Tuesday, September 1, 2009

African Wax Prints #1: The Mandala Dress

My boyfriend's sister returned in August after spending the last year in Rwanda. She brought some African wax-print cottons with her, to make garments for herself, her brother, and me. I should clarify: she brought fabric for me to make these garments. I didn't have cash to buy her a birthday gift this year, so I figured the time spent tailoring a dress to fit her specifications and her body would be just the thing.

So here we go: this is a Vogue quick-sew pattern, probably from the 90s. I swapped the long full skirt from one view and paired it with the V-neck, V-back from another view. I had to alter the skirt to make it longer, and take some of the fullness out of it. My boyfriend's sister is also a bit busty, so there was some fidgeting around as I had to use two different sizes of the pattern and accomodate her petite stature by taking some of the height out of the midsection panel, but in the end, somehow I managed to make it all work!

I lined it in muslin as this cotton was so thin I couldn't self-line it without creating the shadow of the pattern showing through. BF's sis asked that the pattern be asymmetric on the front and picked where she wanted the bits of the mandala to appear. I forgot to ask her about the back, and so made the back symmetric (nothing to disguise/reduce there). I aligned the four skirt panels to get the whole mandala to appear and though my dress is twisting a bit on this bit of clothesline, yes, the two mandalas are parallel/the two sides of the skirt are symmetrical.

Quite a bit of work, but worth it, I think! I hope she likes it!


ambika said...

It's simply gorgeous. & as far as the PJs, even with no one seeing them, I don't think I could wear them either!

fleur_delicious said...

hahaha! Thank you, Ambika! I know, not even this colder weather at night would convince either of us!

Claire said...

It's gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work!

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Really a nice mandala collection.
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