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.
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:
- basically everything sewn by LaWaxeuse, but especially her Emery dress, Tyler shirt, and Johanna shirt (Kollabora links).
- another gorgeous wax print Emery, by Roisin from Dolly Clackett. This fabric is calling my name, but I have no clue where I could buy it so the love remains platonic.
- the Emery strikes again! The Machineless Sewist’s dress is probably the Emery I’d be most likely to steal, which should make her really appreciate the great geographic distance between us. I also love this wax print Hazel dress of hers.
- this dress from Sew Amy Sew (also blogged here)
- these dresses Hanne made for her clients, a mom and daughter
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