It’s a zoo out there!

Late last year Juliet had an idea for the January Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network (WSBN) meet up: zoo at the zoo. The idea was to make clothes with animal fabric/animal themed, and visit the zoo to celebrate. Apparently it’s also Jungle January, although I’m not so sure what that even is.

January worked out well because there was two-for-one tickets at Wellington Zoo, and the day worked well because my sister-in-law was working and I was able to watch her try to excite kids in games about Australian animals (it was Australian day… Jo was not impressed with all the pro-Australian greetings from staff!)

My skirt is, of course, Gertie’s high-waisted skirt, made in a bottom-weight Zebra-printed cotton from The Fabric Store. I bought it on another WSBN outing (the Craft Crawl run by The Dreamstress) – Zara grabbed the bolt from a part of the store I rarely look at, and I immediately rushed over and nabbed some for myself. This type of fabric is one of my favourites – it’s not obviously crazy patterned from far away but when you get close you see how awesome it is.

(I hate this Glassons t-shirt; the seams twists like crazy which is uncomfortable and not nice aesthetically, but the slouchy yet fitted shape is exactly what I want to wear with skirts.)

Construction wise, the skirt has no surprises. I used my already-altered pattern (and have realised that I need to take about 2cm out of the front panel, as it’s a touch loose and the side seams sit a touch further back than they should). Everything is sewn then overlocked, with an enclosed waistband using my stich-in-the-ditch foot (I love this thing!). The zip is lapped and I used the last black button from my stash (my red Gertie skirt is still lacking a button and I have to safety pin it up).

I got clothing tags! The quality is so-so (they’re polyester and unravel so bad at the sides that I have to burn each edge) but it’s really cool having labels in my hand-made clothes – seems so much more professional. I’ve been adding them to newly made stuff but should go back and add them to clothes I made a while ago.

I only bought 0.8m of it (the PERFECT amount for the skirt – I usually end up rounding up how much I need but end up having annoying 20cm scraps left over, so luckily Leimomi convinced me I didn’t need more than 80cm). I therefore didn’t bother pattern matching (too busy to need it, I figure) but I did end up with a lovely two-headed zebra over the zip (the magic of fusible stay tape. I would also like to point out how nice my darts are sitting – a combination of using my tailors ham and starting the dark from the top and sewing off the edge (of the point) means they don’t bubble.

My husband tells me this is not what Zebra’s do.


Pattern: Gertie’s high-waisted skirt (from her book), used for the 6th time

Fabric: 0.8m or heavy cotton from The Fabric Store, I-don’t-remember-how-much, approx $16. Black fabric (for waistband) is leftover from another skirt.

Notions: zip, thread and button, stash

Total: about $16. Frick yes! This is why we sew, ladies and gents.

And, a WSBN group photo: from top-left: Jo, Juliet, Joy, Zara, Gemma, Sandra, Kat and Myself.


17 thoughts on “It’s a zoo out there!

    • I think it must have sold pretty quickly, I didn’t see it when I went in yesterday! And Zara has some more so you might see it popping back up when she makes it.

      And yeah, if I saw someone else with this fabric (and I hadn’t got any) I would probably fight them for it.

    • I think I’ve gone a bit overboard on this one though! I have four skirts I wear regularly from it, a party dress and another that I made too small in the waist (and therefore don’t wear, but it’s still in the my wardrobe because I made it so well!).

      I need to find some other TnT skirts – I know I love the Hollyburn, but I think I’d like a nice 6-panel skirt.

  1. Oh man, this fabric! It rocked even more in real life than it does in the pics. So fabulous! Good choice of patterns for it, too – it lets the fabric speak really nicely. 🙂

    6-gore skirts are great. There are a lot of good 1970’s patterns with them, maybe keep an eye out on TradeMe?

    • The fabric is so good, I was really disappointed that I got no compliments on it at work yesterday!

      I actually have an old Simplicity 6-gore skirt, maybe I should put it on my Little Miss Bossy/unused pattern list (very good idea)

  2. I’ve seen this in real life, so I know it’s awesome, but you didn’t mention that the guts were so beautifully done! Love your two headed Zebra too!

    • Thanks! I am getting a lot better at focusing on the innards of my garments, as that tends to be what makes me the happiest. I should probably stop pointing out the two-headed zebra on my bum to people, though!

  3. Really great fabric! You’re right, from a distance it looks like an abstract pattern. It’s only up closer the zebras peek out. Definitely want to try Gertie’s pencil skirt now, yours all look so good.

  4. The zebra print is absolutely awesome! So is the hog in the background, HAKUNA MATATA! Looks like you had a great day out, must be nice to have so many sewist around.

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