Wednesday, 22 June 2016

African Wax Print Dress

This is one of those dresses when you finish it and you just can't help but smile cos its just so cracking!

The fabric was this African wax print cotton from abakhan fabrics. Its a panel print which is always a bit of a mind boggler when it comes to cutting out, and it was a pre cut but for less than £4.00 you can't really moan can you? Well you could but its considered rude..... [sorry about the naff quality of this picture it was taken on my phone moments before I started cutting out.]

If your thinking of using a wax cotton I'd definitely recommend it. Don't be put of by how it feels in the shop. [which is pretty similar to card to be honest] when you've washed it, it will soften up to like a quilting cotton type weight? I think its a great option for beginners actually because it handles and presses so nicely! 

Now for the cutting out. I decided a princess seam bodice was the best way to go because I thought the front seams would be less disruptive to the pattern than darts. So the bodice was cut with a centre fold running down the large pattern section and both the skirt pieces were cut with the fabric folded the other way! and then the waistband was cut from the middle part where the skirt pieces had been cut.

I'm chuffed to death with the pattern on the bodice but I wish I'd centred the pattern on the skirt pieces. I'm not sure if I had enough fabric to, but it would have been a nice touch.

The bodice is the princess seam bodice from the second GBSB book and the skirt is the box pleat skirt from the same book. This fabric loves to pleat by the way! Its like "yeah! fold me and iron me and I'll be the neatest lil pleat you ever did see!" I also used the waistband from the box pleat skirt because I've had issues with the bodice being too short before now.

It was quite nice to realise that the box pleat skirt and the bodice fit together without any alterations. I don't know if its a fluke just for me. But if it isn't it might have been nice if they'd mentioned it in the book. A girl likes to have options ya know.

I did add a slit detail to the front of the bodice just to keep things a bit different. This might actually be my favourite part it add s a classy bit of boobage without being like "HELLO PLEASE STARE AT MY VERY NEARLY EXPOSED BREASTS!" 

Its not the neatest slit in the world [god that sounds filthy!] but it was my first one ever so I can't really complain. 

The bodice and waistband are both lined. I actually finished the inside of the lining by hand which is pretty standard for me. What wasn't standard was me sewing my unpicker lid into the lining! I was stood after finishing, feeling like the queen of Sheba in my new frock having a quick bodice feel [which is kind of like groping yourself to check for excess fabric] and then was like OMG what that in my back? and then I realised! Damm near peed my pants laughing! Luckily for me the zip had been a swine to get my needle though so my stitches were pretty big and I managed to squeeze it out! 

If you want a giggle there's a cracking selfie of me on instagram giggling away when I just realised what I'd done!

Anyway disaster averted! I did a concealed zip at the back seam... well at least I tried. And the hem is a teeny weeny 1cm because of the length.

Anyway! Thoughts?

Love this dress, in fact no! I LOVE THIS DRESS! I feels all kinds of sassy! 

Love the box pleat skirt its pretty darn flattering.

Lengths good!

Looks cute with black tights and a black cardi which is a winner.

Its just one of those projects that turned out exactly as I wanted!

Although the zip could be better and so could the keyhole.

The fits pretty smack on as well, but to be honest seen as I've made this bodice so many times now I'd be a bit ashamed if I screwed up the fit!

Much Love

A proper chuffed 




  1. Wow, this is absolute gorgeous.
    I'd love to create this but fairly new to sewing so will put on my list for when I've got more experience and confidence. Doubt I'd do the dress as must justice as you looking stunning but I'm sure if I ever complete it I'll feel just as wonderful. Diane x

    1. Definitely give it ago! Wax cotton is sooooo lovely to work with! and it looks so dramatic when finished! as a bonus if you choose a smaller print that you can scrap pattern matching and it will still look awesome!!! x

  2. Fab review! And love your "lady in red" pic!

    Great job on bodice fit too.

    So funny to hear 'bout your unpicker lid incident!

    Thank you for sharing, always love seeing your creations in the Facebook group. Even better now that we can read all about the journey. Can't wait to see what's next! :D

    1. Thank-you,I really loved making this! I'm glad you enjoyed my unpicker story I always try and blog the good the bad and the ugly x

  3. This is a stunning dress, the pattern placement is perfect and so is the fit, the colour is amazing on you too and the neck spilt adds a chicness. I've been scared of wax cotton but might give it a go in the future now, super make thanks for sharing. Lynsey

    1. Definitely give it a go! It's so lovely to work with!!! X

  4. This is such a gorgeous dress and that's so good to know that the bodice works with the pleated skirt! In fact I might need to copy you as I have African wax print fabric I wanted to make into a dress with fitted bodice but not so tight skirt - this would be the perfect combination. I've sewn a few patterns from the third Sewing Bee book now and found your blog when I was looking up to see who else had sewn from the books. Your unpicker incident made me LOL at work!

    1. Its so awesome that the two patterns fit together! I'm pretty sure I cut the same size in both its just the waistband you need to trim some off x

  5. Wow, wow, wow! So striking and the pattern placement is great! It can be so hard to cut out panel prints but this worked out perfectly so that the bodice is such a good focal point and the whole dress is balanced. Nice work!

    1. Thankyou! I love the challenge of a border print! X

  6. Looking pretty lady and love those unique red color and pattern.Its so fascinating.african ankara print | sequin fabric | african print wholesale


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