Men’s African Wax Print Pants


Happy New Year, everybody!

This month, a number of us Mood Sewing Network bloggers decided to sew with African wax prints. You’re probably familiar with these fabrics (Rome-based designer Stella Jean is their best-known proponent) — brilliant-colored, abstract cotton prints with a wax coating that can be left on for a stiffer hand or laundered out for softer garments. The history of African wax prints is a little complicated — they’re not always African; in fact the fabric I used to make my pants is labelled “Supreme Wax Print Holland.” (Read more about the history of African wax prints here.)

Mood offers a wide variety of these gorgeous prints, and many are currently on sale. I chose the delightful “Pink Lemonade and Tawny Olive” — available here.  Are those round clusters molecules, bubbles, or something else entirely?  Who knows?  I love ’em!


I have worked with African wax prints before. I prefer a softer feel, so I pre-treat my fabric by machine laundering with mild detergent on the Warm cycle and then machine drying. The fabric usually ends up feeling like medium weight cotton muslin; this particular print was heavier — think lightweight denim — and perfect for pants, a jacket, but too stiff for a dress shirt.

For these pants I used a pattern from the Japanese men’s pattern book, “Men’s Clothes For All Seasons.” (The pattern is for cropped pants, so I added about 4″ to the length so I could cuff them at the bottom; otherwise, I made no changes.)






The inside pockets are made from a tan and fushcia Liberty of London floral poplin print I purchased from Mood a few years ago (still available in blue here).  I also used the print for the inside waistband.



I love these pants and hope down the line to create a matching jacket with my remaining fabric: six yards can go a long way! Till then, I have some fabulous trousers to wear around town.

See you next month!



(Special thanks to the Lisson Gallery, 504 West 24th St.  Paintings by Roy Colmer)



  • Karen
    January 13, 2017

    Peter, these are quite fabulous!

  • Manju
    January 13, 2017

    Is there anything you can’t pull off Peter? Love!

  • Tamsin William-Powlett
    January 14, 2017

    Fantastic Peter! I shall look forward to seeing what else you create with this!

  • Mitch
    January 14, 2017

    Another great job, Peter. And I especially like to mix of fabric for pockets, etc. I like to think it’s a little secret we sewists keep.

  • Fiona
    January 14, 2017

    These are fab Peter! Love the combo of Liberty and Wax Print. I’ve had some precious Wax Print pieces from my travels in my stash for a couple of years now but never know what to use them for because of the stiffness so thanks for the tip on how to soften them to to begin with!

  • Emma
    January 15, 2017

    Love these, the print is fantastic,

    Can’t wait to see your next make !

  • Sharon
    January 19, 2017

    Happy new year to you, too! I’ve seen a lot of the African Wax Prints lately but didn’t know quite what it was. Lo and behold, you not only made a great garment with it but also gave a mini lesson on African Wax prints including reference sources. Thanks!

  • The Mahogany Stylist
    January 25, 2017

    Happy New Year, Peter, These are certainly eye-catching. That’s one of the things I notice about garments made of African wax prints, they won’t go unnoticed. Nice..,