Monday, 18 August 2014

African wax cotton Hazel dress

Hey gang,

This is my Colette Hazel dress made out of a lovely yellow and blue African wax cotton. I bought this cotton when I was in Paris in January, and immediately fell in love with it. I can't remember how much it was - maybe about 20 euros for 3 metres. I had a vague idea when I bought it that it would make a cute sundress come summer.


It sat around for a bit while I debated what it should become, then May came along and I was one of the winners of the Sew Dolly Clackett sew along. My prize was my choice of a Colette pattern. I remembered some lovely Hazels I'd seem made by others and my decision was made! Plus, I'm just in time for Heather's Summer Sundress Sew Along - woohoo!




I didn't do a muslin. Naughty I know, but I figured I'd just try and solve any fitting errors along the way. Using the sizing chart as a guide, I cut a size 2 in the bust, grading to an 8 at the waist and hips. Just before inserting the zip I tried it on and decided I could do with a slight bit more ease all round, so I inserted the zip with just 0.5cm seam allowance. Once I'd inserted it I tried it on again and decided that wasn't quite enough ease at the upper chest, so took out the side seams a little. Clearly a litlle bigger in the upper chest than I thought? Ooooooops.





I decided I wanted to have the bodice sitting quite high on my torso, and therefore removed a whopping 13cm when fitting the straps. I'm really happy with their length but it does now mean I have crazy high bust darts! They're definitely way higher than they should be. It doesn't bother me too much with this version as they're not very visible and really don't affect the bodice shape too much, but if I make Hazel again it's something I'll rectify.





I did my best with a bit of pattern matching, which I think has worked out really well. It would have been tricky to make sure the leaves merged right into each other at the sides, but the rows are at least continuous. 

Instead of using the same fabric for the pockets, because it is fairly stiff, I used some lovely soft pink cotton from an old bedsheet. They make me feel happy with their little pop of pink.





The wax cotton was such a delight to sew with; it doesn't shift around, and its nicely rough enough that the two sides stay together when running it through the machine.

To finish my seams I did a mixture of overlocking and pinking. Nice and simple.





This dress really was a delight to sew, and I'm so pleased with it - it's lovely and bright, and just a little bit different. I really hope the sun comes back out so I can wear it out and about! I was properly cold today in bare legs, which made me sad - surely our British summer isn't over already??!

See you all soon!

Jen x




20 comments:

  1. I love to make contrast colour pockets too - and I also often use bed sheets from charity shops :) I've yet to get some african wax print...but I've been perusing some on ebay for a few weeks now..they are too pretty to choose from!

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    1. Old bedding is great for random things like pockets, isn't it? I use it for muslins a lot too. Yeah get yourself some lovely african wax fabric!

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  2. Oh my, this is freaking beautiful! The fit looks smoking x

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  3. This fabric is amazing! I'm so jealous of all of you who have African wax fabric so close by (though I guess Paris isn't super close by even if you're in England, but certainly closer to you than to Canada!). If it makes you feel any better about the weather, Canada feels like fall too.

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    1. Thanks Sara! There was so much in Paris, it was hard to pass up. Getting chillier here by the minute I'm afraid to say!

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  4. So so pretty! I love that fabric. Whilst a I've admired a few makes with African wax prints, I've never heard of it here in Oz. Or having I been living under a rock?

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    1. Thank you Jillian. Several of the shops here in London sell it - I guess somewhere with quite a multicultural community is quite likely to have it? Or the internet!

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  5. Yay for African wax fabric! Love the look of the higher bodice

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    1. Thanks Claire! I do like a high waist. :)

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  6. Gorgeous Jen! I love that yellow, so bright and beautiful. Fingers crossed for just a bit more sunshine, I'm so not ready for it to be cold yet!! x

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    1. Thank you Zoe! Yellow's great isn't it? It makes me happy. I'm so not ready for the cold yet either!

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  7. This turned out so cute! What a sweet little dress! You look great!

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  8. Super cute, and the colours suit you really well! This is totally inspiring me to drag out the wax print in my own stash before the summer's over.

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    1. Thank you Katrina. Yeah, do it!

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  9. Very pretty dress! The fabric is really neat!

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  10. Impressive the fit is perfect without making a muslin. And you definitely cant see the darts in with that print.
    I can see this dress as a transition dress into the fall with a cardigan and tall boots. The colours in the fabric are so unique, I hope you can get as much wear out if it as you can before it's too cold.

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    1. Thanks Kat! I think you're so right that I'll still be able to wear it in colder weather - I'm looking forward to it brightening up dreary days!

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