Singing V.L.I.S.C.O

I discovered Vlisco a while back.

They specialise in African wax print fabric and their large-scale designs are fabulously, eye-wateringly, slap-bang in your face amazing.

Unfortunately, I discovered it is really difficult to buy quantities of less than 6 metres. Really difficult. And it isn’t cheap either. For cotton. But that didn’t stop me. I had fallen pretty hard.  So I decided to order one of their less eye-searing colour ways to quiet my fabric demon try it out. Still, 6 whole metres of it.  However I could get birds though. Large flying hummingbirds. And birdcages, of course.

(The fabric is now no longer available)

I ordered direct from Vlisco and the fabric arrived beautifully packaged within about a week. It got washed and then parked up in one, of my many, fabric bays, until I could decide what to do with it. The design was everything I expected, but the fabric was quite stiff and since the pattern was so large, and printed on the cross grain,  I had to get to know where those birds wanted to go, and prepare myself for their ultimate release out into the wild.

In the meantime I was enjoying the resurgence of some new (to me) silhouettes in the world of fashion. One’s which I’d never really worn before. More specifically, they could be described as egg shapes.

Like this cocoon coat from Burda.

Later, after much internet trawling thought I decided I’d use one of the few Burdastyle patterns from the last 3 years which hadn’t been published in their monthly magazines, and which I therefore didn’t own. No surprises there.

The Vintage Rosa jacket silhouette was just what I wanted. It was classic. It was unusual. It was pure in it’s oviform gorgeousness, so my birds would somehow be returned to their eggy origins.  The simple silhouette would allow my lovely fabric to truly sing.


Can’t see the birds? Should I get a bit closer?


Is this any better?


from the side?


Unfortunately to get the full oeuf shape it needed more structure.  I simply lined it with Bemberg, and it really needed to be interfaced throughout.



Now where did some of those birds go?


2 thoughts on “Singing V.L.I.S.C.O

  1. Lovely fabrics. I buy the full 6 yds and then sit on the remainder for years. Maybe we need a wax prints sharing circle so we can buy together. Same goes for African laces.

    Sometimes I feel like making matching sets with African fabrics ie trousers or skirts with a top. And then I wear a head wrap. Why not? It can look amazing.

    I agree this jacket needs a firmer cloth, or underlining. Maybe if you tried silk organza it would give structure without losing the lightness of the jacket.

    • Yes I’d definitely be up for a Vlisco sharing circle. It would only need 2 interested partiesto make it more cost effective.

      I love the contemporary outfits they display on the website using 2 or 3 different co-ordinating prints. I’d wear them all year if I could.

      Thanks for the tip on the organza. I think the jacket/fabric idea was nice but it didn’t really come off. Fabric too busy and patten too structured. Would love to make the pattern in a beautiful firm wool, but I don’t need one in my life unfortunately.

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