A Giraffe’s Tail – The Long & the Short of it.

So suave in her new jacket
So suave in her new jacket

I need to warn you all, this is a photo heavy post!

Phew, I have had such a blast sewing this month!  Jungle January has been a real hit, with sewing bloggers all around the world taking part.  Thank you Anne @ Pretty Grievances, this was a fantastic idea!

So when last I posted, I had received the samples from Ditto, and was drooling quite nicely over my pretty bits of fabric, sewing up all sorts of plans in my head.  I had drafted the flat overgarment block from Winnie Aldrich, just needed to toile and get on with the playing.  The block toile was fine, baggy, but about what I had expected with the size and (non)shape of the pattern pieces.  Moving on to fiddling and playing with paper, and the toile of the working pattern…


The first toile, and the baggy, ugly sleeve
The first toile, and the baggy, ugly sleeve & armhole

So, I used this block because I figured there was no point in going for a tailored jacket block and all it’s shaping etc.  The flat overgarment block is for fleeces.  Baggy, shapeless, ugly clothes.  I know that now…  The sleeve on the right in the photo above is the original.  I took out the left sleeve and reduced the ease in the head to try to get it to look better.  I also narrowed the sleeve, considerably. It didn’t work.  The back is too baggy, the armhole massive, and we hated it on sight.  So it went into the fabric recycling bin and I started with the tailored jacket block instead!

The sleeve in the 2nd toile, developed from the tailored jacket block
The sleeve in the 2nd toile, developed from the tailored jacket block

So how much better is that!  And the back…

Back of 2nd toile.
Back of 2nd toile.

The relief was palpable!  Daughter no2 was happy with this one, the length, the width at the hem, and particularly, the sleeves!  Then I ran into the next hiccough.  I didn’t want to order the fabric until I had done the toiles and worked out how much I’d need.  Unfortunately for me, Ditto only had about 1m of the giraffe print left! Nooooo!  We did get the dot fabric though…  That’s another project, and one that daughter no2 is going to tackle herself.

After a quick hunt on tinternet I found the same print at ukfabricsonline, and for £1/m less than Ditto, and cheaper post too.  I ordered my 2m and set out to find a suitable lining and contrast fabric.  Lining was pretty easy actually.  I got a superb satin finish lining in raspberry from Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon, but had no luck with a contrast to do the binding on all the edges and to cover the buttons.  Running out of time, we decided to forgo the contrast this time.  Oh yes, I’m making this again!

I love the contrast of the lining when the sleeves are turned back!
I love the contrast of the lining when the sleeves are turned back!

I was hoping for an emerald or turquoise lining for the jacket, thinking fucshia may be, ahem, “slutty”, but this raspberry is the bomb! 😀


FR0054I should say that these photos are all taken on my phone camera.  Husband is working on a new project at work, so has nicked my camera for “research” purposes.


ACan you tell how much daughter no2 likes her new jacket?

09Not too keen on me calling the shots with all the photos though!

If there was ever a reason for doing another it is this:  Parent’s evening at her school was last night.  Her art teacher took one look and wanted to know where she’d got it, wanted to pat it, and warned that if it ever came into the art studio, she wasn’t to be suprised if she couldn’t find it at the end of the lesson.

Once again, thank you soooooooooooo much, Anne, for starting us all on this Jungle madness. It’s been fabulous to read the round-ups of all the projects, and I have found some new blogs to follow too!

Now, what’s on the cards for February??

Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

31 thoughts on “A Giraffe’s Tail – The Long & the Short of it.”

  1. This can only be described as awesome!!! I want one too, but know where to get the fabric!! February? Why it’s polkadotfrockfest February!! #polkadotfrockfest

    1. haha, daughter no2 will be making trousers for #polkadotfest, and I will be taking part in Lucky Lucille’s 1940’s sewalong! Fun times! 😀

  2. Wow the pink is fantastic and not at all, um, slutty!! LOL. I love the jacket and thank you for posting the toile shots and notes too – I’ll return and re-read as have the winnie aldrich book too to play with at some point in the future.

    I love the pic of DD and the giraffe BTW….

    1. hehe, love that too! As he was around I figured he’d do well in the photoshoot! 😀 I think if I’d used a proper fucshia the outcome would have been different, but the raspberry has enough blue in it to make it wow. If you do want a jacket like this, definitely use the tailored jacket block. Would you be interested in me posting some instructions as to how to make the pattern?

  3. This is awesome! I LOVE the effect with the turned back sleeves and what a fabulous shape, it’s lovely to see the making process too!

    1. Thank you! One of the requirements was that there should be a wow lining, because daughter no2 does turn her sleeves back (& her trousers up). A plain beige just wouldn’t have cut it!

  4. I saw your link on Pretty Grievances post and had to come over and follow your blog! I also love this jacket. I just finished my first jacket ever yesterday (and it was made in animal print :)) And kudos for making 2 toiles! I never have the patience to do it, I just want to get right to the nitty gritty, but now that I’ve started to buy more expensive fabric and am starting to learn more difficult things, I know how important they are. But, your choice of fuschia and black and white animal print is fabulous!

    1. Thanks, and welcome to my ramblings! 😀 When you are pattern cutting you have to make toiles, it’s the only way to check the pattern works, as well as fits! It’s always worth it, even with a commercial pattern to toile. Nothing is worse than spending money and time on a fab fabric & pattern, and then the darn thing doesn’t fit right. Trust me, been there, done that! 😀

      1. I know. Me too. 🙂 I’ve just been lucky up till now that it has been inexpensive fabric that I sort of used like a toile, anyway. (with the hopes that it would work out….hope doesn’t wear well, though.) But, now that I’m gaining more experience, I know I’ll have to start experimenting with toiles and even draping.

  5. Oh that is fabulous!! I never would have thought of using giraffe print for a jacket – it’s wonderful! I love the pop of pink from the lining as well – contrast lining is s o much fun. 🙂

  6. I love it! your daughter and the jacket are just beauts! Glad to have found your blog, too 😀 I am looking forward to coming back to the UK so I can a. get cheaper postage for fabric and b. get samples sent to me to whet the appetite!

    Love it and well done, you’re very talented!!

    Bundana x

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