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Editors Note

Posted by Editor On Mar - 14 - 2011

It seems that with every new month, I’m personally faced with the desire to ‘move on up’; forward, to progress in all aspects. This means continually setting new goals and striving to achieve them. Where am I getting with this, you ask, well, each month I look forward to making this magazine something greater. It’s slowly taking form, we might not be ‘movin on up to a New York deluxe apartment on the East side’ like George and Weezy, but I have played with the thought of seeing AfroElle in greater places.

Mangoes and Lemon

Posted by Editor On Mar - 14 - 2011

Mangoes and Lemonade is a website that is dedicated to sharing information and resources that can help people of Haiti, while serving as a reference place for those who are interested in getting involved with relief of sorts. My vision is to continue building the site and allow it to grow into a more effective tool over time.

Cover Story:A Jill of All Trades

Posted by Editor On Mar - 14 - 2011

A phenomenal woman to me is one that has a great purpose; she is passionate, compassionate, humble, caring and giving. She exudes a beauty that reflects great values, wisdom and strength. She is one that will use her influence to bring about positive change. She is a servant.

Featured Couple:Jonathon and Amy Mauritz

Posted by Editor On Mar - 14 - 2011

Amy Ohen and Jonathon Mauritz met at a coffee shop. When asked what her first impression of Jonathon was, Amy says she thought Jonathon was a college frat boy. “I was surprised that he was flirting with me because I was minding my own business studying in my comfy sweatpants and t-shirt. I was definitely not looking my finest.

In The Kitchen With Yolis Green Living

Posted by Editor On Mar - 14 - 2011

I started eating plant-based diet in 2001. At the time, I wanted to impress a guy I was dating with my culinary skills and converting foods I loved to eat into vegan meals, it soon became second nature to me. Over a few months, I noticed some significant changes just from choosing differently in what I consumed. Lost a lot of weight, had fewer allergies, and my cramps disappeared. I acknowledged that my results were payoff of eliminating dairy from my diet.

Sisterpreneurs;Emily and Irene Wasonga

Posted by Editor On Mar - 14 - 2011

Love’s Hangover is the name of a boutique jewelry store in Noblesville, IN co-owned by two sisters; Emily and Irene Wasonga. Born and raised in Kenya and living partly in Botswana; the two are now making their dreams come true with their jewelry business that started out as hobby in their teenage years.

Fashionista;Christine Neptune

Posted by Editor On Mar - 14 - 2011

I try to master the "boyfriend look". Baggy shirts, sweatshirts, men's button up's and such. I might not have a boyfriend but taking my brother's clothes work just as well. I like the mystery it brings behind it, people wonder and question me if I'm a tomboy.

Fashion & Style: Little Fascinator

Posted by AfroElle On 10:43 AM
Sometimes you need a little something extra to finish an otherwise great outfit. What better thing than a fascinator that you made yourself? Perfect for the party season coming up and good old fashioned frivolity anytime.

There are two ways to make a headpiece: the first way takes time, diligence, and tiny stitches done by hand; the second usually involves hot glue and a few prayers. I have found a way to combine both methods to create a sweet little chapeau with which to adorn your head. There are a million and one ways to decorate a hat. This one is easy and takes less than an hour to complete. Enjoy!

What you will need: a buckram frame or stiff felt, headband and/or hair comb, scissors, thread, fabric glue or fabric safe glue stick, bias tape, fabric (anything with a firm weave that won’t fray badly), any assortment of little treasures to decorate with, a sewing machine, glue gun, sturdy pins, and about 1 to 1 ½ hours to put it all together.


This fascinator is done in two parts. The first part involves assembling and/or making all the trims, the second is covering the buckram or felt frame. If using felt you can cut it into any shape you desire and choose to cover it or not. The possibilities are endless and felt is easier for most people to get their hands on than buckram. Every single thing that went into making this particular fascinator, with the exception of the headband, I already had on hand. The headband cost a little over a dollar at my local craft store. I suggest if you have a fabric stash raid it. I was determined not to spend a dime on this project as a challenge to myself. The headband was necessary because of the weight of the trim I used.

Making the flower

This flower is homage to orchids and lily type flowers everywhere. You’ll need three petals for the effect. The fabric I’m using for this project is some miserly crepe back satin that I’ve been slowly but surely using up. It doesn't fray too badly and with its contrasting sides adds interest to my flower. 


Step One: Cut out an eggs shape piece about twice the size of your finished petal. Play around with different sizes to find the one you like.

Step Two: Fold the oval in half. If using crepe back satin, fold with shiny side up.

Step Three: Create a pleat at the center of the fold by folding the fabric from one side to the other leaving the ends free.

Step Four: Fold on end over the pleat in the center and hold firmly with your fingers.

Step Five: Repeat step four with the other free end.

Step Six: With needle and thread stitch all the layers together using tiny stitches. It won’t take much to hold it but make sure to secure the thread and clips away any excess.

Covering the frame
I took great liberty with this part as I tried to make it simple for anyone to do. Millinery snobs will turn their noses up at my unabashed use of glue and recklessness with forgoing a pattern. If you care to, all of these following steps can be accomplished without the use of glue. Just be ready to some serious pleating and fine handwork with a good strong needle.


Step One: Spread the fabric over the frame to see how you like it. Look for any inconsistencies or flaws in the frame now and decide which you can live with and which you can’t. In any case if it’s bad you can cover it with trim. Cut out a piece of fabric big enough to cover the frame. Ideally it should be the same shape as the frame only slightly bigger. If you care to, you can trace around the frame with tailors chalk and then cut out the piece leaving about a half inch extra around. If you do this you’re taking this part too seriously and will not be done in under an hour at this rate.

Step Two: Cover your frame with glue in an even layer focusing on the edges.

Step Three: Smooth your fabric over the frame being careful not to leave any bubbles or bumps. There is no real technique to this on a piece so small, although I started with the largest part of the frame and worked my way downwards and outwards.
If you are sewing everything by hand this is the time to add your trim. Your threads won’t show from the inside of the frame and you wont have to worry about “sewing between layers” to avoid showing threads….However if you’re like me you will proceed to Step Four.

Step Four: Repeat step one through three for the under belly, but this time instead of leaving a half inch more leave a half inch less fabric. 

Step Five: Use your bias binding to cover the fabric edges where the top and bottom sides of the covered buckram meet. Use your pins to secure it while you sew. It is probably best to stitch this by hand, but if you are renegade like me you will power up your sewing machine and do it in one minute: sixteen seconds. You will also use whatever thread you have threaded on your machine, but you will still be careful to remove pins as you sew in an effort no to anger your machine or ruin your day.

Step Six: With your covered buckram it is time to arrange your trims in a way that pleases you. I used my flower petals and an old broken Jeff Lieb brooch to create something that looks halfway decent. Lastly, I affixed it to a headband with hot glue. A hair comb would have been a joke considering the weight of the piece. The amount of trims and arrangements you use is up to you. Preferably, adding a veil to this topper would be stellar and I still might do it, but alas no netting on hand so it didn’t make it to the project. 


Parting tips:

1. Make fabric flowers and petals in your free time and store them when you need trims for a hat or need to make any quick accessory. It will use up fabric scraps nicely and is a great way to recycle old clothes. There are lots of tutorials for fabric flowers, but essentially any fabric flower starts from a circle, oval, rounded square, or strip of fabric/ribbon. Wind it around, twist it, or fold it and BAM! Perfect foliage.

2. Headbands and combs are necessary if you end up with a heavy piece. I picked a headband in a dark color that could blend into my hair, but covering a headband is fun too if you want it to match the rest of your piece. If you go this route only use headbands without the teeth. Elastic works well for lighter pieces and is very easy to come by. Pick an elastic that is narrow but strong.

3. Have fun doing this project. If you get frustrated it’s very simple to start over. No one says it has to be perfect the first time. FYI: it took me nearly 45 minutes to figure out how to make the flower the way I wanted. Go with the flow and you’ll end up somewhere nice. Promises.

About the writer: Claire likes to imagine and create things while focusing most of her energies on fashion design. Right now she’s figuring out what makes her tick as a designer and chronicling it on her blog Clairelynette's Stylemethod. She shares her projects and processes with the world for feedback. She plans on doing more tutorials in the future because as she learns something new she can't help but share it. 


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