In this guest blog post, we feature Camilla in this beautiful African print fabric from Dovetailed London. Camilla (aka @she_sew_fabulous) 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!
I was delighted to be selected as a Dovetailed Brand Ambassador. African cotton was always my go-to favourite when I was a new sewist. Not only do I love the bold prints and designs, nothing beats the stability of the fabric: it doesn't slip and slide and is very forgiving of small errors, perfect for a beginner! As a result, it's always retained a degree of fondness in my heart.
I had it in my head that I wanted to make a skirt, as I have a lot of me-made dresses but very few skirts. In the end, after a lot of deliberation, I decided on a circle skirt, because I'd never made one before and I enjoy making things without using a paper pattern.
My original plan was to make one with an elasticated waist, but the tutorial I used was completely inaccurate regarding waist measurements, so I ended up having to insert a zip after all! It wouldn't have been my first choice as I am a total zip-phobe, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!
The construction of a circle skirt is pretty straightforward and it can be made in a couple of different ways, depending on how much fabric you have. I opted for a half-circle skirt, which is when you make it in two pieces and then stitch them together. For me, this method was ideal because it meant I could add pockets: essential in my book!
So, onto the construction. As I wanted a long skirt, I folded my fabric diagonally at each end as far as it would go so that I had a length all the way around of 38 inches. Next, and this is where the tutorial I followed let me down, I measured my hips and divided them by 4 to get the radius. What I should have done was add on the seam allowance and a bit extra before dividing, but hey, that's a lesson learned for next time!
Once finished, you end up with a really full skirt that hangs beautifully. I was very happy with it as it was, but then I was flicking through Instagram and stumbled across a tutorial from Montoya Mayo (which I wish I'd followed from the start tbh!) where she shows you how to turn a maxi skirt into a skirt with a high low hem and I think you'll agree that the results are fabulous - can you tell I'm really feeling myself in these photos?! I absolutely cannot wait for an occasion to wear this (it deserves somewhere a little fancier than work for its first outing I think)!
The fabric was so lovely to sew with and this pattern really works beautifully with the circle skirt. I'm fairly certain I'll buy some more with a different design to try again (and get the waistband measurements right this time!!)
If you want to imitate this design, head straight over to Montoya Mayo's page where she'll talk you through it.
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.