Sunday, June 14, 2020

Ankara Appreciation: Torrens Box Dress


Sneaking in under the wire (or maybe past it, but that's ok) with these photos of my project inspired by Ankara Fabric Appreciation Week on Instagram, hosted by Juliet and Lena!



This sewing event was such a pocket of beauty during an otherwise painful time- so much color and joy in that hashtag

I was so inspired that I pulled out a piece of wax-print Ankara fabric from my stash. I've had it a couple of years, purchased locally at Mahuwi African market around the corner from my house.


I bought the fabric and then let it marinate for a few years, a bit worried about how to do justice to the bright colors, large-scale print. I was also a bit indecisive about how to best handle the crispness of the fabric. I washed and dried it twice, but it's still a bit stiff.


After my success with the Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top in Indonesian batik (a relative of African wax print), I decided this simple but dramatic pattern would work well for my wax print. But I wanted a fun, boxy summer shift dress.


 I lengthened this size bb Torrens by 17 inches from the hem. I knew that was likely too long, but I figured longer was better than shorter and it could always be hemmed up! I ended up taking a deep 3.5 inch hem to get it to about knee length. 


It's still a little bit stiff, but the stiffness just emphasizes the Torrens pattern's boxiness in a pleasant way. I'm going to see if I can soften it up with some fabric softener. I've also heard perhaps washing with vinegar can soften a wax print? Anyone have any tips on that?

I may also add some patch pockets, but I'll want to make sure to take my time to pattern match!


 I really love it! It's so dramatic and fun, and the Torrens is really the perfect blank canvas for a bold, beautiful print. 

Thank you for hosting, Juliet and Lena!



3 comments:

  1. It's a great print and a nice colour for you. I would be inclined to do a little shaping, maybe a couple of vertical darts in the back.

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  2. I was inspired by your post and ordered some Ankara fabric in support of BLM. Found a piece on Etsy. Not sure what i will make with it, but thank you for tuning me in to this sewing opportunity. Your dress is beautiful, and how on earth did you have or find the perfect matching shoes?????

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  3. I’ve worked with wax a fair amount and it really does soften up with each wash. Rather than a special treatment, I’d suggest just throwing it in with the laundry the next few times you wash. Awesome fabric and the dress is great!

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