A 50′s party dress with African wax print

by heatherlou on June 29, 2012 · 7 comments

in 1950s

This dress has been percolating for a while, ever since I admired this project on Burdastyle. I love 50′s dresses but making one with such an unexpected print felt much more modern and wearable for me.I used a mix of two rather psychedelic African wax prints. Both have a fuchsia batik background but with large silkscreened acorns and eyes superimposed on top. Trippy AND awesome.

I used Butterick 5748, a reproduction pattern from the 50′s. It was super easy to make. I lined it with cotton voile and poly organza to make a nice full skirt that wouldn’t need a crinolone (as per Gertie’s suggestion). You can find more photos and info at my blog here.



























This post was written by...

– who has written 8 posts on WeSewRetro.com.

Montreal based commercial interior designer & novice sewist. Obsessed with vintage patterns, bright colour and graphic prints. Trying to replace shopping with sewing. Best hobby ever.

heatherlou's posts / heatherlou's website

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

EmSewCrazy June 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Love this dress! Very fun! Inspires me to get to work with the African prints I have.


heatherlou June 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

They are so easy to sew and I think so striking and unusual – perfect for a simply constructed garment like a pencil skirt….


Lizzy June 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Very nice dress, love the print


Bella June 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Your dress is lovely! And so fun…

I love those African wax prints, too, and took a trip specifically to that part of the world to buy some for quilting & dressmaking.

A student at work had her sister send this from Mali:

And I just made this with kente-print fabric from Burkina Faso:


heatherlou June 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Bella, both of those pieces are so fabulous but that jacket! WOWOWOW!


Amanda July 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Love this! Where did you get the wax print fabric, if I may ask? I really love African wax prints, but I don’t know where to get them in the US/online.


Heather Lou July 4, 2012 at 8:50 am

Amanda, I got it at my local neighborhood fabric store. We have a big African community so it’s not hard to find them in Montreal. The always lovely Marie at Sewing Odyssey just did a post on a UK source: http://asewingodyssey.blogspot.ca/2012/06/african-inspired-prints.html. There has gotta be a less expensive US/Canadian source though….


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