African Fabric DIY Sewing

African Fabric No. 1. Ruffled Midi Dress from Simplicity 8124 (Modified)

Simplicity 8124 Modified

Hello everyone.  This is a modified version of Simplicity 8124.  My husband traveled abroad this year to Liberia, a country in West Africa.  He had not been there for many many years and stayed for several weeks.  He promised to bring me back some African fabric, and he stayed true to his promise.  When he was shopping in the market for the fabric, he face-timed me so I could try to choose some of the fabrics myself.  He also had a couple of family members with him that could help him choose a decent pattern for me.  I was able to choose a few of the pieces myself and he chose a few.  Altogether, he purchased six different prints for me, and each piece was six yards.  My intention is to make something really lovely with each one of them so that when he goes back to Liberia, he will bring me back even more.  Today, I will show you my first make with my gifted fabric.   Also, I welcome any ideas for some of the other fabrics.

I love this pattern and this is one of the fabrics I chose during our face time.  What drew me to this pattern was the color variations as well as the pattern.  I really did not want any patterns that were too big, and some of the African fabrics can have very big patterns which makes it harder to decide what to make with them.  The bigger the pattern, the bigger the pattern pieces.  You don’t want to have too many pattern pieces when you have a very large pattern.  Honestly, I kind of felt that way with this fabric as well, because I did not want to lose the pattern in whatever I chose to make.  That is why I chose to make the dress I made.  I am a big fan of the salmon color and of course the mustard variation in this print. I really love the color mustard, and then sprinkled with the dark brown and white, the pattern is just perfect.  Working with this fabric is like a dream, and it’s a great fabric for a beginner.  It stays put.  No slipping and sliding like knits or charmeuse or even polyester or chiffon.  If you need to iron it, fold it, or pleat it, it will stay folded, pleated, or ironed.  It is the best fabric in that regard.  Just so easy to manipulate.  It is a very structured fabric and I love it.

This dress was made with Simplicity 8124, a Cynthia Rowley pattern.  I made the top years ago, and decided to make the dress, but with modifications to accommodate my bold print.  Here is the pattern.  Simplicity 8124.  I made View A, with modifications.  This dress is meant to be short.  But I added some length to the body and also a bottom tier to give it even more length.  So that it would be more of a midi instead of a mini.  I also made a belt from the fabric to cinch the waist.  Although I like the look with and without the belt.  I do believe I could have cut a smaller size, but I am still satisfied with it. If I make it again, I will cut a smaller size.  The pattern has a lot of ease which makes it loose fitting dress. It’s perfect.

Simplicity 8124 is a good beginner pattern.  It is easy to make and also modify.  The pattern gives you three different options, a dress, a top/tunic, and a short jumper.  All of which can be modified easily.  How can I modify this pattern you ask?  Well, you can shorten or length the sleeves; leave off the elastic in the sleeves; widen the sleeves and make them more of a bell sleeve; add a bell to the end of the sleeve; make the short jumper, a pants jumpsuit; and/or add bows to the front, sleeves, or the sides of the shorts.  And, of course, add a tier  to View A, or a few tiers, like I did with my dress.

You also have the option of using some pretty good fabrics for this pattern.  I used my African fabric, which is basically a woven fabric.  But you could use denim, linen, a double gauze, cotton, rayon, and I believe even a knit.  Maybe the next time I make this, I will use a knit.

In a few words, I really like this dress.  And the fabric made me love it even more, because it was a gift from my husband.

That’s a wrap for now, but I can’t wait to show you a new project, pattern, or DIY something.  Thank you for allowing me to share this Midi Dress with you today.  Leave a comment and please “Like” if you like.  I love sewing, and I love sharing my projects with you. Also, if you have not subscribed yet, please consider doing so.  You can subscribe below.  Until next time, I will be making my life better, one project at a time, and I hope you do the same.  Ps.  Thank you for your support.


“Who do we think we are?” John Legend




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