Added Apr 29, 2013
When in Ouidah, you cannot avoid the street sellers walking around with their goods piled on their heads whether it be bananas, bras, or… bissap. Frozen hibiscus juice. My addiction to this frozen snack is what inspired me to try and dye some secondhand sheets with hibiscus flowers.
Unfortunately my dye washed out the moment it touched some laundry detergent. So instead of a deep crimson I have a very pale pink. But it’s okay, it means I’ll just keep experimenting with natural dyes until I get it right. I promise, one day I’ll reach my goal of having a deep crimson fabric with no chemicals involved!
I added a drop waist skirt because I wanted to lengthen my Laurel, but also because I was a bit sick of making the same silhouette over and over. My mind wandered to a dress I had seen in the book I am Cute Dresses by Sato Watanabe which featured alternating lace panels. Perfect.
Then my mind kept wandering and I thought back to a post on the Coletterie Blog that featured lacey beaded pockets by Chanel (http://www.coletterie.com/inspiration/detail-inspiration-lacy-pocket). I wanted to try it myself using local waist beads. Although my version compares in no way to Chanel’s, I’m still in love with how it turned out and want to continue with beading for future projects.
As for the neckline, I made a faux peter pan collar, added the keyhole rather than cut it out, and added teardrops and beaded all that because I felt I needed some beads on top to balance out the beads on the pocket.
Voila! For even more details, and a how to on making hibiscus juice in Benin, I wrote more in my blog here: http://cathywu.com/journal/treadling/2013/04/29/hibiscus-dyed-beaded-lace-colette-laurel-i-am-satin-doll/
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