I am thrilled to be making my first project from Adaku’s book ‘Sewing With African Wax Print Fabrics’ which was kindly sent to me along with the fabric to celebrate the book launch. The book is brilliant and has so many brilliant projects from extremely simple hair ties, to gorgeous shirts and dresses!
For my first project, I chose to make the Lottie Culottes as I thought they looked comfortable, and I know they will get so much wear during the spring and summer months! There are so many gorgeous fabrics to choose from on the Dovetailed website, but I eventually managed to choose the Snowdrops On Purple fabric which is absolutely gorgeous in real life. As recommended on the information that comes with the beautifully wrapped fabric, I prewashed and ironed my wax print fabric, it softened up beautifully but is still nice and stable to sew with and presses really well!
All of the sizing information you need can be found here, I have a really big difference in my hip and waist measurements – my waist measures in the size 14 and my hips measure in the size 20. For trousers that have an opening (such as buttons or a zip), I normally have to do some grading between sizes and quite a lot of adjustments to get them to fit me well. But for trousers that have an elasticated waist, they have to be able to stretch enough to get over my much wider hip measurement so I cannot make the waist too small! To make the Lottie Culottes, I cut the size 20 and didn’t grade down to a smaller size at the waist because if I did I probably wouldn’t be able to pull them up. Instead, I left them at a size 20 (my hip measurement) and used the elastic to make them much smaller at the waist. I wrapped the elastic around my waist and followed the instructions in the book to make it the right length for me.
The only adaptation I made was to leave out the pockets, I know this might sound like madness to any sewist! But I know from experience that if I put in-seam pockets into the side of trousers that are elasticated, then the 16inch difference between my hip and waist measurement is going to cause the pockets to gape out at the sides. This is perfectly normal in the fit of many ready-to-wear clothes, so it may not bother you, but I prefer to leave them off anything that has an elasticated waist. I think that when I make them again, I will use some small scraps to add patch pockets to the back. If you have a jeans pattern laying around you can just borrow the pocket piece and add them to this pattern, I think it would look so cute!
The Lottie Culottes pattern was an incredibly easy sew, without the pockets they took me less than two hours from start to finish. African wax print is always a joy to sew and when the pattern is this straightforward, making these culottes is such a pleasurable way to spend a couple of hours. The instructions and illustrations were so easy to follow!
I love purple and green together and am really happy with the finished garment, I do think they are perhaps a little long. Having seen Esther’s gorgeous pair of Lottie Culottes I think I may need to copy her and take my pair up a couple of inches as I love the way Esther’s look on her! I’ve been so inspired by the blog posts already popping up from Adaku’s book, I cannot wait to see more!
Don’t forget to check out Adaku’s new book ‘Sewing With African Wax Print Fabrics’ which is out now!
Disclaimer: ⭐️ Book and fabric was provided free of charge as a PR sample , I chose the fabric and what to make with it.