‘fro Tales: As seen on youtube

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2 and a half years natural and all I can say is…natural hair is not easy! Forget what you heard.

I think when people big chop and they are dealing with about an inch of kink they assume that natural hair is easier to manage but alas that is but a phase in the never ending hair journey and it gets more difficult as time goes on. Now this is not to discourage anybody who is thinking of going natural because as annoying as my hair is sometimes I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve had way more fun with my curls than I ever did with straight hair. Anyhow, in the course of my natural journey, I have had many mishaps that are fairly amusing to look back on. Today, I shall tell the tale of my very first flexi rod set πŸ™‚

I would start by saying I never big-chopped so at some point in my super long transition, I had to get creative with blending my two textures. Bantu knot outs had always worked for me but I was craving a change. Of course as most naturals would do, I skipped off to youtube for guidance and after many videos I was certain that flexi rods were the bees-knees!

I painstakingly prepped my hair the night before, spritzing with water, coating with shea butter and rolling like my youtubers were doing. Two hours and incredibly sore arms later I found my way to bed. Now all this suffering might have been better if I at least had a good night’s sleep. Alas, what they forgot to mention in all the videos I had watched was that those flexi-rods will stick painfully into my scalp and they would make me toss and turn all night. I just remember lying in bed trying to convince myself that beauty is pain and it would all be worthwhile when I have lush, bouncy curls in the morning.

I got out of bed (Can’t say I woke up because I never really slept) and took my precious time getting ready because I wanted to give my hair as much time a possible to set. Finally the moment of truth came. As I unrolled my first rod, it took everything in me not to cry. The one thing I have learned to fear the most about styling my natural hair happened…it did not dry. I stared at that section as it was slowly shrinking, willing it to magically transform into what I had seen on youtube. I slowly unraveled the rest of my hair and sat miserably staring at my reflection and trying to convince myself that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Some pieces had dried more than others so my hair was unevenly stretched not to mention the odd straight pieces that just didn’t know what to do with themselves. In hindsight, I should just have pulled it into a bun and wrapped it but I was still clinging to what could have been.

I stuck a flower in it and carried my hot mess out, albeit a little self-conscious. I managed to convince myself that it wasn’t so bad and a few of my friends (bless them) boosted my confidence with very careful compliments…”I love how you put the flower in, it really brings out your features”. Alas my delusion could only last so long, I was forced to come to terms with my hot mess when one of my friends thought it fitting to ask why I hadn’t done anything to my hair that day. I stared at him not really knowing what to say. If only he knew just how much I had actually done.

Moral of the story? I don’t know, It was just a really bad hair day :p

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Something Borrowed…

Begin styling a midi skirt

This post is a classic case of “borrow borrow make me shine” (I don’t know if that really requires translation).

Being in Nigeria, with full access to my mum’s closet is absolute perfection! She has acculumated so many charming pieces and valuable resources over the years so naturally as her daughter, I think its my responsibility to give her possessions a whirl no? Well whether or not you agree with me, I did just that. My mom found this gorgeous fabric that she’s had since she graduated university and she hasn’t used it since, so I decided to help her by taking it off her hands :D. Surprise surprise…she also had a sewing machine (how amazing is this?? and how have I never known this?!). The minute I saw that fabric the first thing I thought was “Midi Skirt”and right after that I thought “I can’t afford to screw this up”. Now this wouldn’t be the first midi skirt I’ve made so maybe I was feeling a pinch too confident about my abilities but this skirt was w.o.r.k! The last midi skirt I made was an upcycle so I didn’t anticipate the challenges I might have making this from scratch. Basically, I had no clue what I was getting myself into.

Begin Midi back view

I started by measuring my waist and how long I wanted it to be. From that point on I felt like I was on an island with no map and only a picture of my destination. I knew what I wanted to get but I had no idea how to achieve it. In hindsight, planning might have helped me here. If I had done a teeny bit of research before starting I would have know to cut Β the fabric to 3 times my waist size so when I added my pleats, I could achieve the fullness I wanted. I started off with something that looked like a pencil skirt gone wrong. Then I tried to make it more a-line but I only wrecked it more. It was only after research and lots of redone stitches that I managed to get it looking like this.

Begin Midi Skirt

For difficulty, I would rate it a 5/10, it was not my easiest project but it would have been a lot easier if I had started properly. Oh and while we’re on the topic of difficulty, I think I’m starting to really get the hang of zippers! It took me a few attempts but I managed to keep my invisible zipper relatively invisible πŸ˜€

Begin invisible zip

When I remake this skirt (note I did not say “if”), I will look into the slip stitch more seriously, I tried looking at a Pintrest picture tutorial when I was making this skirt. When that failed miserably, I decided to follow my heart and I managed to hem it somehow, not sure what that stitch is called but it did the job πŸ˜› (the too-lazy-to-follow-the-pintrest-one stitch?)

With the many up’s and down I faced making this skirt I was reminded that this is what I signed up for when I decided to teach myself to sew. I signed up for trial and error, for hours spent redoing one seemingly simple thing, and of course for the absolute pride I feel when I’m done. It’s frustrating sometimes but its always worth it.

I decided to maintain the theme of “out of mama’s closet” and took her old sunglasses (which I intend to own), her scarf, and her book to accessorize this look. The humidity also lent me a ton of volume so as I said in the beginning…borrow borrow make me shine πŸ™‚ Β Begin something borrowed

pictures by Willyverse

Bloggerversary!!

Third time's the charm: Begin

So a year ago today I finally picked up enough pluck to publish my first post (btw alliteration game on point or nah?). Blogging this year has been a truly amazing experience so I thought I’d look back at a few of my favorite posts and talk a bit more about them :). Alrighty then, lets get started…

5. Skirting about with the magic of patterns

This makes it to my top 5 cause I truly love that fabric and I have gotten considerable use out of that skirt. I remember how giddy I was about making my own patterns. I haven’t really made many patterns since then but it’s still something that I would love to do. Β I’m also thinking about making another pencil skirt, hopefully a year’s worth of practice would produce an even better skirt πŸ˜€

4. Old land New Vibes

This is a fairly recent post but I thoroughly enjoyed writing it! I had been reading naijahusband‘s blog right before I wrote it which is probably why it felt so conversational for me. I felt like that post truly captured how I feel about Nigeria most times; a little upset at the way things are done but truly in love with the country all the same.

3. Third time’s the charm

The victory I felt when I wrote this post is hard to describe. After many (well two is a lot) failed and miserable attempts at making this, I felt nothing but overwhelming pride that I had succeeded. I suppose what makes a great post for me is the depth of emotion I feel when I’m writing it, because for all the posts in this list, I love them because I love the way they made me feel.

2. How does one tame a ‘fro

This was another post that I absolutely enjoyed writing. My hair has been a really big part of my life in the last two and a half years and it has taught me many things. Loving myself has been one major thing but my hair has also taught me some practical things. For example; learning when to quit because not everything is for you, sometimes its better to just let go of one thing and find what really works for you.

and finally….*cue drum roll*

1. Think Responsibly

I remember sending this post to my sister because I was worried I sounded too angry. I’m so glad I posted it though, it is everything I have felt about the education system for a while and I am grateful for a platform like this that allows me say exactly how I feel without the pressure to sound too formal or intellectual.

I would like to thank everybody who has encouraged me to keep writing, sewing and thinking. Thank you for all the likes, shares and comments. I truly appreciate every single one…Here’s to another year of colorful blogging! πŸ™‚