African Wax Print Maxi Dress
For the month of January, the members of the Mood Sewing Network were given the opportunity to work with an African Wax Print, also know as Ankara fabric. I chose this Gold and Dark Navy Waxed Cotton with Gold Metallic Foil, the one with the foil leaves. There is also the same colorway with peace signs in foil instead, if that is more your style. What I really wanted was a jacket and fitted pants combo, but I wasn’t sure where I’d wear it, and I decided on a maxi dress instead. These cuts of fabric come in 6 yard bundles, so I got out all my fabric hog patterns in order to use as much of it as possible.
I chose McCall’s 6749, which was released in 2013 and is now out of print. I always loved all the lace trim incorporated into the design, but finding the right shade was pretty difficult. I bought 10 yards of white lace from my local fabric store and set about dyeing it the blue color in my print. It turned purple instead. I swear, I have the worst luck dyeing things. I should just give up. After the botched dye job, I decided to buy a few 1/2 yard trims from Mood to see if any of them would be suitable. (They don’t swatch their trims and this is the smallest increment available.) This Powder Blue Crochet Trim was a perfect match, and I bought an additional 9 yards. There are a few other colorways on Mood’s site, including navy and red. I highly recommend them. The rayon and cotton content enable it to be ironed along curves and it presses beautifully.
I cut a size 10 in the bust and tapered out to a size 14 from the waist down. This design has a really tiny waist seam, and I have a very square body shape. I made a few other pattern deviations, which I’ll go into further on my blog. This was not a difficult pattern to make, but attaching all that trim was definitely time consuming. Both the fabric and the trim behaved and pressed nicely, and I had a lot of fun sewing my dress.
I did end up using the entire 6 yards since the pattern of the fabric is so large and I was trying to match it up both horizontally and vertically. I also wanted to avoid having any of the “bullseyes” in a weird spot. As a result I was only able to cut 3 of the 4 panels for the lower ruffle. It works, though.
I shortened the bodice by 1″ and the hem by 1″, but it is still pretty long. I’ve got on my super tall wedges in these pictures. I may go back and make the hem a little shorter so that I can wear flats instead. I only have a fuss factor of 1, so if I have to keep my skirt out of my way while I’m going about my day, I can’t be bothered to worry about tall shoes as well. Lol.
Of course this dress is totally out of season, but I couldn’t see the fabric as anything besides warm weather clothing. And although it is currently pretty mild outside, I still try to dress appropriately for winter. It’s going into the back of the closet where I’m currently storing my summer wardrobe.