We were sitting at the table going over a lesson for school when inspiration hit. On the table, my daughter (age 6) pointed out a green piece of fabric, green toy car and a green crayon. She looked at me and said, “Mom, look at this color palette. I have an idea. We can make several of these using different colors. This would help baby boy (age 2) learn his colors.” What a sweet idea. I told her it was fabulous and we should work on it during quiet time. That was a pretty big deal for me, because I do enjoy my down time but saw this as an opportunity to encourage her creativity. I suggested we take photos of her creations (to the best of our ability of course). We scoured the house for items that fit into the color categories she chose. She would arrange the items for one color while I took pics of another. We went back and forth in that manner until each color had been photographed. I’m learning so much about how she processes information and what she values about her work process. I did make suggestions about object placement for the photos. We had lots of fun. Now we just have to figure out what to do with the pictures.
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.
Second week of Project Run and Play‘s Season 6 sew-along is here. I made it through week #1 alive. We’ll just take this thing a day at a time.
This week’s theme is Stripes and Polka dots.
And again, my goal was to use items I already had on hand. I thought I would kick things up several notches in the color department, as my last week’s design was monochromatic. Not only did I bring in some color, but I tried a new technique……patchwork stripes. I don’t think I can throw myself into the “quilter” category just yet, but I’m headin’ in that direction. I had to figure out some way to create stripes since I don’t have any striped fabric. If you look closely you can find dots in some of the stripes. I decided to go with a tiered skirt, simple tank-style shirt , and asymmetrical sleeveless cardigan.
For the skirt I used material from a couple of charm packs, and a couple of fat-quarter batik prints. The shirt is made from a curtain remnant. Cardigan is made from a ribbed knit. Pattern for shirt and cardigan were self drafted (shirt using instructions from improv sewing book). I used Ashley’s tutorial over at Make It & Love It for the skirt.
This was such a fun outfit to make. I was very surprised at how the skirt turned out. I really think it’s an art how quilters are able to choose fabrics the work well together. I don’t know all of the rules and am kinda glad about that. I just go with the flow. I also go with what I have. I really wanted to make a circle skirt, but quickly learned I didn’t have enough fabric for that. Tiered skirt it is!
I ended up using pretty long strips of fabric, so it kinda gave me the full effect of a circle skirt. I love that the soft elastic band around the waist of the skirt will give Curly Cutie several seasons of wear in this piece. She was very cooperative while allowing me to take pictures of her. And had a little fun along the way. It was cold, but she was glad to be outside for a few minutes.
She likes it and I’m glad!
A couple of things have been in the works over here: celebrating with the birthday girl, attempting to clean/organize her room. I think I would have a better chance solving world peace than the latter.
Curly Cutie recently turned five. Yay!!! Where has the time gone?
This is the second year that I’ve made a birthday dress for CC. Here is the dress from last year. I wanted it to be simple yet cute. I needed to make two dresses this year because CC would be celebrating the big “5” with her friend (J-Renee) born 8 days after her. J’s mom and I were college roommates.
The colors on the table were pink and purple. CC in purple. J-Renee in pink. It would have been too much like right for me to take pictures after the dresses were made, but nooooo I didn’t do that.
See how simple the design is. I purchased a 5T t-shirt and added a ruffled strip of fabric to the bottom. Added a hem to the bottom and I was done. I went around and around about something else I could make that would incorporate the fabric as well as bring some color to the upper body. After much deliberation, I decided on a little drawstring bag. You can see it peeking out from CC’s back in the above pic.
Enter clear vinyl.
I used the vinyl to create a small window in the bag to easily see its contents. CC has not quite filled up her bag yet. I think it adds a little something to the traditional all fabric bag.
The birthday girls in action.
All work and no play, makes for a not-so-cool day. So, the girls clock in for a hard day’s work at the site.
And more work.
Hmmmm, her office looks a lot like her room at home. Talk about quality care.
Time for fun.
So glad CC had a great time for her birthday. The girls looked so cute in their dresses and matching drawstring backpacks.
There is another reason why clear vinyl maketh me happy. I mentioned above that I try, at times, to bring order to CC’s room. Even more conscious now that AV baby is mobile. A while back, I bought some bookshelves and bins to contain the many items CC has in her room. I don’t know why because hardly anything is in the bin it should be in. Her cleaning consists of throwing item in hand into nearest bin. Needless to say, stuff is all over. Especially puzzle pieces. I have seen the frustration when she is at the end of a puzzle only to realize she is missing the last one or two pieces. So I set out to see if I could come up with a solution to contain the puzzles.
Enter clear vinyl, bias binding, and velcro.
I did make this bias binding myself using some fabric I had on hand. Here is a peek into the process. There are lots of tutorials online that explain this technique.
Here are a few foam puzzles that needed a stable home. Some of the family members were missing, hence the reason for this project. CC has several puzzles that need such attention. We’ll start with these though.
Using those items, I came up with this….
We like it. Now, they don’t have to look like this….
Well, that’s it for now.
Have you tried working with clear vinyl?
It all started with this lovely fabric……..
I have a confession. I LOVE BLACK & WHITE!!! It drives me bananas! In a good way of course. And don’t add a pop of color in there…..I’m just done, you hear me? So, please don’t be surprised if almost everything I put my hand to make has an element of black & white, black or white, black & color, white & color. Like this gift. I don’t know, but you have been told in advance the type of situation it is over here. Lol. One day I’ll have to share a deeper reason for my love of these colors. For now, we’ll prepare to enjoy the role they played in making my daughter’s special day very pretty. She had a great time!