I was super excited when the invite came from Heidi to participate in Roots: Sewing your heritage. I just love it when art is meaningful. Have you seen the other creations? Just beautiful.
I am African-American. Of African descent, yet born and raised in America. Honestly, I still have questions about my roots, and almost allowed my lack of knowledge to keep me from participating. One thing I am learning is that conditions don’t have to be perfect before I can put my “yes” on the table. For now, I can celebrate what I do know: Those before me were born with purpose, and I am grateful for their strength and sacrifice.
*steps down from soap box*
I wanted to create an ensemble that reflects my appreciation for color found in African fashion and fit my 6 year old’s mature and hilarious personality.
When I think of modern African fashion, I think of bold and bright colors. I think of energetic movement and strength. The use of saturated solids, dazzling prints, geometric shapes and sophisticated silhouettes give a regal feel to garments and are breathtaking. Muted palettes are also favored in African fashion. There were several routes I could have taken when designing an outfit. Color was my inspiration for Curly Cutie’s creation (say that 10 times – lol). Feast your eyes on these beauties (pics will take you to source).
See what I mean? This was no easy task for a person with a go-to palette of black and white. I appreciated the challenge though. I feel a little more free now, like I could just about put anything together and say, “BAM, there it is!”
Here is my little one.
We thought it would be fun to add a baby wearing element to this ensemble. I have a friend from Ghana that taught me how to tie a wrap so I could carry baby #2 when he was just a little something. This wrap is just a yard of fabric.
Pattern used for shirt is the Aspen Ruffle Dress by See Kate Sew. As for modifications, I shortened it to make it shirt length. I extended the height of the collar by an inch to make it more pronounced. Decreased collar and elastic length. I extended the sleeves to accommodate CC’s long arms. Circle skirt is self-drafted with a contrasting waistband and back zipper. I used a random pocket pattern to add pockets in side seams. A pair of textured white tights and faux oxford shoes complete the look. I know some of you are basking in warm sun, but it’s cold here.
Now, about this hair and these accessories. I was totally in the moment with this hair.
I had the idea to pull CC’s hair up with a banana clip. I remember these from my younger days. So fun. The front part of her hair is simply left loose with a couple of hair pins to cinch some areas.
*back up on soap box and clearing throat*
Can I just say that I love natural hair? I’m talking just the way it grows from our scalp. There was a time when I didn’t feel this way and would incessantly straighten my hair by chemical force (lol) because I thought it was ugly and hard to manage. My eyes have been opened and I know these things are not true.
I do not believe there is anything wrong with chemically treated hair. I just did not appreciate the beliefs that fueled my commitment to the practice. It’s nice to have options: straight, curly, wavy, coily, etc. The opportunity to teach my daughter to appreciate everything about the way God made her is truly priceless.
The fabric flower and covered button earrings are both handmade. I wanted to find another place to incorporate the bold yellow fabric from her skirt waistband, and I thought a pair of earrings would be the perfect place to do that.
As for the shoes, they started out plain white. I know people paint shoes all the time, but I wasn’t necessarily trying to do that. I whipped out a blue Sharpie and white fabric paint marker and went to town coloring. I was going for an oxford look. Something simple that could be worn with other things. I removed the shoestrings so they could be worn free. There is a piece of elastic inside that keeps the tongue from shifting.
There are still a couple of days left, if you are feeling adventurous, to add a culturally inspired outfit to the link up. The prizes look amazing.
Thanks for visiting! Any questions or comments? Drop them below.