Jungle january and the curse of the wearable muslin

So. I wanted to join in on a sew along, mostly because sewing can be a solitary activity and I liked the idea of meeting other bloggers and working on stuff at the same time as others, sharing ideas etc. I heard about Jungle January and thought I’d get on board as I am a big fan of animal print and I had what I thought would be the perfect pattern. It was a vintage Pierre Cardin pattern that I had got off eBay.

Pierre Cardin Coat

Unfortunately, it was a size 16 and I needed to size it down. I wasn’t confident enough to go for it straight away so I decided to do a muslin first. But I have this thing about making muslins, and pretty much hating them. I think because it feels like such a waste of time and fabric. Do people just chuck them after making them? I hate that idea! Even recycling the fabric afterwards seems really wasteful. The other thing that I dislike is that you spend all that time on something and have nothing to show for it.

Instead I settled on resizing the pattern on paper, making the coat out of a cheaper (but still nice) fabric, lining it etc and thus having a wearable muslin.

And all went well, the resizing was a tad tricksy (pleats needed to be shunted over, the lining needed to be altered accordingly etc) but I learned a lot and ended up with a coat that cost around £15 to make and actually looks quite nice:

1st Pierre Cardin coat

Success! This coat contains my first ever attempt at bound buttonholes. And they’re actually quite good fun. I followed this tutorial which was really helpful.

After this I thought that putting together my fake fur leopard print version would be a breeze, and it mostly was, but it was SO BORING. As I had just made an identical coat, I wasn’t learning anything and all the things that were a bit tedious on the first coat (like all the hand stitching, of which there was a lot) were multiplied by ten on the second. I kept having to force myself to finish it. Then everyone in my house got sick (not sick of the coat, just generally sick) and the coat got shelved while I mopped up puke and worse (much worse).

So Jungle January turned into Jungle February which isn’t nearly as catchy and I don’t think this even counts as joining in on a sew along if you’re a month behind everyone else. It’s finished, the leopard print coat, but we’re not friends yet. People who have seen it tell me it’s nice. I have no desire to wear it.

2nd Pierre Cardin Coat

One for the cupboard until I can forgive it for being tedious. This also means I failed at my attempt to join in on a sew along. BUT WAIT!

I heard about Blue February and got in on that instead. Blog to follow.