awesome sews #2: wax print wonders


Image sources, clockwise: [1], [2], [3]

Confession time: I haven’t yet sewn with wax print cotton myself. When the right pattern comes calling my name, I will, for sure. So far I’m admiring what other sewists do with these cool, bold fabrics.

The history of wax print fabric is a complicated one, it spans at least three continents in its web of connections. In the popular imagination, these fabrics invoke images of Africa (depending on your experience, either a generalized idea of the continent or memories of specific places and their fashions). I found this article helpful in understanding a little bit more about these fabrics history and significance.

When I discovered the Vlisco Stories website I ended up spending a lot of time watching the videos (you can find them under the blog tab) and, obviously, clicking through the patterns.

I just had to add a photo of Chinelo Bally to the collage above. I couldn’t take my eyes off her bold print creations in the second edition of The Great British Sewing Bee. The tops she wore in the sewing room really brought it home to me how big the gap is between our expectations formed on the basis of RTW clothes and what you can achieve with your own sewing if you use your imagination. Those tops were fitted incredibly well and at the same time looked comfortable, and… of course… those mesmerizing patterns.

So here are a few other great sewists and their stunning wax print creations:

Finally, not a project, but an image I stumbled upon at Pinterest, which gave me an idea for a version of the Seamwork Hayden pattern (not in the works, by the way). What do you think?

Do you sew with wax prints? Are there wax print patterns or garments you swoon over? Please share!

As a side note, something I learned while writing this post: you might not want to look for #waxprint on Instagram. There’s lots of people out there who are really proud of their aestheticians’ skill at handling wax. I have no clue what print has to do with that, but I also don’t want to ask. And hereby I hashtag myself #ImAVictorianItTurnsOut


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

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