I’m so excited to be blogging for Urbanstax about the Sew Over It Lola Coat I made with their amazing fabric! Anyone who follows me on Instagram or my blog Sew and Style Lou will know that I love a big, bold, colourful print. I always describe my style as ‘classic shapes in contemporary prints’ – for me clothes and fashion are about fun, and I’ve never been all that shy and retiring. So the brightness and beauty of African Wax Print seems like an obvious fit.
I had been lusting after an African Wax Print Lola Coat ever since I saw Emily Maust’s beautiful version on Instagram. The trouble is, the access to African Wax Print fabric is limited in rural Devon. So when I went to Great British Sewing Bee live last October I was hoping I would be able to find some. And right at the end of my first lap of the stalls, I found Urbanstax. I debated over several prints, but decided to go all out with boldness and chose this yellow and red Ankara print in the shape of old vinyl records.
Some months later when I finally got around to sewing Lola I realised I didn’t buy enough fabric. What. An. Idiot. Luckily, Urbanstax still had some on their website so I was able to top up my stash with enough to make my much lusted after Lola. Phew.
Pattern pieces cut out, the real challenge of sewing my Lola coat came with pattern matching. Now I’d read that Lola was a fairly simple sew, but whilst that’s true the construction of the side pieces to create the waterfall effect is a little mind boggling when you are trying to negotiate which pieces need to be pattern matched! With a print this big and bold, pattern matching was an absolute must for me. Luckily Emily vlogged about her version so, with some careful rewatching and well timed pauses as screen shots, I was able to figure out that I needed to match to maintain my sanity. Although it would give it a more professional finish to match everything, I’m a home sewist and not a fan of creating extra work for myself so I don’t pattern match seams you won’t see. (For reference, I matched the upper and lower side panels and pocket bag with each other, and the whole these created with the back sleeve panels.)
And as reported, once the pieces were cut out Lola was indeed a quick, and simple sew. I realised as I was sewing that the pattern repeat on the fabric isn’t exact, but unless Patrick and Esme were scrutinising it on the Bee I’m sure no-one would notice! (And actually, the first time I wore my Lola was to a TEDx Talk Patrick gave about Community Clothing, and if he noticed he didn’t say ;).) With a print like this, my coat needs to be the focus of my outfit. If I’m at work I like to wear it with a grey pencil skirt and a shirt, and with jeans at the weekend.
I’m really lucky to have a sister-in-law who is a photographer, so when I finished Lola we popped along to the studio and took some photos. The white background really lets the colours, and the print, pop. I used to be a dancer so we always have a bit of fun with our photos!
Now I’ve conquered Lola, I’m definitely wanting to make more statement garments in African Wax Print. I’ve fallen in love with this Turquoise and Brown Lattice Ankara on the Urbanstax website. Maybe a Kimono? A peplum top? A Sew Over It Lizzie Skirt? Decisions, decisions…