Jungle January in by a cat’s whisker

Deadlines. Sometimes they’re oppressive. Other times they’re inspiring. Jungle January, by definition, finishes today and look at me scraping in just in time!

As promised, I made a frock from vintage Japanese silk twill with some kind of animally dot. I don’t think any real critter is bedecked thus, but this is as close to animal print as I’ve ever been or, in all likelihood, will ever get. I worked out why most animal prints make me wince – it’s the beige background. I loathe beige. Ugh. No matter how wacky the spots and stripes are, if the background is beige, I declare BEGONE FROM MY EYES.


The fabric came from Rathdowne Remnants in two pieces. It’s clearly from some old lady’s stash – sometimes RR has utter diamonds buried in their remnant buckets – and smells faintly of mothballs when wet. One piece had the end of the roll stamped with the manufacturer’s details, which is why I’m clear on its Japanese origins. It’s the softest, slinkiest stuff and required a good gelatining before it would sit still enough to cut and sew.

Soft folds at waist

Soft folds at waist

I made Butterick 5850 view B but left off the bow (for I am not a box of chocolates, thankyouverymuch) and added length and width to the skirt. For those keen to make this pattern, be aware there’s an error in the neck where one piece (back neckline) is impossibly too big to fit to its intended neighbour (the collar). I did some darts in the spot fabric and gathered the lining to compensate. It’s ugly, but works. Not sure I’d recommend the pattern for this reason though.


I think the animal print discombobulated me because I put the bloody zipper in upside down! Ah well.


Warming up for Jungle January

I am not a proponent of the ‘pard, nor spruiker of the snake. The closest I’ve ever been to an animal print fabric was a bike seat cover in fake tiger fur. But for our beloved Pretty Grievances, in thanks for many years of sewing LOLs, I will sew me a zoo this month.

I thought I’d ease myself gently into this alternative lifestyle with a couple of almost-animal-prints. I took this here op shop pattern (Simplicity 8523) and modified it a little – added kimono sleeves, shifted darts, added length, bound the neck – to make a go-to woven tee pattern to use up all those little bits of lightweight stuff I’ve been hoarding.

The first is in a voile printed with fake ikat that looks a bit, if you squint, like snake scales. The second is a silk chiffon spot. Both are a bit ace to wear.

And next? Boldly, a frock, in true animal print. Well, sort of – not sure what animal these spots came from. This is a vintage Japanese silk twill remnant from Rathdowne Remnants. To the pattern stash!