It’s the fifth year of Jungle January, and let’s be honest: my 5th year of sewing leopard! I never wore animal prints before the first Jungle January, but I’m well and truly hooked. (Yes, I know I’m a few days late on this one! Oops!)
Over the years, I’ve made:
- a leopard Renfrew cowl
- a pink leopard Plantain cowl
- a teal leopard Lola dress
- a coral leopard swing dress
- a back-and-white leopard Bella dress (and a top and tank in the same fabric!)
…and that’s just what I actually have in rotation in my closet right now!
This years project is a Cashmerette Concord in rayon leopard print. I like the taupey-grey colours in this print better than the usual warm camel leopard, so I bought 2m at $5/m… then went back and bought 2m more to stash!
This winter I’ve been feeling like I don’t have enough tops – which is absurd, after sewing for 5 years! I guess what it really means is that my tastes and size have changed a bit, so that section of my closet needs a refresh. I find my taste in tops changes much faster than in dresses. For example, two years ago I loved raglans and was experimenting with slightly shorter hems… last year I made a lot of neutral dolman tees and Concord for layering under long cardigans… and this year I’m enjoying stand-alone tops like the voluminous Tessuti Isla tops or this shirt, which I don’t plan on wearing with a cardigan over top.
As you can tell, I made this into a pussy-bow neckline. I started by freehanding a rounded v-neck, then cut long stripes across the grain for the ties. I’d love to read how ties like this are *supposed* to be attached – mine are sewn closed at the ends, and then attached to the shirt, but I didn’t bother to plan out which part should be left open, and the inside is a hot mess. Thankfully the animal print camouflages everything… almost too well! The box totally disappears into the shirt!
I also freehanded a gentle curved hem, which I’m really pleased with. I think it’s a flattering shape on my hips, especially when a top is drapey enough to hang loosely. Oh, and I purposefully cut the sleeves on the darker part of the print. I think the dark colour recedes and minimises better, and having the sleeves contrast the lighter colour at the sides of the shirt means my torso and arms don’t blend into one giant square block of print.
You might have noticed I’m wearing my refashioned jeans from my tutorial last week – here’s what they look like in action!
That’s all for now! I’d love to know if you’ve A) heard of Jungle January, and B) took part! It’s my favourite annual sewing challenge because it’s so wide open: animal print, jungle plant print, or anything vaguely like either, and sew whatever you want!