Added Apr 25, 2013
African waist beads are nicknamed “sexy beads” by Peace Corps volunteers because they are worn by women on the hips underneath clothing as a way to seduce husbands. Seeing a person’s beads in Benin is equivalent to seeing someone’s thong in America. Different culture, different ways of being sexy. (There are other meanings and histories to these beads if you are interested here: http://africaisdonesuffering.com/2013/02/waist-beads/ ) On the other hand, infants (boys and girls) up to a year old wear them with their diapers so you can always see those, but those have no sexual connotation (of course!)
The fabric I used were secondhand sheets from a Beninese “thrift shop” AKA mounds of old clothing thrown away from developed countries piled on the side of a street.
Because I noticed the Laurel fits loosely on me, I omitted the zipper and added a bit of smocked beading from dress #11 of “I am Cute Dresses” by Sato Watanabe.
I love this version, however I am unhappy with how the hem “turns inward” where there is beading. I wrote more in my sewing journal here: http://cathywu.com/journal/treadling/2013/04/25/sexy-beads-colette-laurel-i-am-tiny-tucks/
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