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)