Kilikili

One dress multiple options

kilikili vlisco

Hi Guys!

Back at it again with a green dress :D. This fabric breathes nostalgia~the beating of wooden drums and little girls *cough* me *cough* popping on stage with our waist beads and kilikili wrappers. I remember this fabric as yellow and red but I am definitely feeling the new versions cropping up.

diy dress

This dress doesn’t really have a front or back per se, it can be worn both ways. Wearing it in reverse allows the option of wearing it as  a summer dress. Alas as winter lingers on I have respected myself and worn a sweater with it.

ibo star fabric

Lining was important for this outfit because I believe it gave a bit more structure. I used a v-neck dress that I currently own as a pattern and extended the neckline  for one side.

In hindsight, as opposed to cutting on the fold, it may have been better to cut four pieces and have a seam down the middle.

green dress

Good to note that while this dress may appear to be very straight, cutting it as such was a mistake. I had to go back in and taper  the top a bit to avoid looking like I was wearing a barrel :/

Other than those points I think it was a simple enough dress with plenty of movement and versatility.

Pictures by Willyverse

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The Nigerian Woman|Unafraid

Gender Parity and the Prohibition of Violence against Women

African woman

Hi Guys!

I had planned a completely different post for today but well this happened and I just had to voice my opinions. As some of you may be aware, the Nigerian senate- consisting mostly of old men-recently opposed a bill aimed at protecting the rights of women in marriage, employment and education. I am in no way surprised at this and I don’t know anyone who is frankly, but I am utterly disgusted.

Checking my privilege: I can not speak for all women and I certainly cannot speak for all Nigerian women. Some of the people who may have been most affected by this bill may have varied views on it’s relevance. I have been privileged thus far in the family I was born into. I have been heavily shielded from a lot of the realities of being female in Nigeria. I have been taught repeatedly to see myself as a leader, as someone with much to bring to the table. This is not a reality for all (many) Nigerian women.  This is not to imply that I am oblivious to the realities of being female in Nigeria, patriarchy and frankly misogyny seeps into even the most mundane conversations. I however feel it is important to acknowledge the ways in which I may be distanced from a full understanding of what is at stake.

Several articles have highlighted a few of the senators who were opposed to the bill and of course Senator Yerima felt it was his duty to oppose this bill on the basis of his religious beliefs. Now I respect anyone’s right to assert their beliefs, however there comes a point where you need to stop using religion as a medium to serve your heinous desires. Can we just stop to think about how after we all hash-tagged #childnotbride on social media, wrote articles and protested, this man still sits comfortably in the house of senate without a care. No accountability. No repercussion. And to think all it took was to cite religion and our uproar became a silent grumble.

Nigeria for all its patriarchy does a huge disservice to men because if a room full of decision makers whose sole purpose is to serve their country still cannot stretch their perspective enough to consider how protecting women against the constant violence that is inflicted on them could be necessary then you my friends are enduring the greatest torture. To be so enraptured by your privilege that you fail to see how you are setting yourself up for failure, I truly pity you.

Nigerian women are phenomenal! As evidenced by the few women I have featured in this series and those who I will feature in the months to come, they are barrier breakers, leaders, innovators, creatives! How is it that in 2016 we are still reducing a conversation about violence against women to the institutions under which they marry? How is this relevant to protecting their basic human rights? We pretend that the only context that women are abused is within marriage when in fact at every phase of a Nigerian woman’s life she must face some form of abuse. You can’t play this way, You can’t dress this way, You can’t speak this way, You can’t earn this much, You can’t advance this fast. We are constantly saying, limit yourself, do the bare minimum, wait for a man, don’t shame us by your brazenness. I felt it was important to state my privilege at the beginning of this post because as much as violence against women tears at my soul, there are women who wholeheartedly believe that their husbands can “discipline” them physically, that there is no such thing as a man raping his wife and that they deserve less in life simply on account of their genitalia. I can not speak for anyone other than myself and I cannot present anything other than my own moral stance and I say Nigeria you are failing your women!

We can not continue to lean so heavily on principles that have systematically diminished the worth of our own people. This should not be a tousle between man and woman. If truly all a woman is to you is your property then the least you can do is protect what is yours but even in your own logic you fail. I am thoroughly unimpressed with the light that this casts the majority of the Nigerian senate in.

I am a Nigerian woman and I am not afraid to say that I expect more.

I expect more from my country’s decision makers.

I expect more from Nigerian men.

I expect more from Nigeria.

 

 

Val-der-eee

Knapsack Tutorial

bag for the summer

Hi Guys!

So I’m here today with something very practical and something I have used literally everyday since I made it! A *drumroll* Knapsack!!

The word knapsack takes me back to primary school and marching songs 🙂

“I love to go a-wandering…*mumbles words*…with my knapsack on my back! Valdereee, Valderaahh”

I have no idea what half those marching songs meant or even why we needed to march to our classes but they’re nostalgic all the same. Oh the days of juice boxes, boogers and chalkboards! 🙂

YV bucket bag

This bag however started out with my quest for a practical bag to take to work which evolved into me lusting for a bucket bag. A dozen Pinterest tutorials later and I was sure of what I wanted and how I wanted it to look. However as with most things I make, the idea changes once I actually start making.

backpack for summer

I have drawn out what I cut to achieve this bag. Note that this image does not include a flap for closing as that is completely optional and just one of the things I added on the fly.

Napsack tutorial

In terms of strap length and draw string length I would suggest going with your gut and doing what feels right. As long as it isn’t too short you should really be able to adjust it. I originally tried to punch holes in the fabric with some cheap hole puncher I picked up at the fabric store but that failed spectacularly so I just snipped little x’s in the fabric where I wanted my drawstring to go through.

drawstring bag

Overall I would rate this project a 3/10 for difficulty 😀 it’s definitely a great beginner project and I have gotten a lot of use out of it already! I can’t wait to go everywhere with it this Summer.

Black knapsack

One little thing went wrong the day after I made it though, The strap cut! (LOL). So that this doesn’t happen to you when you try it (because I know you’re going to) Sew a rectangle that fixes the strap to the bag and then sew an ‘x’ in the rectangle. This would keep your bag a lot more secure. OR you can sew on loops like I did and this would make your bag adjustable. It all depends on what you would like to do.

Oh and one last thing, I would like to believe that this bag can be made using fabric glue. I say this because the sewing involved is pretty minimal but don’t take my word for it. I would be happy to see if fabric glue holds up for this tutorial.

Until next time

Peace XO

Pictures by Willyverse