Model wearing African Wax print fabric from dovetailed london, as part of the ambassador program

Sewing the Fibremood Oriana shirt in African Wax Print Fabric by Dovetailed London

In this guest blog post, we feature Lianne in this beautiful African print fabric from Dovetailed London. Lianne (aka @ whatmiannemadewas gifted this fabric in exchange for a blog post as part of the Dovetailed London Ambassador ProgramWant to read on, get a cup of your favourite drink and enjoy!
I started sewing during lockdown and Dovetailed London was one of the first sewing brands I found after seeing an article about Adaku’s book in a sewing magazine. I immediately bought both the book and some fabric, but was too intimidated to actually use the fabric (I still haven’t! Now because there are too many things it would look beautiful in!). So when I was chosen to be one of Dovetailed’s ambassadors, I felt so honoured! And I hope I’ve done this gorgeous fabric justice.

I absolutely love African wax fabric for their bright colours and unusual prints, so I’ve used quite a lot of them before. This one is beautiful. I know wax fabric can have a reputation for being too stiff, but this one drapes naturally and is so soft against your skin. However, it still holds pleats / shape really well.

I wanted something which would showcase the vibrant print. I almost always make dresses, but recently I’ve realised I need more tops to go with the few pairs of Saguaro pants I’ve made. I settled on the Fibremood Oriana shirt. I was drawn to the dramatic sleeves and boxy shape. I also like to try and make sure anything I make is wearable year round, and I feel like this would work with an oversized jumper or cardigan when it starts to get chilly.
Model wearing African Wax print fabric from dovetailed london, as part of the ambassador program

I’ve made a few shirts now, so this was a relatively easy sew; I completed it in just a few hours. I toiled the basic bodice to ensure that it fit before I cut into this fabric in case I needed to do a full bust adjustment. Happily it fit without any adjustments. I am dreadful at pattern matching and thought I’d cracked it….however, it turns out I managed to match the two plackets side by side instead of one over the other! Luckily, I don’t think the lack of matching makes a difference here.

The only change I made to the pattern was to only add buttons up to the bust. I never button shirts all the way to the collar, so additional buttons seemed superfluous. I will always be grateful for the perfect buttonholes my machine makes as this made the process much easier. I used fray stop before and after I tapped out the holes with a buttonhole chisel. I’ve found this really does stop buttonholes from fraying. I also read recently that you should position buttons roughly 1/8 inch / 3mm from the top of your buttonhole so it will settle into the right position. This seems to have been good advice as I naturally pull the shirt down which would make the buttons ride up.
I also made a matching headband which is one of my favourite simple makes. 
Model wearing African Wax print fabric from dovetailed london, as part of the ambassador program
I’d really recommend wax fabric to all sewists. It’s perfect for beginners as it’s so forgiving, but it’s also perfect for more complicated garments because it’s so structural.
Happy sewing!

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.

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