Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Well, you must tell me, baby, how your head feels under somethin' like that?*

I love leopard print. I'm sure it started when I was about seven and my Mum made me a little black jacket with a faux fur leopard print collar. I wore that thing until it fell apart. I have been seeking the perfect leopard print jacket ever since. I do have a faux fur leopard coat, that was given to me by a friend, which I love. The only problem is that I can only wear it in the depths of winter because it's so warm. I wanted something that could be worn in spring, summer and autumn so I could have leopard print for all seasons.

I bought McCall's 5525 on sale. If I hadn't seen a few versions of it on the internet I never would have got it because I think the fabric/styling on the pattern envelope is hideous. This is why I don't like modern patterns. I can't look past the ugly pattern envelopes. Vintage ones are so much prettier. I also found the perfect leopard print cotton sateen at Fabric Vision (which is now gone). I think the fabric cost me $45 for 3 metres. I almost didn't get it because I am so miserly and that seemed like way too much money. Then the pattern and the fabric sat in my stash for about a year. I'm not really sure why I didn't have the motivation to sew it up but I'm glad that I waited. My sewing skills have improved exponentially in that time.

McCalls 5525 leopard print jacket and matching hat

I started this the other week and even though it has a lot (over 100 I think) of steps it went together pretty fast. I followed almost all of the instructions and only changed a couple of things. I raised the pockets because, I don't know about you, but I don't find inseam pockets starting at my thighs to be very comfortable. I also made them bigger because they were teensy. It's like they don't actually want you to use the pockets or something.
I also used the sleeves from view D because I like wearing bangles and full length sleeves are not very conducive to this.

McCalls 5525 jacket and matching hat

I made the tie belt (I'm wearing it in the above photo) but I probably won't use it because I quite like the A-line shape you get without it (top photo). I used a red lining fabric and I like the way you can catch a peek of it when I lift my arms or put my hands in the pockets.

McCalls 5525 Jacket and matching pillbox hat
Argh! I'm losing my hat

I had some fabric left over so I thought a matching pillbox hat was in order. I made a pattern from one of my vintage hats and used a combination of the instructions here and guesswork.

I made a frame out of buckram which is a stiff fabric used for hatmaking. I then covered it with the leopard fabric and lined it with the same red as the jacket is lined with. I haven't quite finished. I need to attach some elastic so that it actually stays on my head.

I'm so happy with the way they turned out. I love them. I think they look really 60s. I've already worn the jacket twice and will be wearing the hat once I buy some elastic.

*Under my brand new leopard-skin pillbox hat? Pretty good, Bob Dylan, pretty good.


  1. Oh man, the styling on that pattern truly is terrible. It's definitely something I'd walk past, but this is amazing! I can't believe you made a hat too. I really need to get back into sewing.

  2. You saw 'beyond' the pattern picture and look what you created - fabulous. Didn't get the Bob Dylan ref but I am a bit dozy today. Love the flash of red lining and very sensible to adjust sleeves and pockets. Love it.

  3. Georgia Rose- I know, right? I don't know who does the stlying for modern patterns but most of them are terrible. Thanks. You should get back into sewing. It's so fun.

    Penny-Rose-Thanks. I think it was more like other people saw past the picture and then once I saw their lovely versions I decided to make my own. There's a Dylan song called Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat and there's a bit that goes, "Well, you must tell me, baby how your head feels under somethin' like that? Under your brand new leopard-skin pillbox hat?"

  4. That is amazing, I love it. You really do turn out soe fabulous looking creations. Also, everytime I see Desiree in her luscious leopard print hats I think 'I must make one'. I didn't know how though, so I might take inspiration from yours if that's ok? Love it all. Xx

  5. This is so amazing! I love the set. Like others are saying you really saw the potential of the pattern - the original envelope is not cute at all!

  6. Blown away by your brilliance! That is such a kick ass creation. x

  7. Louise- Thanks. Of course, I would be happy if you took inspiration from mine.

    Miss Emmi- Thank you. The original envelope is pretty hideous.

    Vix- Thanks. You're so sweet.

  8. I am mucho impressed with the making of the hat. Far fancier than the newspaper sailor ones most people create.

  9. What a cute pair that jacket and hat are. Jacket looks pretty awfull on the pattern cover, but you certainly made it work :D I never would have recognized with what pattern you made it. Cool!

  10. Oh my god I am more in love with this jacket than you could believe! If you ever start sewing clothes to sell I have the feeling I would become one of your best customer ;)