S’no white | DIY satin wrap skirt

Yellow satin wrap skirt

Hi interwebs 🙂 it’s been a while.

I’ve been pretty occupied with day to day living. Its kind of funny how easy it is to get looped into daily routines and to stop challenging yourself. Anyhow, I’m bringing you a wrap skirt I made for Gospelfest (Gospelfest is UTGC’s spring concert *X Soprano squad X*). Our colours for this year were White, Grey and Yellow so I decided to have a little fun with my outfit.

Snow white vibes no?

Now before I go any further, this outfit taught me just how important it is to be stocked on fresh, sharp needles. (cue tears)

I opted for a full circle midi length skirt. Simple enough to cut out and a google search yields many formulas on how to calculate your circle skirt length and circumference. Seeing as I wanted it to be a wrap skirt, I added half of my waist measurement to my actual waist measurement to get my wrap skirt measurement. That may have been a little convoluted so see the formula below

AW+ 1/2AW= WW

Once you cut out a circle skirt, you’re about 75% done 🙂 .

  • I cut out a waist band which was long enough to go around the waist of my skirt and have enough left over to tie
  • Another piece of equal width to the waist band also for me to tie the waistband
  • Finally two thinner pieces to tie on the inside of my waist band.

I decided not to go with a wrap belt that pulls through the waistband just because my sewing machine can’t make button holes and I didn’t want to have my fabric fraying as a result of that.

Now I began to sew and much to my utter dismay, my fabric kept puckering, my thread kept breaking and I started sweating. Who had I offended? Why do these problems have to start now? Oh and I should mention that I was sewing this skirt hours before I had to head out to the event. A couple YouTube videos and plenty of whoosas later, I managed to troubleshoot my issues enough to pull through.

I wore it on the matte side (glossy side pictured in this post) but honestly I think it could be rocked on either side depending on the occasion. Got lots of compliments on this skirt in the end so that definitely made up for the hassle. Nevertheless, I learned shortly after that majority of the issues I was facing were brought on by a blunt needle. Apparently you are supposed to change your needle  after every 72 hours of sewing.

Who knew?

Pictures by Willyverse

Issa Look | DIY Men’s Versatile Overalls

Convertible men’s overalls

Hi Guys!!!!!

dscf0324

As you can tell this post isn’t really about me (for once). Meet the man behind my pictures, photographer, brother, art director extraordinaire, Willyverse himself :D. Late last year I was reflecting on just how many shoots we had done and how kind and supportive he had been of all my endeavors and not once had he asked me to make him anything so I offered. I’ll be honest, I was halfway expecting him to shrug and say he didn’t want anything but then he actually had a request. He had an idea for a multi-functional “super suit” as he calls it or deconstructed overalls. Clearly we think alike because I feel an outfit maximizes it worth when it can be worn a few different ways.

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So I began my research and found a super helpful video on men’s overalls by StyldByChris. It seemed simple enough to start with; make pants, make a top, add loops to attach them and fin, oui? Mais non! First there were the issues with the pant legs, then the challenges with the zipper where it would disrespectfully slide open every time he bent even slightly and then the top was a good width if the two parts of the overall were attached but way too wide for the super suit.

dscf0344

I have to commend William for working with me through the issues and making suggestions to fix the problems we faced. I was really just the tailor in this creative process, he fully committed to fleshing out his vision to the very last detail.

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In terms of making clothes for men as opposed to women, there really wasn’t a stark constructive difference if I’m being completely honest. I thought there would be for some reason. Nevertheless this was a great challenge and I learned plenty from the experience. Pluuuuusss I took my own blog pictures!!! What an unexpected turn of events eh?

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Until next time folks

My Hair is a Sassy Lover | Fro’ Tales

My relationship with my Natural Hair

My hair has way too much attitude for her own good. Let’s call my fro Freddy. Freddy and I have been going steady for about 3 years. When I first met Freddy, I was still involved with my ex but that relationship just wasn’t working anymore. I felt I was getting burned too often and over time it became clear that we couldn’t weather the cold winters so slowly I stated cutting my ex out of my life.

Freddy and I have been through a lot since then. I’ve learned what makes Freddy happy and in return she’s helped me see myself in a completely different light. The longer we’ve been together though, the more Freddy and I don’t seem to see eye to eye. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to pieces but lately I think she’s taking my love for granted.

I’ll take some responsibility for this; I got a little lazy with our relationship. I started moisturizing less and using heat more. Things got so bad that I couldn’t even remember the last time I deep conditioned. That’s when Freddy started to pull away. I noticed my first heat damaged piece and only then did I step back and look at how much I was hurting her. I didn’t just want to apologize because I knew she would respond just like one of my best friends, “What are you sorry for?” while maintaining her salty attitude. I decided to change completely and start paying more attention. I started with a good trim, stopped leaving her out as much and started conditioning more. I thought things were getting better until she started acting up.

Now I’ve been a lot busier with work so I need Freddy to stay put till the weekends when I can give her my full attention but three days into the week she’s already begging for a wash. Now I know this is all a clever ruse to get me to condition her again because she’s gone much longer than a few days without any problems but now she’ll go dry and matted on the ends if I don’t answer her call for moisture.

I have tried new conditioners and even locking her in with her favourite shea butter mix but she insists on misbehaving unless I’m giving her undivided attention at least twice a week. Things really came to a head two washes ago when I hadn’t detangled properly after our last wash day and she wasn’t having any of my nonsense this time around. My arms hurt, the bathroom steamed up and I practically had to beg her to release the knots. Grudgingly letting one knot out after the other, it was like she was daring me to repeat the same thing. I promised her (and myself) that she deserved better than that and I thought we had both agreed to collaborate more.

Three days later we were back to an itchy scalp and that’s when I decided I had had enough. I told her it was time for some braids and even though she may not understand right now, I think we both need the break. Surprisingly she didn’t put up much of a fight going in and I had even started to question whether I had reacted too harshly but by the end of my first full week with these braids she’s already wiling out and trying to get itchy. I miss her but its probably best that we give each other some space for a couple weeks just to gain a little perspective.

Even with her attitude though she still makes me happy. Something about her keeps things interesting and speaking to other naturals I think they’ll agree, when you look at your thriving fro, it makes (some of) the stress worth it :p

 

 

 

 

Stay Breezy | DIY Floral Jumpsuit

Happy Canada day guys!

floral jumpsuit

I am beyond delighted to be sitting at home typing this on this gloriously rainy day. I have taken a walk, had breakfast and now sipping a cup of chamomile as I watch the rain fall. Could there be a more perfect day?

4c long hair

Well maybe not more perfect but the day I made this jumpsuit was pretty high up there. This is so comfortable and breezy and rather chic if I do say so my self. I attempted making a jumpsuit a few years ago and to say that didn’t go well would be a huge understatement. So starting off with this project I was very cautious and tried to give a bit more allowance and it certainly paid off.

jumpsuit for summer

To cut, I used sweatpants and a chiffon camisole that I have. I cut out the pants first and made sure I could slip them on with absolutely no resistance. This is an important step because if the pants are even a little bit snug you may not be able to enter into your jumpsuit at all. Also consider that my fabric has no stretch so I really couldn’t risk not having the allowance.

jumpsuit outfit

For the top I cut it in three pieces; one front piece and two back pieces. I did this so that I could have the key hole opening I created here. This also allows me enter into the jumpsuit, again as the fabric has no stretch to it I had to really consider my entry and exit points.

floral summer outfit

To finish things off, I connected the top to the bottom with a waist band and added an elastic band with a zigzag stitch to give it a bit more shape.

Jumpsuit details

Added straps, strings to tie the back and finished my neck line and voila!

Vibes by willyverse
bag available on Willyverse.com

Say hello to the summer uniform 😛 The floral print really drew me to this fabric and I was absolutely thrilled with how this turned out 🙂

Pictures by Willyverse

Brown Girl Blue Thunder | Off-shoulder summer dress

gypsy mini dress

Hi Guys!

Presenting the most comfortable dress I ever made! I’m still twirling in delight as I type this!! (okay not literally but I’m pretty excited as you can tell).

Off shoulder dress

On the summer inspiration menu today is an extra simple but super on trend dress! For this dress you just need to be able to cute two rectangles, hem and add elastic to it! Trust me it doesn’t get much easier than this.

diy off shoulder dress tutorial

Now it shouldn’t surprise you too much that I wanted this dress to be multi-functional. I believe that an outfit truly earns its place in my closet when it can be worn a couple different ways (which reminds me, I’m due for a closet purge >.<).

ibegan Enang Ukoh

If I had a thicker chest or if I made the shoulders tighter I could have worn this as a strapless dress as well but oh well 🙂 one-shoulder would have to suffice.

4c afro hair

This would be perfect for all of the summer barbecues because you can eat to your heart’s content without looking like you’ve been stuffed into your jeans. And you can probably sneak a treat or two away in all this volume 😀 (JK. please don’t say I sent you to do that oo!)

ankara off shoulder dress
Yes those are pockets for extra treats 😀

So if you would like to DIY this dress here are a few easy peasy steps to follow. Even if you don’t sew, fabric glue should work just as well.

brown skin and afro

  • Figure out how long you want the dress and the overlay to be.
  • Cut out the dress rectangle, add about 4 inches to the width for some extra room.
  • Cut out the overlay (this should be 3 times your shoulder width or 2.5 depending on how much volume you want).
  • Seal off both rectangles with sewing or fabric glue.
  • Center the bodice under the over lay. (This might be a good time to cut out arm holes for yourself).
  • Attach the overlay to the bodice with a zig-zag stitch or your fabric glue.
  • Fold over the top edge to create a case for your elastic to go through. (The elastic should stretch comfortably around your shoulders.
  • Using a safety pin, feed your elastic through the hole and sew the ends. (I would recommend sewing this part just for added security.
  • Close up your hole and hem any raw edges.

ankara dress

There you go! A summer dress made by you ^_^

Until next time, let me know if you try this out! 😀

bags by willyverse
Bag available June 8th- http://www.willyverse.com

Pictures by Willyverse

Wavy

Ankara duster coat

Wavy Coat

Hi Guys!

Another spring day, another slay :). This coat is the prelude to my bomber jacket that I promised. The sleeves are made of a fleecy fabric I got a long time ago, don’t remember what exactly it was called but I’m fairly certain it’s the same fabric used for sweatshirts. I lined the entire coat with it as well for added warmth.

Ankara Duster Coat

The ankara used for this coat is a Vlisco print, it may be older or out of stock but the fabric was gifted to me by my mum and I just knew this fabric was made to do beautiful things!

Ankara jacket

The raglan sleeves made this a slightly easier project than my bomber jacket, so much so that I had to go back in on my bomber jacket and change the sleeves. I picked up the ribbed cuffs at King Textiles when they had a sale on them.

Spring Outfits

The only thing I might consider doing differently on this coat is adding shoulder darts. This is something that I discovered randomly as I was scouring the internet for inspiration one day. Making a raglan sleeve could sometimes create a wider neckline depending on the fabric so shoulder darts just allow everything sit nicer on your shoulders 😀

Vlisco spring coat

I have worn this coat with a few different outfits and I get compliments on it every time. However, I was sooo feeling myself in this outfit. Got these pants from the thrift store and I had my doubts on whether I would be able to pull it off but once I chucked this belt on it I knew I had found a keeper!

Spring OOTD

Spring time is all about the wishy-washy weather, cold in some spots and boiling once you turn the corner so it’s nice to be able to whip this coat on and off depending on what I’m feeling. It also helped that the wind had me looking extra fly ;p

Duster Coat Outfit

More spring vibes on deck so stay chuned

Pictures by Willyverse

The Nigerian Woman | Rooted

Yosola Paul-Olaleye

Hi Guys!!

YossiePaul

Back again with another amazing Nigerian woman! I remember growing up how the instant rebuke for doing less than your peers was “do they have two heads?!”. I am however convinced that Yossie does! 😀 How else do you describe someone who is a published author, working on her Masters degree and gearing up for a PhD. and of course maintaining the daunting responsibility of being entertaining on social media!! Always true to her Yoruba roots and an all round pleasure to talk to and learn from, I know you would enjoy reading about this Nigerian Woman just as much as I did!

Who are you (What are the things that make up your identity, likes, interests, quirks)

You’d think people would be comfortable with this question given that we are supposedly self-obsessed, but I still struggle with it. In any case, I’m a 22-year old wearer of many hats – at least, I try to be. I feel it’s my duty to be able to do many things for myself, and this is probably to my detriment.

At the moment, I am studying for a master’s degree in Communication Governance at LSE. In my spare time, which is technically no spare time at all, I work on an online publication with friends and I try to build platforms that will potentially change the way we discuss issues concerning Africa and ‘development’.

I am also an aspiring writer, and I published my first book in September 2015. It is a collection of essays and poetry about home and various experiences of womanhood. It is dedicated to my grandfather, the man whose influence shaped my life and work.

Two things make up my identity, really, and those are books (by which I mean words and everything about them) and Nigeria. This is because everything I do finds its way back to my love for words, language, and literature; and whenever I think about my work and my goals, I think about ‘home’.

What do you feel being a Nigerian woman means?

On a very simple level, I think of it merely in terms of our places of origin, our names, our histories. But I am also interested in how the above shape our identities and influence our character.

Being a Nigerian woman for me is about knowing where I have come from – which I understand as my name and my family’s lineage – and leading a life that glorifies that history. I come from a long line of women who have changed their environments and the lives of the people around them, and I feel it’s important for me to follow that path and do something meaningful for Nigeria/Nigerians, especially girls, perhaps in education.

Maybe being a Nigerian woman, for me, is about contributing positively to the growth of our home?

Has your identity as a Nigerian ever been questioned? Why and how did you respond?

No, it hasn’t. If anything, my identity as a Yoruba woman has been questioned, but that’s because I don’t like pepper (read: hot food). Sometime last year, a friend generously went out in the night to find some food for me. He came back with Nando’s and I didn’t think much of it because I figured we couldn’t go wrong with chicken. Wrong. At some point, I realised my mouth was burning and so I asked him if he got extra hot. He turned his face away from me and said, “You have a Yoruba mother.” I was like: Yes, and so? That I have a Yoruba mother doesn’t mean I eat pepper, please. So I had this dramatic moment of, “Please don’t kill me o!”

It was quite hilarious. I actually love the look on people’s faces when I say I don’t like super hot food. It’s like, “ah ahn. You sure sey you be omo Naija like this?” Yes, I’m sure. I don’t understand what people enjoy about tapping their heads while eating because of pepper.

When did you become conscious of your identity as a Nigerian woman?

I think this happened sometime last year – I think I fully came into myself in 2015. I had always known that I was ‘Nigerian’, insofar as I was born and raised in Lagos. I had always known my full name, and I had always been aware of the influence my childhood experiences had on my person. But, last year, I started to think about my childhood, and my relationship with my grandfather, who, in many ways, tried to make us all aware of where we came from, of our names, of our history. This is why I dedicated my book to him and why I wrote the short essay about home and my grandfather.

I started to think about what my name means, and how to make sure it drives me, and that’s when I started to feel strongly ‘Nigerian’. That said, being away from home makes me feel somewhat removed from the reality of Nigerian living.

What are you most proud of when you think of Nigerian women?

Ooh, the fighting spirit! I mean, it could also be described as shakara (especially if you’re Yoruba), but I think it’s wonderful. And it’s also not restricted to Nigerian women. I think African women all over the world share this, and it’s what makes us – our grandmothers, our mothers, all of us – remarkable. Don’t worry, no feminist propaganda here (although that wouldn’t be amiss). 😉

Where can people find you and your work?

All over the web, literally. I have placed all my digital footprints in a central place for ease: www.about.me/yossiepaul