Jungle January 2017!

Concord Pussy Bow Top

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:

…and that’s just what I actually have in rotation in my closet right now!

Concord Pussy Bow Top

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.

Concord Pussy Bow 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!

Concord Pussy Bow Top

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!

Concord Pussy Bow Top

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!


28 thoughts on “Jungle January 2017!

  1. This is great [and I’m no fan of ‘pussy bow’ necklines usually!] I took part in Jungle January two years ago, and made an entire collection, thanks to the wonderful length of fabric sent to me in the ‘Sabre-tooth Swap’ by Kate of Fabrickated. Last year, I was paired up for a Swap, but my ‘partner’ never replied to my attempts at contact, so I ran out of time. This year, I’ve been distracted making a coat for my lovely missus as part of my SWAP entry, and now it’s too late.
    Not to worry, I have some lovely leopard print georgette to use…

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    1. That’s sad and annoying that your swap partner backed out without letting you know! I find the whole idea of swaps, giveaways and competitions of any sort stressful, so I’ve learned not to get involved. Leopard georgette would lovely though, so I hope you find a use for it soon! 🙂

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  2. Beautiful top Gillian! Suits you so well – love how you “planned” where your print would sit and that bow! I wondered immediately what pattern you used because I’ve not seen a “pussy bow” on a knit pattern before! So creative 🙂 (as usual!)

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    1. Thank you! I’m going to hunt for a good knit pussy bow pattern just to read the instructions… I feel like Jalie might have one? However I did this one, it was very on the fly! Thank goodness for a camo print!

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  3. I love your top, and jungle januari too! Didn’t make anything this year due to missing sewjo sadly :/ I also really like the bow, and been wondering how to install those too. Guess I’m gonna be stalking the replies here 😉

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    1. I truly can’t even remember how I did the bow. I sewied it in… November? Took pics in December…then figured I’d save it til Jungle January… then somehow didn’t post it til February!!! Hope your sewjo comes back!!

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    1. You mean a picture of Frank looking murderous because he’s been picked up? 😛 Actually, that sounds pretty fun!
      (BTW, your phone number is still showing up in comments!!! I deleted it right away though…)

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  4. I do love how you purposely made the sleeves darker, that is such an ingenious trick ! I don’t normally make printed tops, but I have noticed that “the blob” of print tends to take over my torso. I never really knew how to fix that, and I still don’t for prints that are all one background color. The prints tend to make me look very stick-like, and as a rather skinny person to begin with, that’s not my goal!
    Anyway, it’s a great tip and a beautiful blouse.

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    1. Ooh, that’s interesting! I’m trying to think what the solution might be for you – do you like the effect of colour blocking more, or maybe having more openness at the neck or wrist? I tend to like 3/4 sleeves because they break up the print.

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      1. Yeah, I’m thinking a more open neckline might work…it’s sad that winter lasts for so long, I do love a scoop neckline but not frostbite!
        Same reasoning for why 3/4 sleeves never happen. My wrists get so cold.
        Color blocking might work, and then save fabric and money. I tend to like pricier printed knits, like Art Gallery ones. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  5. Great top! I’ve heard of Jungle January but never taken part, although strangely I am currently in the middle of sewing a leopard print clutch bag.

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  6. I am so loving your top. Please write about how you changed up the Concord. Such a great pattern – I love the idea of changing up a great fitting top for more options.

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  7. You did an amazing job. When I saw the first picture of your new top, I thought “I want that pattern!” So maybe (pretty please?) you could work out how to attach a proper pussy bow and give us a tutorial? Or twist Cashmerette’s arm into developing another pattern or an expansion pack for this one or something?

    Did I say how much I love it?

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  8. Love everything about your blouse: the fit, the fabric, the pussy bow and the curved hem.

    Yes, I’ve heard of Jungle January, but never taken part. I find anything with a deadline stressful and as sewing is supposed to be a hobby, I just admire the output of others!

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  9. I keep coming back to this, it’s so fabulous. My question is: I have made my second concord, it’s a v-neck. But it would look ace for work with a pussy bow. Could I add one now? How would I do that?

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    1. You could maybe add one now? Cut a long strip, fold it in half lengthways, and then I’d suggest folding in the seam allowance… then catch the neckline of the shirt in between the two layers of that long strip, and sew it on? (I don’t know if that makes any sense when I type it out…) Good luck!

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