friendship bracelet bib colette laurel

braidedbibcolettelaurel01Colette Laurel round 4. Friendship bracelet bib edition this time.

braidedbibcolettelaurel02Remember these? From the klutz books? From summer camp? From church camp? From recess? Yeah, I’m bringing friendship bracelets back! But what spurred this visit to the past?

One way that CIAMO generates some extra income for their programs is to host groups of students from Nigerian schools. It’s a way for the Nigerians to practice their French and interact with other Beninese students.

The activity I chose for them? What else: friendship bracelets. To symbolize Nigerian-Benin friendship of course. Here my co-teacher Pascal is helping a confused student.

And here I am!

braidedbibcolettelaurel06Life in Ouidah can be difficult. If being stared at and yelled at and touched constantly doesn’t wear me down, being locked out of my house, having an infestation of mayflies, dealing with beetles eating away at my bookshelves, finding scorpions in my fabric, flooded rooms from the rains, or food poisoning and fevers will do it. Check out my newest surprise. Can you see it?

braidedbibcolettelaurel07No? I’ll zoom in.

braidedbibcolettelaurel08Thankfully it was already on its way out. I don’t know whether it was a python or a snake or a viper or a mamba since only his tail was visible. Either way, the best strategy for snakes I think is to just stomp (from a distance) on the ground so that they sense the vibrations and leave. They don’t want to attack us for no reason, that’s just Hollywood who makes us think that.

braidedbibcolettelaurel09What do I do when I just need a break from it all? I come here. To the ocean. It has a great way of pushing my “reset” button so I’m back to 100% and can tackle whatever problem Ouidah decides next to throw at me.

braidedbibcolettelaurel10 I don’t come here too often though, mainly because… just look. See any shade? It’s hot here. It’s a 30 min bike ride or 2 hour walk in the sun, and once I arrive… there’s no shade.

braidedbibcolettelaurel15But I figured out a nice alternative. I could take a motorcycle to the beach… with Bosco on my lap. And then I could buy a drink at the fancy hotel so I could sit under their awnings and on their nice cushioned chairs. Yes. That is worth it, I think, than saving money and being miserable in the heat.

braidedbibcolettelaurel11But really, sometimes it’s nice to be in Benin and not in the USA. My problems here pale in comparison to all the sad things I’m reading about back home in the news. There are lots of things to complain about in Ouidah, but at least I needn’t worry about being around when the next awful person decides to harm innocent people in public.

braidedbibcolettelaurel13I tie Bosco to a chair, order a glass of pineapple juice, and start braiding with the ocean in front of me and the pool behind me.

braidedbibcolettelaurel14I really like doing repetitive mindless tasks, because that mindlessness is what allows other thoughts and ideas  to roam around my head as I slowly braid.

braidedbibcolettelaurel16Such a good dog, and perfect for a sewer – he’ll sit and wait patiently as I work on a project, never rushing me to finish so he can go on a walk. He’s content to just chill beside me.

braidedbibcolettelaurel17Initially I wanted to make long bracelets to use as bindings for the edges, but the idea of trying to braid something that long turned me off. Much easier to sew 5 short ones than 1 long one. Variation 7 with the bib was perfect for this idea as all the bracelets were small enough to fit inside. I was lucky that my previous laurel was white, so I pinned the bib to it to try out different variations for how the braids should lay. It’s much easier to see something in front of me than sorting through mental images.

braidedbibcolettelaurel18In the end I went with a radiating effect.

braidedbibcolettelaurel19The fabric I used were secondhand white sheets. The white sheet I was using for the outside was too thin so I underlined it with another white sheet.

braidedbibcolettelaurel20The sleeves are finished with bias tape as well.

braidedbibcolettelaurel21As well as the hem. However, when I used bias tape to bind the lining and underlining together, the underlining was much thicker and pulled the outside thin layer in to make a very subtle poofy effect that I didn’t like. I don’t know if I explained that well. In the end, I made the underlining shorter and hemmed the 2 separately.

braidedbibcolettelaurel22Ta da! You can see where the underlining ends. I think I would like that semi-transparent bar at the hem more if I had done the same with the sleeves.

braidedbibcolettelaurel23And here’s the bib on a body. I moved the darts down 2cm this time, and I think that’s where I’ll keep them for future makes.





braidedbibcolettelaurel28Bosco endures so much humiliation.

braidedbibcolettelaurel29But he’s repaid generously in scrap bones and belly rubs, so I think he’s happy enough.

braidedbibcolettelaurel30Uh oh, see those clouds? It means rain. Soon. By soon I mean now. End of photo shoot!

Pattern: Colette 1025 Laurel
Fabric: Secondhand sheets

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