June 16, 2016

That African wax print

In my post about last week's Great British Sewing Bee episode, I mentioned the African wax fabric I still have in my stash. I also showed you the skirt I had made from it years ago. 
Watching the show and writing that blog post made me think about doing something with the remaining fabric (a fact which I also mentioned in that post). 

First of all, this is my fabric:

As you can see, there is a clear repeat across the length but not something you can really pattern-match. And in fact, the print looks even more 3D in the picture than it does in real life.

Now, before I dug this fabric out of the stash, I thought about using it for a fit-and-flare skirt. Something along the line of these "Morticia skirts" from Studio Faro (their tutorial gives the drafting instructions for all of these! I don't need a tutorial for a skirt like this, but this is a great resource if you do). I thought the different drafting options for a shape like this would allow me to pick the one that was most suited to the print. 
It is a rather elegant kind of skirt that can work well in a great variety of fabrics. I haven't made or worn anything like it in years...

But then, I brought out the fabric. I held it up to my body in front of a mirror and then I laid it out to photograph it. Only then, it hit me. This print is so eye-catching. Cutting it into smallish pieces for the skirt I thought I wanted would be such a waste. Even in my old skirt, which uses a fairly large uncut panel and careful print placement on the yoke, you kind of miss the real impact of the print. 
So, how about cutting and sewing it along those diagonal lines to make a wide skirt? Kind of like this:


I think I should alternate the left and right side points to get the best shape. However, that would mean placing all yellow pieces next to each other. 
Not all the lines in the print are exactly straight but those dark areas are large enough to allow for a bit of cheating. I could just cut the panels, see which arrangement worked best, sew them up and then cut the waistline and hemline I need/want. 
It's a very different approach to making a skirt but one which would really show off that print.

P.S. I'm trying to be strict with myself about adding to the stash but I have seen a wax print at the market which might suit me: Orange stalks and leaves, outlined in black on a cobalt blue background. 

8 comments:

  1. Oh, that fabric you described sounds wonderful! Pictures, please!

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  2. I really like the idea of developing a pattern with the print in mind.

    I also think you should get that orange and cobalt fabric from the market before it's gone.

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  3. Get that fabric from the market - you know you'll dream about it for years if you miss it! I love the idea of matching the pattern to the fabric you have. I am not sure that I could bear to cut into it myself, but I hope that you do. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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  4. Blue and orange are my favorite color combo....followed by red and turquoise so the fabric you describe sounds wonderful. I don't know how you decide on these wax prints! I'd end up with so many....and then never want to cut them!

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  5. Blue and orange are my favorite color combo....followed by red and turquoise so the fabric you describe sounds wonderful. I don't know how you decide on these wax prints! I'd end up with so many....and then never want to cut them!

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  6. I think you have a fantastic idea for that fabulous fabric. Can't wait to see it made up.

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  7. Oh, that's just wonderful! I love that fabric and your floor draping just makes it sing.

    I have a small.....no, at six yards a pop, my wax print problem is rather large. And they lend themselves to LARGE STATEMENTS. I have a new one that is balls of yarn (each ball is about ten inches across, in red black and yellow) and it has muscled out the other projects in line before it.

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  8. Stunning fabric Lauriana! I can hardly wait to see which way you go. Thx for the mention. :)

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