Monday, February 27, 2017

Nana Yaayaa's (Tamica's) African-Inspired Dress

National flag of Ghana

In honor of Black History Month, the administrator of a Black Barbie groups on Facebook, asked members to participate in a project to "sew" an African dress for Barbie and to give our dolls African names.  I decided to dress my doll muse, Tamica, for the project and give her the temporary Ghanaian name, Nana Yaayaa, which means Mother of the Earth, born on a Thursday.  (It was a Thursday in early February when I completed the dress.)

I chose a Ghanaian name because Nana Yaayaa wears a no-sew dress made from fabric that contains the colors of the national flag of Ghana*.  Because I do not sew, I improvised by creating a wrap dress. 

What Was Done
Nana Yaayaa stands on top of a piece of scarf and a black headband.

The no-sew dress was made using a square cut from a scarf.  The cut edges of the scarf were folded over and permanently ironed in place with Stitch Witchery.  

Before wrapping the sheer scarf around her body, she needed something underneath:  a tube dress.

Because the scarf fabric is thin, Nana Yaayaa wears a black tube dress underneath the wrap dress. The tube dress was made from a black headband.  As shown above, the sewn edge of the headband was cut to create an opening (photo-left).  The excess headband was cut away to create the desired length (photo right).

With Nana Yaayaa's body inside the tube dress, the top was rolled over twice to conceal the raw edge, as shown above.

The square cut from the scarf was then wrapped around Nana Yaayaa's body, tucked, and tied on the side creating the final look illustrated above.  Each step is demonstrated in a Youtube video, which can be viewed here.

Nana Yaayaa loves her new dress.  She has worn it for most of the month of February and will continue wearing it until she decides she needs a fashion change.

*About the National Flag of Ghana
The flag was “designed and adopted in 1957 and was flown until 1962, and then reinstated in 1966. It consists of the Pan-African colors of red, yellow, and green, in horizontal stripes, with a black five-pointed star in the canter of the gold stripe.” 

"Red symbolizes the blood of those who died in the country's struggle for independence from the United Kingdom.

Yellow represents the country's mineral wealth.

Green stands for [the] country's rich forests and natural wealth.

“Black Star is the lodestar of African freedom and symbolizes African emancipation... [It] was adopted from the flag of the Black Star Line, a shipping line incorporated by Marcus Garvey that operated from 1919 to 1922, and gives the Ghana national football team their nickname, the Black Stars. The flag's design influenced that of the flag of Guinea-Bissau.

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