Dashiki Dress: BurdaStyle 07/2011 #131

And now presenting the second of my Philadelphia wax prints in dress form.

I took a long time deciding what to make and how to place the print. Pinterest was most helpful. Also an excellent rabbit hole to fall down in.

(click image for source)

There was lots of draping myself in my fabric length. Several things were auditioned and the highly valued opinion of the craft ladies sought.

As soon as there was a hint of female anatomy from the centre motif, however, that’s all I could see. Even placed horizontally it looked like someone had been working on fit and slashed the fabric to open it up. Being hot pink was not helping.

Then I saw this

Light bulb moment: highlight the border around each panel rather than the centre motif! Use a sheath dress style so I could wear to work if I wanted too.

My version

I repeated the border down the centre back too.

The centre motif on the panels is now only very partially visible at the side seams.

This is BurdaStyle 07/2011 #131 in a size 44

It looks a little tight in the photos, and it is. But it wasn’t. This was one of those occasions when I didn’t prewash the fabric. It turned out perfectly. Then I wore it and washed it. Put it on again less than a week later and it was a bit tight.

Cutting the dress out on the cross grain probably didn’t help: there is no give at all.

(Yes, I love that this pattern has a little capelet too. I still have two panels left and am very tempted to make a matching cape, inspired by this:

For my dress, I made the same changes to the pattern as previously: moved the neckline up a few cm, added a centre back zip and slit, and converted the princess seams to darts. This made pattern matching easier.

The first time I made this dress, the cap sleeves sat out like little wings.

This time I had a very good look at the pattern, and I decided Burda had the markings around the wrong way.

Now they look like cap sleeves.

And finally. With selvedge this good, it would be a shame to turn the hem up.

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28 Responses to Dashiki Dress: BurdaStyle 07/2011 #131

  1. Dilliander says:

    Very clever! Definitely worth pondering and researching this print placement before cutting, its perfect. How annoying that it shrunk, but it does still look so lovely on you.

  2. Christine says:

    Love it!

  3. sewruth says:

    Love it too! There are such interesting designs with African wax prints and your use of the border really makes a statement.

    • SewingElle says:

      Thanks. I’m very happy with how this turned out. The border really is a great feature that probably isn’t highlighted as much as other parts of these designs.

  4. Wonderful- I’m currently addicted to these Ankara prints, and the borders and selvages really are too good to waste! When I can’t incorporate them into a garment, I cut them off and save them for little touches on other things [like waistband facings etc]
    LOVE the dress, and hope that it isn’t now too tight to get much wear

    • SewingElle says:

      They are fabulous fabrics. I love the wild designs. I have several more in the stash. Keeping the scraps for other things is an excellent idea ( ..umm..how big is your fabric and scrap stash?? No, don’t tell)

      • My scrap stash is ridiculous because I can’t bear to bin anything bigger than my hand! My ready to sew stash is…oh dear, definitely too big. Ah well, I’ll just have to sew even faster!

  5. robbie says:

    I love the way you thought outside of the box with pattern placement. Most people (including me) would go with using the center motif as the focus. Using the border as the central focus is excellent! I agree, Pinterest is a rabbit hole experience but it worked well in your favor!

  6. Very effective placement of the design on that fabric. It looks wonderful and is very flattering to you. What a shame about the shrinkage… although I don’t think it looks tight, it might feel that way to you.
    I love Pinterest just for reasons like this!

  7. Tia Dia says:

    Gorgeous! And a great use of the print and border. And the hemline! hehe…

  8. Well placed! And a very nice pattern.

  9. Nonsuch says:

    my favourite. love how the hot pink motif is now highlights

  10. Gorgeous dress. I’m definitely going to be buying some of this wax print next time I go shopping – and as I have a trip planned with the Demented Fairy I will get plenty of encouragement!

  11. Jennifer Shaw says:

    Oh Elle, I love it!! You are such a fantastic seamstress and this dress is to die for!!

  12. yummy mummy says:

    I love your use of the border of the wax print, down the middle of the sheath dress. I sucuumbed and bought 2 wax print fabrics while in the Chicago loop, when I stumbled upon them in a grubby shop with a cranky shopkeeper. He had customers buying Halloween fabrics and I kept asking him to pull out bolts for me to look at in his shop that made Spotlight looked organised. One had a border, quite similar to yours. It’s given me food for thought, thanks Liz.

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