In this guest blog post, Anastacia Ogundare (aka @tjs_styles)
has sewn a dress which is a hack of the Anthea Blouse / dress by Anna Allen Patterns and the Davenport Dress by the Friday Pattern Company in this beautiful African print fabric from Dovetailed London. Anastacia was gifted this fabric in exchange for a blog post as part of the Dovetailed London Ambassador Program. Want to read on, get a cup of your favourite drink and enjoy!
This fabric is beautiful, soft and 100% cotton. I love the colours and the prints on it…right up my street (lol). This fabric is very good for beginners as cottons are very easy to work with. African print fabrics comes in amazing prints and designs which is suitable for all seasons. I knew what I wanted to make with it immediately I saw it. I have been seeing this particular dress (called Somerset dress) online from Anthropologie and I fell in love with everything
about it particularly the neckline. The only issue was that I couldn’t find any suitable pattern. I realised that if I wanted this dress, I probably need to hack a pattern! In the end I chose to hack two patterns: the Anthea Blouse and Davenport dress.
The Anthea Blouse/dress is a lovely blouse and dress pattern with puffed sleeves, fold-over placket and bias faced neckline from Anna Allen Patterns. The Davenport is another beautiful dress from the Friday Pattern Company. These two patterns are not new to me as I’ve made and hacked them into beautiful dresses and blouses a couple of times. I made size 16 based on my measurements (B-42/W-35.5/H-47) in Anthea and XL in Davenport dress.
For the Anthea blouse, I traced out my size (I’m a proud pattern tracer). I measured from my shoulder to my under bust which was 17 inches, marked it on the blouse pattern and cut off what was left.
The button band for Anthea is 3/4inch, so I added half an inch to make it one and quarter inch wide. I shortened the width of the neckline by 3/8 of an inch and lowered the neckline by1 inch. I then added a bit of gathering to the front neckline to have a slight V-neck.
For the sleeves, instead of the normal slash and spread, I slashed and overlapped the cut pieces to reduce volume in the sleeve. I then cut 2 pieces of fabric measuring 12.5 inches by 3.5inches, folded it into 2 and attached it to the sleeve as a band.
I was fortunate that the width of the top and the skirt matched, if not, you can easily adjust either. After I attached the top portion to the skirt using 5/8 of an inch, I trimmed off the seam allowance of the top and overlocked the skirt seam allowance without reducing the SA. I pressed the overlocked SA towards the body and stitched down, leaving about 2 inches unstitched for my ½ inch wide elastic to pass through (which measured my waist measurement less 2 inches). You can always play with the length of the tiers if you preferred midi or maxi length.
Overall, I used 4 yards to make the dress due to its shorter width. I love the finished garment so much that I already made a longer version. The Ankara fabric is really gorgeous and very easy and stable to sew with and I am sure it will be on repeat this summer and even during winter with tights and boots.
Want to make something gorgeous on this fabric? Shop here.
Want to sew with African fabric? Shop here.
Looking for a range of sewing patterns designed specifically with African wax print fabric in mind, shop here.
Want to buy ready-made in a selection of Dovetailed garments? Shop ready made here.
Want to make your own with a little help? Shop workshops here.