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Stretch African Waxprint! What’s this?

Back in December Jacqueline who owns Wax and Wraps selling African print subscription boxes and lovely African fabric got in touch with me with an irresistible offer. She had some stretch fabric in some popular wax print designs. Yes, stretch African waxprint is a thing! Amazing right? I was really excited to be able to choose a design in exchange for a review. So let’s review.

One of the best features of African waxprint cotton is the vibrancy of the colour and happily this vibrancy has transferred very easily on to this stretch polyester fabric. The fabric is single knit, I think, the print is only on one side as the picture below shows. It has a good widthways stretch, but less stretch vertically. This makes for a fairly stable knit that behaves very well under the sewing machine. It has a fluidity to it that puts it somewhere between a viscose jersey and a ponte roma.

Even before I got the fabric I had my mind set on active wear, leggings and a vest. But my plans changed a little when the fabric arrived. The stretch fabric isn’t actually performance fabric and I’m a sweaty thing when I work out. I really need breathable fabric that wicks sweat away from my body. Too much detail? That’s life! So I decided to mix the fabric with some cotton jersey I had in my stash and make something a little more loose, but still with a workout vibe.

I opted for a vest and pants combo from Madeit Patterns. I have to say that I’ve been flirting with Madeit Patterns for a while, not so you’d know. I have stalked them and have loved spying on makes by @needleandted, one of their designers. It was high time I made a move and commited to a purchase. So I clicked and shopped the Rest Vest and Slow Pants.

The cotton jersey I had in my stash was white and I had planned previously to tie dye it, but for the purpose of this project I stuck the fabric into the washing machine with some Dylon denim blue dye. It came out quite well I think.

The rest vest has a muscle fit back and is designed for colour blocking fun. The trousers also allow for a contrast band down the side. I decided to use my stretch waxprint as the contrast accents. Both the vest and pants were easy makes. The instructions are fun, clear and simple. I was so excited that the trouser pattern showed you how to make a high rise adjustment and also a full butt adjustment- happy days! I actually just ended up making a straight size 14 for both pieces but I will make changes for my next. I will size down to a 12 for the vest and for the pants I’ll sew a size 12 at the waist with a high rise adjustment and grade out to a 14 at the hips. I really love this style of loose fit straight leg trouser on me- both uber comfortable and suits my shape. The bright contrast of the waxprint lifts the whole outfit.

But I wasn’t finished with the stretch fabric just yet. I loved that it featured heavily on the back of my vest and I wanted to give it more visibility. So to complete the look, I made a very simple, loose fitting t- shirt to throw over my vest. I chose the Clara top from Fibre Mood. Again it is such a really, easy make, just 2 pieces and some neck binding. And I’ll let you into a little secret, I left the sleeve and bottom hem raw. I think I might revisit that soon, for the sake of the longevity of the garment.

So, there you have it, a simple workout/ lounge outfit. With names like ‘rest’ and ‘slow’ you get the impression that this set is for taking life easy!

I plan to purchase more stretch fabric from Wax and wraps. Cotton waxprint will always be my favourite hands down but it’s great to have a stretch fabric option too. I would happily recommend Wax and wraps, you’ll be overwhelmed by the gorgeous fabric on her website. You may opt to make a fitted, sexy little number with yours. I think I’d quite like to make a jumpsuit with my next aquisition. But for now, I’m loving my new set and I know they’ll get a lot of wear.

Published by The Unpickstitch Papers

I'm a teacher, baker and own clothes maker. I like to read, I like to work out. I wish there was more time in the day to do life. I have 1 husband, 2 daughters and no dogs yet, though I'm working on wearing my hubby down!

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