Sewing Adventures – African Wax Print and Simplicity 8048

By Susan | Comments: 11 | August 11, 2016


African wax print is not a common sight in Australia. Occasionally you may see someone wearing it but I’d never seen it for sale anywhere. That is until I missed the train at Cabramatta and had 15 minutes to use up before the next train. Rather than wait in the rain, I dashed up the street to the closest fabric stores for a quick look.


They had some nice pieces but this one caught my eye. I asked the price and was sure she said $14, I was about to say no when I asked again and she said $4. 2.5m later I was running back to the train.
It’s a lightweight cotton lawn so a dense weave but very light. So I don’t think it’s real wax print as my impression is that is a much denser slightly heavier fabric?

The print repeat is huge so I wanted a style that didn’t cut into it too much. Simplicity 8048 was a contender as I really liked the dipped angle of the front skirt.

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 2.57.27 pm

The angle is a separate piece that is inserted into a circle skirt. Pinning the panel straight onto the skirt pattern I eliminated the seams and made it one continuous pattern piece across the front.

Once again I used my own bodice block. I raised the neckline slightly to help balance out the oversize print but made no other alterations to the basic bodice. It’s not fitting perfect right now but I think a bit of winter pudginess has crept on and I’m hoping once that drops the fit will be ideal again.

Once the pattern matching was done (seriously that was the hardest part of the entire make). It went together in no time. Neck and armholes are finished with bias binding.


Because I cut the front skirt as one panel the side seam had some crazy grain line action happening. To help compensate for this I let it drop for a few days before hemming. It didn’t move at all which was very encouraging. I had planned to shorted the entire skirt length after letting it drop but I ended up liking the longer length so I kept it. The invisible zip went in with ease once gain.


I love this dress, the longer length feels swishy and the big bold print is so striking and fun.

Fabric: cotton lawn from Cabramatta. It comes in a cream/blue and khaki/pink combination also in case anyone else likes the print.

Dress Pattern: My own bodice block and skirt from Simplicity 8048

Alterations for next time: look at increasing the sway back adjustment on the block, and take 1cm wedge out of each side of CB neckline where zip is inserted.

Special thanks to my fellow Sydney Spoolettes for helping with the photos. We met up in Hyde Park and helped each other take blog photos.


  • Kaitlyn
    August 11, 2016

    That hem dip is dramatic! Works so well with the print 🙂 And what a good idea for the blog photos, Hyde Park is such a lovely setting

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 12, 2016

      Thank you! The hem plus this print just seems to have worked really well? Am so glad the Spoolettes had a shout out for blog photo help as I can never seem to get a decent photo on my own.

  • Amanda
    August 11, 2016

    This looks smashing, Susan! That fabric is delightful and it is the perfect match for your pattern 😀

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 12, 2016

      Aw you are the best Amanda! I’m so pleased with this dress and can’t wait to wear it all summer long

  • Juliette Williams
    August 11, 2016

    So pretty, Susan. Love this dress on you and the dip at the front is perfect. That part of the city is one of my favourites too 😉

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 12, 2016

      The dip hem is so good, I normally am not a fan of hi low hems but there is something about this corner dip that is quite captivating?
      The avenue of trees at Hyde Park is such a lovely spot and it was fun to get my photos done there, for once I didn’t feel like a weirdo getting my photo taken

  • Colette
    August 12, 2016

    What a fabulous print, I love the pattern you picked for it, looks great on you. Here’s to sneaky fabric shopping opportunities (and spoolettes photo sessions, I think this has inspired me to organise a picnic next month ;o)

  • Sarah
    August 12, 2016

    Really gorgeous! I’m sure you’ll love wearing this in warmer weather!

    • Susan Goodwin
      August 12, 2016

      Thanks! The fabric is so lovely and such a bargain too!

Comments are closed.




Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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