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From law to African fabrics - Adaku Parker and Dovetailed London

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by Startacus Admin

dovetailed fat quarters

The inspirational tale of the side hustle that has become a full time creative business...


If you’re hoping that 2020 is the year that you’ll turn your side hustle into a full time business, then this story may just give you some inspiration.

Adaku ParkerBarrister turned designer Adaku Parker is opening a new studio in east London as her African wax fabric business goes from strength to strength.

The new creative headquarters of her business, Dovetailed London  will enable her to meet increasing demand for sewing workshops, fabrics and sewing patterns as well as allowing the brand to grow.

The last year has proven to be hugely successful for Adaku who saw a brimming order book and several television appearances including one as a finalist on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Christmas 2019.

She is also currently writing a groundbreaking book about sewing with African wax print fabric which has already been snapped up by a publisher.

Adaku’s new studio, at creative hub Craft Central on the Isle of Dogs will allow her to run more of her popular ‘Learn to sew with African wax fabric’ workshops and stock more of her distinctive fabrics for customers.

She said: “What started out as a side hustle when I was on maternity leave has evolved into a fantastic flourishing business which is a celebration of African fashion and British design.

“The new Dovetailed London studio will take us to the next level in terms of stock availability, new workshops that we can host and will be a nurturing and inspiring place for me to create new patterns so customers can make unique clothes from our exquisite fabrics.”

Having spent almost 20 years working as a criminal barrister, Adaku took a few textile and sewing evening classes while on maternity leave and soon discovered that her bespoke creations, such as bags and clothes were in demand and as orders came flooding in her business was born.

She said: “I absolutely love the bold bright colours of African wax fabric. The structured nature of the fabric makes it a dream to sew with. People are pleasantly surprised by the fit of their wax print garments and how flattering it is on the form.

Adaku PArker and fabricsAdaku is a frequent exhibitor at major craft and sewing shows across the UK and regularly appears on the Sewing Quarter television channel where her fabrics often sell out.

Her website allows customers to buy 100% cotton African wax fabric, sewing patterns for clothes size 8 - 26 and book sewing workshops run by Adaku.

Marguerite Metz, Craft Central senior event and exhibition coordinator, said: “At Craft Central, it is always exciting to have new people join our studios. Adaku will be a great addition to our creative community with her vibrant textiles.

With our 67 studios, and with a diverse range of practices, we provide a friendly and conducive environment in which to work.”

Adaku will be holding her first African wax print fabric pop up show at Craft Central on January 25 from 10am to 6pm.

2020 looks set to be a great year for this barrister turned creative entrepreneur!





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Published on: 9th January 2020

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