tabbed turquoise colette laurel + klouie klouie

laurelturquoise01The Colette Laurel is here! One of many to come. How many? That remains unplanned and unknown. What is planned, however, is to experiment with embellishments and new techniques by working with one pattern for an entire month (Until the end of April). I won’t deny that that I’m motivated by the contest that Colette Patterns is currently hosting. So while one reason for participating to have a chance of winning one of those very nice prizes, the more important reason is that I want to see how much I can push myself to make different versions of just one dress.

laurelturquoise02I don’t mind cutting and taping the patterns together because it’s nice to do do mindless activities every now and then where I can listen to music and not worry about messing something up. Also, mangos make great paperweights.

laurelturquoise04I’ve decided to stop cutting my size (12) and instead snipping and folding along my size lines. Because of that I can’t cut my notches, so to make sure I don’t forget about them I color them in with a highlighter.

laurelturquoise06What I like about the Laurel pattern is that because it’s so quick and simple to finish, I’m left with an urge to do more. Complicated patterns with gathers and facing and interfacings and linings leave me with no energy to try and add something – finishing is all I care about, not adding.

laurelturquoise05Which is why I decided to play with tabs for the Laurel. I used the Colette Parfait straps as a starting point and just shortened them a bit a lot when adding them to my dress.

laurelturquoise09[1]I made five tabs total: one on each sleeve, one on each pocket, and on the front neckline. They are purely decorative and serve no functional purpose. I did learn one thing: don’t top stitch the top of the tab because it kills the illusion of it being a tab. Only stitch on the sides, but not the top. Then I finished off my tabs with some fabric covered buttons.

laurelturquoise07Here’s the back view. My Laurel is very loose… and I am fine with that. It’s hot and humid in Ouidah and the last thing I want is fabric sticking to me.

laurelturquoise08Also… as soon as I finished sewing in the invisible zipper, it broke! The pull part just snapped right off. No way was I going to rip out the zipper and install a new one for a pull tab, so I just used key ring from my spare keys to be my new zipper tab. If only it were gold colored to match the glitter on this dress.

laurelturquoise10The pockets are meant to hold small things like loose change, a phone, some cash – but not my hands. This dress does not look good with my hands in those pockets. Awkward.

laurelturquoise11HOWEVER they are perfect for one of my favorite Beninese snacks: klouie klouie!

laurelturquoise12Klouie klouie comes in many different forms and are often made from either peanuts or corn flour. Sometimes they are just sticks, sometimes they are in rings, sometimes they have hot pepper or ginger added… they can look and taste very different depending on where you are in Benin.  The only thing (that I’ve noticed) that is constant is that they are always crunchy and golden brown. This braided variation happens to be my favorite type, and at 25CFA a stick I often buy 4 and munch on them when I’m feeling a bit hungry. And rather than take a black plastic bag that litters the Beninese landscape, I prefer to put them directly in my pockets.

laurelturquoise13The edges are finished with bias tape made from the wrong side of my fabric, then top stitched twice. My stitching isn’t very pretty but I’m still happy with them.

Pattern: Colette Laurel 1025
Fabric: Ikat 10212

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