Extra! Extra! Psychedelic Leopards NOT Extinct after all!

Turqoise leopard print jerseyMe bad. The lovely turquoise leopard print jersey that I thought was extinct forever is actually still to be found in the fabric jungle of B&J Fabrics. So hurrah, I don’t have to fret about not having enough for a wrap dress anymore.

The price isn’t as steep I thought either. OK, at $15.95 per yard it’s not dirt cheap by most sewists’ measure. But knowing my former habit, I thought I had paid a lot more than that for this beauty. Having said that, by the time I add postage and Her Royal Highness’ custom and duty levies to this, the cost will no doubt balloon to 2-3 time the fabric price 🙁 … Actually, they’re offering free ground shipping in the US. And I know sales taxes are normally not levied if it’s out-of-state order. Maybe I’ll have it shipped to my relatives in the US & pick up in the future. Now that’s a plan!

If turquoise isn’t quite your color, they also have the print in blue and purple.

Blue leopard print jerseyPurple leopard print jersey

There’s unfortunately no detail information about fiber content and care instruction. But it does mention spandex (lycra), so what you make from it should retain its shape relatively well.

By my unscientific measurement, it stretches up to 25% crosswise and lengthwise. With the added spandex, this make it a 4-way stretch fabric. You should be able to use it for patterns that require 2-way stretch fabric. As I said before, it feels a bit light weight and drapes quite well. So it would work nicely for patterns with a bit of drape – like those gorgeous Donna Karan patterns from Vogue Patterns.

Honey, really, I don’t have enough…

The Spring Coat(s) have fallen by the way side of course. My next project(s) of fantasy desire will be fashioned from this gorgeous turquoise leopard print jersey from B&J Fabrics. Drool.

turq leopard print jerseyturq leopard print jerseyturq leopard print jersey

My initial thoughts were a cowl neck top and a wrap dress.

Actually, this fabric looks a lot like the one Assorted Notions used for her Burda Blumarine wrap dress (Burdastyle Magazine 2011-06-139).


I don’t think it’s exactly the same, at least from what I can see of her close-ups. Mine has short strokes in the turquoise area presumably to simulate the furriness of leopard skin. Anyway, I love her wrap dress. But I’m not sure it would work so well on my rectangular figure – you need a bit of VaVaVroom to bring this preternatural creature to live. But at least it’s an option.

Then there’s Vogue 8379, a classic DvF style wrap dress that everyone seem to rave about.


Or the slightly straighter Vogue 8784, though that’s designed for woven rather than knit so might have too much ease.


And for the cowl neck, I think McCall 6078 view B can be pressed into service again, maybe with an extended collar to up the drape quotient.


Then I thought this cowl neck might be a good accent to build a wardrobe sewing plan around. Looking through my other swatches there are a few that would be a lovely combination with this. Hmmm…maybe I should make that wrap dress a separate 3/4 sleeve top and skirt to up the mix-and-match possibilities.

Maybe Vogue 8790 for the top and Burdastyle Magazine 2012-05-113 for the skirt. I’d probably line the skirt with a power mesh for a bit more heft – this knit is a bit on the thin side. And I’ll have to insert a zipper because the fabric doesn’t really have enough stretch.


I was getting quite giddy from the thoughts of all these possibilities. So imagine my dismay when I discovered that my 2-1/4 yards are not even enough for one of those wrap dresses.

With all my expensive fabric habit, I failed where it counts. Am so regretting not getting more. Now I can’t find anything as nice. 🙁

It’s always the case. I’d find some heavenly but expensive fabric. I’d think to myself if I only get a yard or two it’ll still be somewhat affordable. And then I’d find myself afraid to make anything because I have so little of it that I can’t decide what to make. Where as the uglier cheaper stuff I’d get yards and yards, but then not be inspired to make anything.

I’ll have to wait until my brother’s gone home to spread out the fabric and see what I can possibly squeeze out of it. Wish me luck on that!

But what do you think? If you have 2-1/4 yards of this fabric, what would you make? And if you find a gorgeous fabric what’s the minimum you’d usually buy?

What do you do when you can’t sew?

Why go shopping of course!

This time it’s patterns, not fabrics. I had seen this Donna Karan Vogue Pattern for a cowl neck top (v1282) and lusted after it. But not at $19.20.

So I waited. And waited. And waited for that spam mail about $4.99 sale. But nothing came. I must have been blacklisted. Or my spam filter gotten too diligent.

As luck would have it, while investigating the problem I checked the Vogue Pattern site a couple of days ago and it was…wait for it…$3.99 a pop! And McCalls Patterns at $1.99 a pop. OK, add on international shipping and it’s no longer dirt cheap, but it’s still the cheapest I’ve ever paid for Vogue Patterns. So I popped for 7 – the cut off point at which shipping cost jumps a whopping 120%.

V1282 I hope will work for this non-spandex cotton knit I have in a lovely turquoise leopard print.

I think I’ll also make one with the gold fabric I salvaged from this Victoria Secrets convertible dress that’s just too tarty for my taste. As you see though, it drapes quite nicely, so should be a good fit for this pattern.

So apart from v1282, I also got:

Vogue Pattern 1258

The pattern photo actually doesn’t do much for me. I got this on account of Erika B’s and Allison C’s versions. It’s good to know that models don’t always wear it better! Hurrah for real women.

Having said that, the Vena Cava – Fall 2010 original does look quite good on the model.

Vogue Pattern 1233

because it’s just too cute…and…

Vogue Pattern 8774

because I haven’t got any jeans pattern and this one doesn’t look not too momsy.

Vogue Pattern 8701

Again the photos don’t do much for me. But the drawings reveal a jacket with potential, and a raglan dress that can be a classic block.

Maybe the jacket in a gray denim? Tailored denim – I like that: Somewhat unexpected combinations. Just like a jean made from a more formal fabric that I saw in agnès b homme ages ago

McCall Pattern 2718

Yes, another fitting pattern – I seem to be forever fiddling with fitting! I’m already on my second Vogue fitting pattern. The first one was when I was size 8 too many decades ago. The second a fatter size 12.

But having read Palmer/Pletsch’s Fit For Real People book, I’m persuaded that I had gotten the wrong size based on full bust measurement as instructed by Vogue Pattern instead of high bust measurement recommended in the book.

If I was going to get a new fitting pattern I might as well get Palmer/Pletsch’s latest – McCall’s version. They had designed the original Vogue version in 1975, but have since refined the technique. This new McCall version supposedly has more fitting guidance built in. We shall see if anything come out of this nth fitting attempt!

McCall Pattern 6464

While I was at it, I thought I might as well try one of Palmer/Pletsch’s patterns for McCall and see if they are easier to fit properly.

This shift dress, while nothing special, does look rather elegant with an empire waist in the front dropping to natural waist in the back. Another classic block me thinks.

Now I just need to finish painting my sewing room without fainting or getting too high from the fumes!