It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who wears Animal Prints? (The Colette Sorbetto Top)

I've realized that I have a love/hate relationship with animal print fabrics.  Love the coppery/black/tan/brown colors - they're perfect for me!   But there's something about slinky, silky, animal print clothes that can so easily say cheap & tawdry.  I mean, what's the go-to print to portray a tv prostitute, eh?  And yet, done well, an animal print can be both elegant and hot!

I found myself doing a bit of curious soul-searching while playing with which fabrics to use for the lovely little Colette Sorbetto Top that Sarai has offered as a FREE download.  I liked the thought of using this lovely silk I've had for awhile...except that it's sort of leopard printish...... Is this the pattern that I can finally use to pull off a nice-looking animal print?  And feel good wearing it?   Hmmm...... each their own, but, well....No.   (Sorry Snooki)

Runway looks.   All righty then......

Not saying I hate it, not saying I love it.... (what do YOU think?)

Kind of classically elegant Dior.....even though you won't find me dead in it!  ;D

Givenchy - definitely A Look!  (and it does NOT look cheap!)  And OK -
you can go ahead & bury me in this one lol! (Just don't put it on me before I'm dead, 'k?)

So, back to the Colette Sorbetto....and the fabric I pulled from my stash:

This is a yummy silk, and I've been waiting for the right pattern to use it on.  However, I did NOT want it to look like negligee, which would be pretty easy with a simple top like this.  It needed a little sumpin'sumpin' extra...... I found these buttons in my vintage button stash - just unique enough to funk up the look & make it something I would enjoy wearing :)

The bias trim is a vintage cotton percale - I thought it would be perfect, but it definitely turned into a Learning Opportunity!  What I Learned:  All of the bias seam binding I've done on garments, so far, have been self-made, and very flexible & stretchy.   I did know that ready-made bias binding isn't going to have quite the stretch of any of the fabrics I've used before, but this tape was REALLY close woven (Percale, I discovered, is a type of weave that is tight).   The results were a binding that did not lay as flat as I would have liked.  I pressed it into semi-submission, & it's perfectly wearable, if not perfect :)  (It's a good thing I spent all those years working on my perfection issues!  I would not be sewing if I hadn' least I wouldn't be happily sewing!)
I'll toss in a shot of my wearable muslin here; mainly to note that the self-fabric bias strip I used worked MUCH better than the ready-made.   The bad news is that this really does need to be a wear-only-at-home piece.   The fabric was a shawl, then a tablecloth, then a "I'll-keep-it-until-I-figure-out-what-to-do-with-it-next" bit of stash, & by the time I made it up into this top, it had real live holes in it.   Tiny holes, but still.....  The good news is, I discovered a new color that's really good for me!   Potential wardrobe expansion! :D

You can see the waviness & gaping of the tape here - it's not bad, but not perfect.
And I LOVE the buttons!  The color matching looks better IRL, but they are
just different enough to stand out, & still look like they belong there :)

The Finished Top
And a perfect fit!

I'll list all of my construction notes & alterations in my Pattern Review, but the short version of my take on this pattern is that it's a winner!   And for free too?   Can't beat that!

Now then, fess up.......what's YOUR feeling about wearing animal prints - do you have any, & do you wear them?


Susan said...

Love it! You were animal prints well - very classy looking on you as opposed to Snookie. *smile*.

shams said...

How smart of you to start with all those frightening animal print ensembles! By the time we see yours, it's such a relief!

I have similar issues with animal prints. I like the colors, I like the geometry of them, but I have never felt right wearing them. Maybe I should give it a try, because yours looks great! (Maybe moderation is the key?)

S Sews said...

Oooo, I do love animal prints. I wore them much more often when I was younger but now, ... and I've mentioned this on my blog before, I have this fear of looking like that Laverne character Cher played in her 70s tv show - the one who was head to toe animal print :-)

I like how this top turned out and the buttons were a good addition.

Jillybejoyful said...

Yep, I think secret is small doses. I think the rest of this cut is going to be a scarf. Scarves are nice.

I have a minor problem, in that I receive a silk charmeuse (good stuff) in a fabricmart mystery bundle.....guess what? Yup....animal print. A big, BOLD animal print. We'll see just how bold I can be lol

Mary said...

You are asking ME about animal prints? :-) Love your top, especially the print and colors. It goes very well with your coloring.

I am currently finishing Vogue 8645 in an abstract print using taupe, brown, gray. It is a wonderful print and especially with the drape of the dress.

Jillybejoyful said...

Hehehe Mary - I guess if you can pull off a zebra print - and do it well!, then I should be able to attempt a leopard print ;D

gwensews said...

I love animal prints. Your top looks terrific!

Valerie said...

Yes, animal print tops are a great way of wearing little but not too much but ..what the heck, life is short. I'd wear that Dior in a minute if I could afford it .. to the supermarket with a big grin on my face!

Jillybejoyful said...

Hee hee..... I've noticed, now that I've started sewing again, that I'm MUCH more likely to dress up a bit when I go out to run errands.

I say, if you can pull off a fabulous leopard print dress & feel great wearing it, then put on your heels & lipstick & walk those grocery store aisles with panache! :D

Jean said...

Love the top, especially those cool buttons! I'm not a huge animal print fan, but love it in small doses. I'm more zebra than leopard.

Anonymous said...

Your Sorbetto top is very nice. I adore animal prints! I do think its funny that I used that same Snooki photo as a cautionary picture about the potential perils of animal prints too. lol I'm working on my Sorbetto top a turquoise zebra print. :) I'm optimistically calling it a "wearable muslin", but it may turn into a "chores around the house" top too. I'm glad I found your blog! You look great in your leopard print. :)