopian school uniform for girl

Regarding my experiment sewing my own, I made two small soft cloth African American dolls:
This girl on the left with the big afro is Beza, and wears casual daily clothes. The one on the right with cornrows is Roma wearing her Ethiopian school uniform:

Beza Roma

My next project is to design Ethiopian clothes for a couple of African American 18 inch dolls that I bought recently; a girl and a boy that I will use as models. I have a lot of ideas!

I would like to ask for your help to find books, magazines, detailed pictures  o patterns of Ethiopian clothes. If you have seen any of those, I will appreciate the information!