I've always felt like animal prints just aren't for me. See? This is where blogging leads. Peer pressure guys. It's bad.
I found this slinky, shiny, XXL leopard print top at the thrift and bought it in a moment of clothes-by-the-pound insanity. I hemmed and hawed about what to do with it, but in the end I was so in love with this make by Lladybird that I decided to try something similar. I didn't have the pattern, and even if I had I doubt I would've gone to the trouble of a full lining. I just bound the seams with bias tape. I thought I had black (turns out I do, it was hiding) so I used the darkest color I had which is sort of cobalt blue. There's a facing for the rounded bottom piece and some self made black bias tape around the neckline. The black is also some weird slippery poly bought ages ago at tr thrift. Needless to say, making bias tape out if it was a nightmare. I also used it for the facing and the undercollar since fabric was in short supply.
I also did bound buttonholes. Shoot me now. Seriously. This is some crazy, slippery, fraytastic poly and those buttonholes were nearly the death of me. The thought process? I'll do bound buttonholes for practice. I'm sure that's the sort of thing I'll want to know how to do. WTF? That was not good reasoning. On the bright side this was before I tackled welt pockets and they are a (comparative) piece of cake. What's the moral here? I'm not really sure. Let's move on.
I originally intended to modify the Darling Ranges dress pattern (as if I haven't already done enough of that) but when I laid out my modified pieces it was pretty clear that they would not all fit on the available fabric. I dug out my Simplicity 2174 Amazing Fit pattern (just the bodice pieces actually) and started tinkering. I cut the back on the fold instead of in pieces (I'll talk about why that was a mistake in one moment) and modified the heck out of the front piece. I changed the neckline from square to V, added enough extra for a placket, and cut two instead of one on the fold. For the collar I tried to trace the collar of a blazer I have that I really like.
Let's just take a moment to talk about that collar. These pictures do not do it justice. It looks editorial here: Cheetah print jacket with ridiculously large, awkward collar. In reality, it's awful. It sticks up, gapes, I don't even know what it does but it's definitely not right. I have an idea, though, to try handstitching it down. Ripping stitches in this fabric is just not an option. Life, it's far too short.
You can see here the weird way it moves. You can also see the notch. Do you see the notch?! I was very excited about that. The fact is that the collar should've been cut a little curvier round back. It's too close to straight and that's why it doesn't lay right. I'm pretty sure. Next time. There will always be next time (won't there? I think so... I love me a good blazer for work).
Onward. The back. Ugh. The original pattern fit so well, so what happened here? I seem to recall adding some ease while cutting since it's a jacket instead of a fitted dress. I think one of two things is going on here. I either added too much ease or should have cut two back pieces. The original pattern has a curve along the center back which, I suppose, is preventing this trainwreck you see here.
I don't know, maybe it's not so bad. After all I have to move my arms around so I suppose there should be some extra fabric there, yes?
The peplum is the part I think I like best. It's subtle but gives just a little extra pizzazz (did I really just use that word? I think it's past my bedtime). I like the curved edge, I like the way it flares out from the waist just a tiny bit and skims over the midsection. I am definitely brainstorming how I can use this again
And there you have it. A cheap knock off of an awesome jacket. In the end I'm not all that unhappy with it. It was a cheap way to try out this pattern idea and I will come back to it when the weather cools down a bit (too hot for layers right now). I really do see lots of potential here. Plus I have a (moderately) wearable cheetah print blazer for when the mood strikes, and occasionally it does. Can you expect to see any more animal prints sneaking their way into my wardrobe? It's probably too soon to say....