Interview; Dovetailed London
October’s Luxury boxes featured the Claudette trousers pattern designed by Adaku of Dovetailed London, an incredible place to shop for beautiful African wax print fabrics. I caught up with Adaku to find out more.
Hi Adaku, tell us a bit about when and why you set up Dovetailed?
Sure, firstly, I just wanted to say a huge thank you, Hayley, for allowing me to share some of my story with your subscribers!
I set up my business while on maternity leave for the second time in 2017. Before this, I had been a barrister for about 15 years, however, after having children, I had been thinking about something else that I could do apart from going back to the Bar. In 2016, I was watching an episode of the Sewing Bee and I was curious enough to want to find out more. Then, about a month later I saw an advert for evening classes in Textiles at my local adult learning centre. I signed up for lots of classes including clothes making, African fashion, pattern cutting, and tailoring to name a few. By January 2017, I was making bags and accessories mainly to practise my sewing, but friends and family wanted me to make for them and so I did. I only ever used African wax print as I was familiar with these fabrics and really enjoyed working with them. Soon, I was selling at small markets and the rest, as they say, is history.
I’m so excited to be including your patterns in the boxes for the first time. Why did you decide to start designing your own patterns?
Having started selling at smaller markets and events, I then began selling at some of the bigger events. It was at these events that people would ask for suggestions as to what to make with African wax print fabrics. As I had a background in pattern drafting, I began thinking about how I could create a range of sewing patterns designed specifically with African wax print fabrics in mind (although they could also be made with any fabric). Shortly after, I launched my first sewing pattern. Fast forward a few years and there are a range of Dovetailed London Sewing Patterns available either as a paper / digital pattern, as part of a magazine or within my book: Sewing with African wax print fabric.
What inspires each of your designs?
When creating sewing patterns, I always start with the fabrics in an effort to create patterns that allow these fabrics to be shown off to best effect.
You also bought out a book earlier this year about sewing with African wax print fabrics, tell us what it is you love about sewing with this fabric?
The main thing I love about these fabrics are the rich combination of colours. The fabrics I sell are made from 100% cotton. This makes them a dream to sew with as the fabric does not move around too much when cutting and sewing.
Are there any new projects you are working on you can let us in on?
Yes absolutely, I have just finished a brand new sewing pattern. This pattern was commissioned by a sewing magazine for a very important issue which I am really excited to share with everyone in due course. I am also busy working on a number of sewing tutorial videos to accompany my sewing book and sewing patterns.