African Waxed Cotton Challenge

29 Jan African Waxed Cotton Challenge

What’s better than a little black dress?…… A little black dress with a big colorful wrap!


This month several members of The Mood Sewing Network are sewing African Waxed Cotton. I enthusiastically agreed to the challenge having never sewn this fabric before, and when my six-yard piece of Spectra Green Waxed Cotton African Print with Gold Metallic Foil arrived from Mood Fabrics I wanted to use every inch of this luscious metallic textile.IMG_0241Big wraps are such luxury accessories! It took me a while to learn how to wear wraps, but now that I know what to do with them I truly value these versatile pieces. When folded in half the wrap is quite manageable and just large enough to warm the shoulders,

but one flick of the wrist, and the beautiful shimmer of this garment is revealed in full.


I chose McCall’s 3880 from my stash (a discontinued pattern but available on Etsy, Ebay and many other sites),Mccalls-3880-401x458and sewed View D with the 360 inch bias cut ruffle.

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I sew ruffles quite often, but could not have sewn one this large without my Ruffler attachment which evenly gathered the entire ruffle in less than 10 minutes.


Because view D is a lined variation I was able to sew a reversible wrap by placing right sides together after attaching the ruffle. Waxed prints are very easy to work with. My one cautionary step was using a press cloth when pressing the metallic side up.

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Note how the ‘wrong’ side resembles broadcloth (below).


From Wikipedia…….

“The wax prints are part of a nonverbal way of communication among African women, and hereby they carry their message out into the world. Some wax prints can be named after personalities, cities, building, sayings or occasions. The producer, name of the product and registration number of the design is printed on the selvage, protecting the design and allowing reading the quality of the fabric. The wax fabrics constitute capital goods for the African women. Therefore, they are collected depending on the financial possibilities.”

I do not know the message or meaning behind my print but I am happy to pass it along by way of  wearing the symbols and design.

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Click here to learn more about the fascinating story of African Waxed Cotton.

So here I am wearing what I originally thought was just another piece of fabric, only to be reminded of a  deeper meaning connecting women around the world. I encourage you to visit Mood Fabrics’ selection featuring many more patterns, and make your own statement with these unique designs!


All the best 🙂


  • Hanh-Trang Ginocchio
    Posted at 12:33h, 29 January Reply

    Very sexy, my dear! You totally rock this thing!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:36h, 29 January Reply

      LOL – we had some fun with the camera 😉 Many thanks!!

  • Barbara Carlon
    Posted at 12:35h, 29 January Reply

    Wow! That’s so beautiful! I recently ordered several pieces of African print fabric from Mood and have been wondering what to make with them. A wrap like yours is a super idea! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:37h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment, Barbara! African waxed cotton is so versatile and I look forward to seeing your makes 🙂

  • Eileen
    Posted at 12:46h, 29 January Reply

    OMG, Sarah! Compare these photos to those in your first post………I love it. Embrace life!
    Not to mention your sewing skills……..

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:39h, 29 January Reply

      I suppose I’ve come a long way from those first photos for sure, Eileen! Embrace life indeed 🙂 🙂

  • Kay
    Posted at 13:00h, 29 January Reply

    It is a lovely wrap 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:40h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you, Kay!

  • Elizabeth Lewis
    Posted at 13:02h, 29 January Reply

    Amazing! It is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us to try something new. I especially appreciate you discussing the origins of this fabric.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:42h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Elizabeth ~ new experiences large and small are the spice of life 😉 I find the story of these fabrics inspirational!

  • Judy Pineda
    Posted at 13:05h, 29 January Reply

    You always have the best fabric selection mojo!! And holy moly, that ruffle strip is LONG before it gets ruffled!! The end result is beyond belief lovely!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:43h, 29 January Reply

      Many thanks Judy! That ruffle strip started making me nervous 😉 it was quite the relief to see it fit properly on to the wrap………

  • Marla Cooprider
    Posted at 13:05h, 29 January Reply

    Thanks for this post! I have some of Mood’s African waxed print…all six yards or so! Haven’t used it yet and now inspired. Love your wrap!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 13:45h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you, Marla! I’ve really enjoyed reading the MSN bloggers posts about this fabric. Can’t wait to see your make with it 🙂

  • AJW
    Posted at 13:15h, 29 January Reply

    Simply stunning.

  • goodbyevalentino
    Posted at 13:45h, 29 January Reply

    Many thanks, AJW!

  • Amy Mullikin
    Posted at 13:53h, 29 January Reply

    I love the wrap ! I am going to try and find the pattern and order the fabric . Thanks for the idea .

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:41h, 29 January Reply

      Hi Amy~ Thank you so much and I look forward to seeing your wrap! 😉

  • Myra
    Posted at 14:58h, 29 January Reply

    What a very beautiful wrap Ms. Sarah! It’s a very unique and stylish use of this gorgeous fabric!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:41h, 29 January Reply

      Many thanks, Myra! I’m very pleased 😉

  • Lone Star Couture
    Posted at 14:59h, 29 January Reply

    You wear ruffles so well! This is just gorgeous!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:40h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you, Dorcas! I couldn’t resist a 360 inch ruffle with such a large piece of fabric 😉

  • Becky Riddle
    Posted at 15:32h, 29 January Reply

    A lovely wrap for a lovely lady! I love it with that dress.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:39h, 29 January Reply

      What a nice comment, Becky ~ thank you so much!! 😉

  • Susanne Scheurwater
    Posted at 16:29h, 29 January Reply

    WOW! thanks so much for the lovely garment and the interesting background on the waxed cotton!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:00h, 29 January Reply

      Many thanks, Susanne! The more I read the more I was intrigued with its story 😉

  • Becky Bagwell
    Posted at 17:43h, 29 January Reply

    Beautiful . and the wrap!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:56h, 29 January Reply

      Ah….. that’s so nice, Becky 🙂 Thank you

  • Lucy
    Posted at 17:50h, 29 January Reply

    What a wonderful use of this gorgeous fabric. Love your wrap!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:57h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you, Lucy!!

  • Pecie
    Posted at 17:52h, 29 January Reply

    You look fabulous ! Love these pictures especially the one with your face to the side,chin up, hair blowing and the wrap open! Just like a fashion shoot! Beautiful fabric, beautiful sewing, beautiful lady. Thanks for sharing.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:58h, 29 January Reply

      Many thanks for your comment, Pecie! We had fun with the camera, the light and the wind 🙂 🙂

  • Jennifer Shaw
    Posted at 18:34h, 29 January Reply

    Oh my gosh, this is a spectacular look for you, Sarah! The colors glow on you with your beautiful smile and that dress. Va va va voom!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:47h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you, Jennifer! This was my #1 pick from the African Waxed Cotton selection which seems to work around my face. 😉

  • Gerhild Turner
    Posted at 19:31h, 29 January Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:43h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you, Gerhild!

  • Mollie Bobo
    Posted at 19:35h, 29 January Reply

    I love, love this wrap! The bias cut ruffle is absolutely what makes it. Seeists should not fear the ruffled. It is the best tool ever! I learned to use it when making little girls’ clothing. They have outgrown ruffles for now.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:46h, 29 January Reply

      Thank you so much, Mollie and I so agree with you about the ruffler! It’s clunky and awkward but boy does it ever work! Perhaps you will start sewing ruffles for yourself now that your girls have outgrown them?

  • Toni Morse
    Posted at 22:47h, 29 January Reply


    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:26h, 30 January Reply

      Thank you, Toni!

  • Patricia Pfeiffer
    Posted at 23:07h, 29 January Reply

    Gorgeous, just gorgeous! I want something like this for a wedding I’m attending this summer! It, just wonderful! Tell us how you were able to know how much ruffle would fit to the edge of the piece. Is there a ratio of fabric to ruffle?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:30h, 30 January Reply

      Many thanks, Patricia 🙂 A continuous bias pattern piece is included with this pattern, however the general rule of thumb is a 2:1 ratio. The circumference of the wrap measured 180″ therefore my ruffle was 360″.

  • Mary Funt
    Posted at 23:22h, 29 January Reply

    Great use of the fabric. It works much better not being cut into small pieces and this shows off the design beautifully.

  • goodbyevalentino
    Posted at 06:33h, 30 January Reply

    That was my thought too, Mary. Originally I considered another garment but the design would have been choppy or overpowered me. Many thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Julie Starr
    Posted at 10:24h, 30 January Reply

    “I’ll have what she’s having!” Sorry – I couldn’t resist! Seriously though, you look ravishing in this. Wonderful use of this beautiful textile and I loved learning more about the cultural origins of waxed cotton.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:14h, 30 January Reply

      Why, that would be a cup of hot tea, Julie! Such fun working with this beauty ~ many thanks 🙂

  • Elaine Sabin-Simpson
    Posted at 10:43h, 30 January Reply

    Absolutely lovely- my lifestyle doesn’t really encompass wraps, but this is a beauty! I’m totally besotted with African prints right now, and have made several steampunk garments from them. Huge fun!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:17h, 30 January Reply

      You’ve introduced me to a new genre of clothes, Elaine! I can see how African Waxed Prints would make show stopping steampunk garments 🙂 Many thanks for the comment!

  • Barbara Hewitt
    Posted at 16:31h, 30 January Reply

    I love the waxed cotton and just ordered. Great for our cool Spring days.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 20:54h, 30 January Reply

      Wonderful!! I can’t wait to see your make, and many thanks for the comment, Barbara 🙂

  • Tomasa
    Posted at 16:35h, 30 January Reply

    What a gorgeous fabric. Love the colors!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 20:55h, 30 January Reply

      Thank you, Tomasa!

  • Tee
    Posted at 07:15h, 31 January Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous! The thing I love about African wax cotton is it’s so versatile! I have pattern in my stash. I love to use of African wax cotton in non-traditional clothing!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:15h, 31 January Reply

      Thank you, Tee! This was my first experience but hopefully not my last with this lovely fabric 🙂

  • Debi
    Posted at 13:14h, 31 January Reply

    Absolutely stunning!!

  • Toocutedobs
    Posted at 15:39h, 31 January Reply

    I own a ruffle but have never used it. Guess I need to take the plunge! Your wrap is beautiful and I may have that pattern. I purchased two large bags of retro patterns at a church rummage sale. Dang! Your wrap is about to get me in trouble I think–sewing trouble. This could be a new challenge to add to my sewing goals.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:39h, 02 February Reply

      Oh, I wouldn’t call this trouble – LOL – just a new adventure! My only advice is to practice with your ruffler before attempting the wrap and good luck 🙂

  • Amy Mullikin
    Posted at 08:02h, 03 February Reply

    I just got my fabric from mood fabric and my pattern from the pattern source on etsy . It was very easy . I ordered it the first of the week and already have it . I am excited about making the wrap . I am concerned it may be large . I was wondering about cutting the pattern in half . I like your picture where you had folded it in half .

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 16:07h, 04 February Reply

      Hi Amy ~
      Glad the process was so easy. You’re right – it is large! I’m sure you can reshape it to any size that works for you. Good luck and send me a photo 🙂

  • Patricia
    Posted at 14:38h, 05 February Reply

    I love the color and style of your wrap. Beautiful!!!! There are so many beautiful African wax prints available to sew wonderful additions to our wardrobes. . I love that you shared some of the history behind these beautiful prints, and how it connects women around the world. I have some of these beautiful fabrics in my stash and plan to make a couple of skirts.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:15h, 05 February Reply

      Thank you, Patricia! These fabrics will make wonderful skirts 🙂

  • Kathy Darling
    Posted at 16:05h, 17 February Reply

    Hi. Did you use more than the 6 yards that Mood sells in one lot. I notice on the pattern (in my size – 12 to 14), it says 6 yards without nap. I’m hoping to get buy with 1 6-yard purchase and wondered if you encountered any difficulties in the layout. It is so fabulous! Thank you, Kathy

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