The dressmaking challenge was to use Batik Cottons which are made in the Netherlands. I thought these fabrics were made in Africa but it turns ourt they're made in the Netherlands. The Dutch copied the original designs from Java in the 19th century and were going to sell them in Indenisia but stopped of in West Africa on the way and ended up selling them there instead. The designs then were influenced by Africans more and more over years.
The weight of the fabric it lends itself to creating great sculptural shapes. The peplum is a popular shape that is used at the waist to enhance the hips or from the knee to create a fish tail. Traditional west African women make the most wonderful sculptural headresses with it.
Drawing inspiration from The Sewing Bee and then pictures of African dresses I decided to make a dress from two differnet patterns, the top half of the Colette Eclair pattern and the skirt of the New Look 6124. I used a navy and white print cotton with an orange viscose for the lining and sach/tie. I decided to add in straps which I made so they can be worn straight over the shoulder or crossed at the back.