Friday, May 25, 2012

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

Dashiki Easy
I recently found this beautiful Dashiki on Ebay. The colors are so very vibrant and tribal prints are so hot right now. When I saw it, I immediately knew that this would make a great piece for Fabulous Free Pattern Friday as it is nothing more than a rectangle.
As I played around with it a bit on my form, I decided that I am going to have to get another one as this would make a great maxi dress. Cut the neckline area and do a beaded necklace and make it into a halter dress. So many possibilities.
As I did a little more research on the Dashikis, I found that all of them have a name. Mine is King Star.
So this is what I did with it. I am in love with this top. As you can see the neckline was cut open and elastic was added at the waistline. Other than that, the only other stitching I did was at the hem. The Dashikis are printed as panels and when this one was cut, it was not cut as straight as it should have been, so I had to eliminate the gold design that you see along the sides. This was along the bottom as well. No problem, I think it turned out just fine.
To begin with, I cut out the circle that was in the middle.
This would not allow for enough room to get it over my head, so I cut down the center front.
I used a piece of bias tape to finish the edges. As you can see it is mitered at the corner.
In case you don't know this, you can press your bias tape into the shape of where you will be sewing it prior to sewing it to the garment.
Take one end and hold it down with the iron and then curve the bias strip. Press.
The curve will be in place.
In this picture I am holding it upside down to show that it will hold it's shape. If for some reason you no longer want that shape once you have pressed it, just place your iron on the end once again and press it back into a straight piece. If you've never done this, give it a try, it's rather fun.
For the next step you will need to sew in the lines that are on either side of the piece. Forgive me, but I forgot to take a picture of this. You will need your hip measurement for this. If your hip measurement is 38", add at least 2" for ease. Measure out from the center of the piece 1/4 of this measurement and place a mark. This will determine where to sew the lines that are on either side of the top. The lines will stop 10" to 12" from the top of the garment. This will be the opening for your arms.
To add the casing for the elastic, try the piece on and determine where your waist is. Give yourself a little bit of ease as you will want to be able to comfortably raise your arms. If this measurement is 15" from the bottom, you will then mark this measurement all the way around. Pin the bottom edge of the bias tape on this line. I used a 2" wide piece of bias tape. As you see in the picture above, the stitching must stop at the lines you sewed for your side seams in order for the flutter edges to remain free. 
This is the outside of the garment and you can see how the stitching stops at that side seam.
Now take a piece of elastic and pull it comfortably around your waist. Allow enough for a small seam allowance. Thread the elastic through the casing. Once threaded through, sew the ends together.
The elastic casing.
A view from the front.
So that is it, a super simple top that is really quite special.
Now you may be wondering depending upon where you live, just where you can find the fabric. I did a little research to get you started.
I found this piece,
and this piece on Ebay. This particular shop also has some other fabulous pieces of African fabrics. Really worth checking out.
As I looked around a bit more, I came across this picture. Isn't this skirt incredible? Really lovely.
With all of my searching , I found an African shop here in Chicago that carries Dashikis as well as many other very interesting fabrics. I'm on my way!!
Today's addition of Fabulous Free Pattern Friday is not so much about how to do the top, but hopefully opening up your world to new possibilities. I know it has mine. I can't wait to make a trip to the African shop.
Have a wonderful day!

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  1. Thank you for sharing. I have never really taken a look at these African prints and thought about what you did with them. You have given be new insite.

  2. Just looking at these fabrics and patterns makes me think of hot climates and sunshine. Beautiful, thanks.

  3. Hi there. Many thanks for sharing this info. However, King Star is not the name of the Dashiki (dashikis are simply called dashikis in most languages) it is the name of the design or print of fabric. The type of fabric is a genuine java (a type of ethnic fabric) print. Most dashikis are unhemmed which is why you see the fabric info written on the on the selvage of the fabric. Most seamstresses tend to cut off the fabric info before completing a garment... see more fabric like this at globalthings.biz.

  4. This is awesome! And after my recent trip to kenya I have so many fabrics that I brought with me. Can you please tell me what was the original measurements of this piece of fabric? Thanks for the share!

  5. This could have been a great summer dress, anyway the winter season won't keep me from trying this pattern. What dressmaking fabric did you use for it?

  6. Thank you for keeping this posted I just needed a reminder of what to do. I hope you bought the skirt it is beautiful..

  7. This can wear in any season. I love the pattern you do it. It's awesome job Love it.