Tales of A Nigerian Tailor (Part 5) – How long does it take to sew an outfit?

Tales of A Nigerian Tailor (Part 5) – How long does it take to sew an outfit?

The battle between my shaky fingers and the needle lasted about 7 minutes; after much struggle I was finally able to solve the arithmetic equation called electrical sewing machine.  With great delight, I started sewing the fabric – slightly gliding it through the machine, imagining what the outcome will look like. From stitching the hem to adding the band and invisible zippers; I watched as time passed by – it was 5:35pm by the time I looked at my wristwatch (how time flies). I could hear my facilitator sounding a warning that we needed to wrap up with the skirt and move to the next outfit – an off shoulder top. I looked at my fabric and I was nowhere near the perfect skirt I envisioned.


No, No No…. this cannot be happening; is this how the sewing thing works? How many hours does it take to sew one outfit? Before I knew what was happening, the ship had sailed without me – my facilitator started the tutorial for an off-shoulder top. Do you remember that feeling in school when others are asking for extra sheet in exam hall and you haven’t even finished writing on the first page of your answer sheet? That’s exactly how I felt. I was forced to put away the skirt to start sewing the top. Just when I thought the task will become less tedious (after all it’s just a top), it became even more complicated – this time we were drawing circles and the measurement was another set of calculation (abeg where is my tailor oooo?). This one don pass JAMB question and the time was already 7:52pm, when are we going to finish??? Hunger, anger and impatience hit me all at once, I had only small chops in my stomach since morning so my intestines were beginning to question my loyalty.


As I was calculating how to finish sewing this top, a lady beside me just packed her bag and stormed out saying, “abeg tailor work is not for me”. As she walked away, I realized this sewing matter no be beans, you need loads of patience, people skills, an analytical mind and a sharp intellectual sense. Did I mention I’ve been trying to call my tailor since Tuesday? Her number didn’t go through but today it finally connected; you need to see the way I spoke to her – with deeper understanding and appreciation of her expertise in this field. The more I tried to perfect my stitches during the workshop, the more appreciative I was of tailors and their work. I left the sewing class by 10:17pm looking extremely tired, the photo below is what I made for myself – on a scale of 10% – 100%, what will you rate my skirt and top?

As I drove home, I remembered all the time I shouted at my tailor for not delivering on time; now I give her a deadline that is 2 weeks before the day I want to wear the dress so I don’t get disappointed. As much as my first day was a struggle, I will keep practicing this equation because sewing is a skill I want to master for myself and eventually for the benefit of others – as an “Igbo gial’’…. we gotta tie some monetary value to the skills (winks). So it’s a challenge I’ve taken up and will continue to push myself till I become a pro, you may just be watching my debut collection someday on the runway (who knows).

If you know how to sew, please drop some tips – what was your experience like? How long does it take to sew an outfit? I’m guessing the speed improves as you master the craft; so any advice for a newbie like me?

Remember, first to leave a comment gets N1,000 airtime on any network.

Tales of a Nigerian Tailor (Part 4)

Tales of a Nigerian Tailor (Part 3)

Tales of a Nigerian Tailor (Part 2)

Tales of a Nigerian Tailor (Part 1)





About the Author

There's more to Lynn than meets the eye; visit "ABOUT ME" page for more details. I hope you enjoyed the article.

20 thoughts on “Tales of A Nigerian Tailor (Part 5) – How long does it take to sew an outfit?

  1. Nkiru Unachukwu - January 26, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Depends on style and determination 1 week

    • lynnvillle - January 26, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Hhhmm…1 week is good oh, wish i could get that quick tun-around time.

  2. ola - January 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Lynn Lynn of stream 15

    • lynnvillle - January 26, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Lanreyyyyy….. ore of stream 15, loll

    • lynnvillle - January 26, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Hey Dave, thanks for the comment. 🙂

  3. Chy - January 26, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Lynda, it takes about a full day to sew a new outfit. Time depends on your expertise and experience. You have to get the measurements right and the cuts too. The more complicated the style, the more time it takes.

    • lynnvillle - January 26, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      The more complicated the style, the more time it takes – this is very true. Thanks Chy

  4. Rhoda - January 26, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I would rate u 70% because it looked nice and if u don’t read d article one wouldn’t know it was made by a beginner, nice one though, Im really thinking of learning that skill. Kudos though

    • lynnvillle - January 26, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Ah 70%, Yayyyy I’m dancing shoki. Thanks dear…you should learn the skill, it will definitely help with your basic amendments at home and for the kids.

  5. linn phil - January 26, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Babes I would rate u 80 for a newbie..u tried ooo…maybe I shld also give it a try ?

    • lynnvillle - January 26, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      80%….heheheee, i don summersault (lol).. thanks hun; you should totally give it a try. One of the basic skills any woman should have, you never know when it will be useful

  6. George Akomas - January 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Lol. Interesting read

    • lynnvillle - January 26, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Thanks George 🙂

  7. adedayo oropo - January 26, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Go girl.. .nice work.. U tried ooo.. I love ur courage. Well done

    • lynnvillle - January 27, 2017 at 7:57 am

      Thanks Dayo dearie…

  8. Nedoux - February 20, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Hi Lynda,

    I couldn’t stop laughing as I read this.

    I rate you a 100% and it’s not because I am biased, it is because I saw the amount of effort that you put in. You were so determined to succeed and i am so proud of you. 🙂

    • lynnvillle - February 21, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Yayyy…see my sewing facilitator in the house and she’s scoring me 100%…dancing shoki

      Thanks for taking your time to teach us, its not an easy stuff, I hope I get faster with time.

  9. Oma - March 1, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    LMBO at the ‘abeg tailor work is not for me’. If I were there I would’ve paused for five minutes just to laugh! My goodness!

  10. Ezinne - March 24, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Hey Lynn good job. Been seeing this post on Nigerian tailors and I just decided to check it out. Good description of the hard work and mental calculations involved in sewing, but like every other job/skill, your passion drives you and the end product always rewarding. Kudos on the skirt and top, I guess in no time you will be gracing runways ?.


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