Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Jungle January


Here we are again at that time of the year when all my good taste and style goes out the window and I embrace the gaudy (tacky?) world of animal print fabric. It’s always Prttynpnk’s fault and she knows it! I never use this fabric at any other time of my sewing year.

In recent years I have always joined in Jungle January as it pushes me way outside my comfort zone but my use of prints has generally been well out of sight, like underwear for last year and a dress lining a few years back, or else the fabric itself is a muted and discreet print. This year I have embraced the animal print aesthetic and it’s in your face and out there!

Before we get to the finished garment and I only got this finished so quickly because the weather has been dreadful that I’ve been forced to stay indoors and sew and also because it is very easy and quick to make.

mini-panda-m-(product-photography)The fabric this year comes from Croftmill -bunch of headers them but they do stock some lovely fabrics! They describe it as a panda footprint but I’m more inclined to associate it with a snow leopard ’cause they’re sexier instead of cute. Snow-Leopard-Blue-Eyes-Wallpapers.pngOstensibly a black and white repeating pattern. It is a coarse weave cotton suiting but stable, takes a good pressing and doesn’t wrinkle. Has a slight tendency to fray and pluck though.

V8841Paired with Vogue 8841, now unfortunately OOP. This coat pattern was perfect as it has minimal seams so that I didn’t have to do much pattern matching. I eliminated the centre back seam and instead of inseam side pockets made some welt ones, that are perfectly camouflaged in keeping with the true purpose of animal prints in the wild.


I was aiming for Parisian chic at Fashion Week and not Cruella de Ville managing to get her hands on the dalmatians, I’ll let you decide ………

This one is me….BTWDSCN6014

I modified the coat pattern to a round neck instead of a collar, revers and lapels – simpler to do and more Chanel-like.


The length was purely determined by availability of fabric as I had only bought 2m not knowing what I was going to do with it. The pattern requires 2.4m.

I wanted the darker spine strip to run along centre back so the fabric was folded off-centDSCN6020re. This created a long extra strip of single width left over which was sewn into a wrap-around tie belt. This can worn to close the coat as there are no buttons or snaps or hooks and eyes, or as a belt for coordinating whatever is underneath.




And underneath is a red dress in a poly crepe with the tiniest amount of stretch made into StyleArc’s Cleo dress, which is supposed to made from jersey.


A lovely simple design of a dress with two darts front and back and pulls on over your head. Mine’s a bit tight because there’s hardly any stretch and every lump and bump shows up. My fault. I found the fabric in my fabric box and I think it might be leftover from the Scarlett dress. I had about 1.2m.



I didn’t do a sway back adjustment and this is the result, so in future I’ll just pinch out a horizontal fish-eye dart at the back waistline and add the difference to the length – that should fix it.

The coat is fully lined, hand sewn edge to edge. I drafted some neck facings and interfaced these for a bit of shape. I didn’t have a set of shoulder pads so I used two padded bra cups instead! Worked a treat.

Thanks, as always to Anne who organises and collects all manner of animal print garments from around the world – a veritable menagerie.


Right – that’s out of the way now, back to tweeds and solid colours! Phew!



38 thoughts on “Jungle January

  1. Yes, Ma’am!!! If I can take any credit for this- I gladly will!

  2. Do you know, that really suits you, especially with the red dress which I like as much as the coat. They are perfect together. What a lovely way to start the year!

  3. I have some help for people who may not want to pay $30 for the out of print pattern. The Kenneth King course on Craftsy (which I took) uses V8841 for the basis of King’s class ‘The Carefree Fly Front Coat’. Kenneth modifies the pattern length to a shorter length and, modifies the collar and neck join for easier insertion. The class is great and V8841 is included. Cost is about $34 and the class is available for viewing whenever you wish, over and over. I have no affiliation with Craftsy but have taken a number of courses in the name of personal continuing education. I’ve included the link here:

  4. Now, to your coat. It is wonderful and so is the red dress. I am only going to make a lightweight sweater for Jungle January, so I applaud your efforts on this coat. Last Sept. I made a animal print maxi skirt with the requisite gold lame’ 2″ elastic waistband–not a complicated project, obviously–and it is great fun to wear.

  5. Very lovely! I like the mix between the solid and the print. Isn’t it clever how we make do when we are sewing… I don’t have this so maybe I will use that. Clever use of bra cups! You ladies are so quick, I’ve just started my Jungle January, but the month isn’t over yet!

  6. What fun! I especially love it with the red dress. I am working my way up to having enough wardrobe to be able to get away from sewing the basics.

  7. I love this whole outfit, you absolutely nailed this one!

  8. Ha ha–gave me a chuckle that the pattern is OOP because you changed it so much–back seam, collar, pockets. Seems to me any basic Vogue coat pattern would do as well.
    Anyway it turned out lovely and I LOVE it with the red dress.

  9. Stunning! Both garments!

  10. Great outfit! I love both items.

  11. Wow! Love the red with the snow leopard skin. Very Parisian Chic, also very Cruella de Ville (who wouldn’t want to wear her clothes?)

  12. Wow, you nailed the Parisian chic, both garments look wonderful.

  13. Pingback: Jungle January roars along! | Pretty Grievances

  14. The red dress is sensational! Did you sew darts in the front and back? I can’t tell from the photos?

  15. Wow, nice job. I love the extra touch with the contrast belt applied to the red dress. Like you, animal prints are not really in my repertoire (partly because there aren’t any blue jungle animals that I am aware of ;)), but you are tempting me to jump way out of my wool crepe and silk comfort zone.

  16. Gorgeous! Love ’em both…I think my jungle mojo has got lost under the miles of victorian goodies currently covering the cutting table…

  17. Ditto. Ditto. Both pieces. Gorgeous them. Gorgeous you.

  18. I love the whole outfit. Tre’ chic! The red dress has an amazing fit too. Nice work!

  19. Love love…so glad you came out of hiding this year! and the red dress…how beautiful.

  20. The dress, coat and chatter are wonderful. You brought joy and sewing inspiration!

  21. Looks lovely – the red really suits you and the outfit is very classy!

  22. Awesome Jungle January outfit. Love the black and white coat with the red dress. These colours look amazing together.

  23. Who says animal prints are tacky?
    You’ve made this outfit tres chic and it looks totally fab on you.

  24. What a real head turner outfit! Makes me want a similar outfit but have no place to wear it! The colors are sure to cheer you up on a grey day and make you look like you have been on vacation or spent a week in a spa.

  25. Oh la la! Definitely Parisian, tres chic!! Your coat and dress are both gorgeous, and these colours look fab on you.

  26. The entire outfit is fabulous on you!

  27. Ruth, this is so perfect for you-hot!!

  28. Not a hint of Cruella, and the red dress is FABULOUS! (Sorry for shouting)

  29. I’m amazed how prolific you’ve been this year! This is a great outfit. I’m not often a fan of animal print well out of my comfort zone (does faux fur count?) but I really like your coat. I think the simple lines help. Love the red dress, elegant and sexy! Xx

  30. I love the animal printed coat and the red dress – it suits you well! I see you look so elegant and chic wearing it, good job on the coat. Animal print looks really good as long as it is not overdone.

  31. Love! I just love the entire outfit. What a gorgeous coat, Ruth!

  32. Very nice Ruth. I really like the darker stripe down the back. And doesn’t it look vibrant with the lovely red dress. Well done. Another jungle triumph (hope you have your animal print thongs on too!)

  33. Lovely outfit, definitely not Cruella. I love the ‘spine’ repeat and how you used it in your placement at the CB and fronts.

  34. great outfit. I love your version of the coat, without the collar, looks fantastic against the red dress. I have got the pattern and the craftsy course mentioned above. I fancy having a go at coat making, but focusing on reducing my stash this year first.

  35. I really like the red dress on you. Beautiful shape and that colour makes your skin glow. I have never bought a stylearc pattern before last week, but was pleased to see that they have a limited choice on Amazon. Not sure if they ship to Ireland, but those in England may be interested.

  36. you look radiant!!!!

  37. Wow, go out there and roar!!

  38. Pingback: SWAP A2, A3 & A2 Again | corecouture

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