Friday, 30 January 2015

Jungle January jacket


Given the amount of animal print fabric in my stash it was only a matter of time before I gave in to the roaring attraction of Pretty Grievances' Jungle January. I had an end of the bolt piece of fabric with a tiny amount of stretch in it and picked this pattern from Knipmode december 2013.


It had been a while since I made a Knipmode jacket and as there's rumour of inconsistency in sizing I thread traced the seam lines and added generous seam allowances. Instead of making a muslin (nothing around that would mimic the drape and stretch of this fabric) I imagined I could fit along the way. What could go wrong with such a straightforward pattern?

For starters: the neckline curve was way off. I checked the pattern pieces to see if the neckline was stretched, despite my staystitching. Nope. The only way to fix it was by adding four darts, thus removing 12 cm (!) equally divided over front and back. That's not a fitting issue, that's bad drafting! And what makes me really angry is that, by looking at the magazine pictures again, I think they knew. See for yourself.


Luckily animal print provides good camouflage for unwanted darts and I can do the necklace trick as well.


Now let's discuss the other elephant in the room jungle. Have another close look at those models. What's up with their arms? Could it have something to do with an incredibly low and therefore very restrictive armscye?


Not even my generous seam allowances could fix this completely. Darn, my jungle chic-ish jacket is utterly useless for climbing trees, friction based fire making or wrestling a python!

Never mind, I'll wear it open. Makes it easier to flash my Hong Kong finished seams and facings as well!


Needless to say this pattern will get its walking papers. As a wearable muslin this jacket will do, as long as I remember to get changed when cleaning windows ;)

Frozen jungle!


Wee-ooh wim-o-weh.......Lion alert!!!




Happy jungle sewing, and let's be careful out there!


31 comments:

  1. Despite the design flaws I really like the look of this jacket!

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    1. Thanks! It's not too bad! I think it will look good with jeans as well.

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  2. I like it! You made the pattern work for you although I'm sure it wasn't much fun!

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    1. I'm not sure it's really working for me, but I did like the challenge!

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  3. For its being drafted so poorly, you surely made it look nice, and it looks nice on you. Since the pattern is so "off", now that you have made it, don't you think you could use a well-drafted "little French jacket" pattern as a starting point, to turn it into something close to a good base for your new jacket? It really does look very nice in you, despite the pattern flaws. I am glad I read tour whiole post before rushing off to buy the pattern.

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    1. Knipmode is struggling to survive and although they're not nearly as good as they used to be I would hate to see the only Dutch pattern magazine go. I keep buying issues to support them and I would really like to write a raving review one day so I keep hoping. It's a bit of hit and miss. Of course I would prefer Vogue designer patterns any time, but they are so expensive in Europe! One Vogue pattern will cost as much as three issues of Knipmode (30 patterns per issue). I'm building a collection by buying during the US website sale. Shipping, handling and customs still adding up! Also, there's availability: Knipmode can be found in every supermarket and bookstore and it's bringing traffic to the (also struggling) fabric stores. Another reason not to give up on them yet!

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    2. I subscribe to 'Sew Today' magazine, published by Vogue/McCall's. You get an enormous discount on the patterns, postage free. You save the cost of the magazine in your first, free patterns. I don't know if this would be applicable to you but I am thrilled at getting Vogue patterns at less than half price.
      That is a lovely jacket. Well done, but this is what is stifling my sewing mojo, all that effort for dubious reward!

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    3. Thanks, anonymous. I contacted Sew Today immediately. Sadly no free shipping to The Netherlands and subscription cost almost doubles. Well, maybe this is all a blessing in disguise. I won't be hoarding patterns but will slowly build a collection of Vogue patterns that I really love and make.

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  4. It's very sassy, and now I have the song "What's New Pussycat" stuck in my head...

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    1. Woah woah woah! Now I keep seeing Tom Jones in his shiny polyester suits!

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  5. I agree with Nancy; you certainly turned bad drafting into a gorgeous jacket which looks so good on you. And jungle print seems to suit you well too. I am too conservative to wear jungle print except on my feet. I love a pair of jungle print shoes.

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    1. Ooooo! Jungle print shoes! I wear jungle print as a neutral but never owned jungle print footwear!

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  6. Ah, but a lady of your station should never be cleaning windows at all!! ;-)

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    1. One thing leads to another. We are hiring, because I made a jacket ;))

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  7. It's a lovely jacket and the fabric is great. Such a pity about the drafting flaws, but the necklace looks fine with it and flashing Hong Kong seams is as good a reason as any to leave it open. Nice work.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. Hooray for flashing seams!

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  8. This jacket really suits you, despite all the problems with it - you wear the print so well. Lovely finish, and the neckline darts are, of course, a design feature now, are they not. As for not being able to move your arms - you'll have to leave the python wrestling to jungle man :). Your four pawed friend looks like he is game for action too :)

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    1. I've been wearing it out in the wild and I'm happy to report I can raise my arms high enough to hold a glass of wine. That will do for now ;)

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  9. It is a beautiful jacket and goes so well with the dress you are wearing it with - perfect length for it too. You have fixed the neckline beautifully. Shame about the restrictive arms as the jacket looks very chic on you.

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    1. Thanks! I'm wearing my trusted Mabel skirt, disguised as dress!

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  10. Despite all the problems with the pattern, your jacket looks fabulous on you. Interesting fabric, It looks like perhaps it is a knit. Very soft and comfortable I am sure. I have a few treasured issues of Knip Mode. it is so hard to get in the US,

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. I do like the style of the jacket, now to find a better pattern! I've never seen anything like this fabric. Although it looks like a knit the stretch is close to zero. Which is strange, you would expect some mechanical stretch at least. A warp knit, made of non-stretch fibers? If you want to see what Knipmode is up to nowadays you can check knipmode.nl. At Patronen you can find the downloadable patterns.

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  11. It does look like a beautiful jacket, and I would have never known all the problems you had with the pattern.

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    1. Thanks, Lori! The animal print is quite forgiving ;)

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  12. First up...the jacket is gorgeous! But what a nuisance, having to alter the neckline...and that was a LOT of altering you had to do! The good news is that I would never have known that you had to tweak the pattern. It sits beautifully at your neck, so BRAVO!

    I really enjoyed the humour in your post! And! Also really enjoyed your little lion photo-bombing your shoot! Fun! Fun! Fun!

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    1. Ha! Hooray for animal print, those darts to fix the gaping would really show in a solid!

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  13. I adore this outfit (and your cute dog). This silhouette is the same as my current project - you look splendid - well done!!

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    1. Thanks, Robin! It's my favourite silhouette, but I'm still working on improving the fit of the jacket. I really need a TNT jacket pattern!

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