I'm not someone who is typically drawn to animal print fabrics but when I spotted this linen fabric there was just something about it that I couldn't resist.
This 100% linen animal print fabric went for a song during the tail end of Mitchell Fabrics closing sale. If it weren't for the sale I don't think I would have splurged on this little luxury. It was the last 1.4 metres from the bolt and when I picked it up I had no idea what I would make with it. With some creative pattern placement and still keeping the pieces on grain, I was able to use every last bit of this 132 cm wide fabric and squeak out a version B from Butterick 6026.
And I'm quite taken with Butterick 6026, a Katherine Tilton design, as well. Let's talk about this pattern. I was a little concerned about the "fitted top" description on the back but after reviewing the finished measurements I felt more relaxed about proceeding. It was the pin tucking design featured on the sleeve hem, front neckline and bodice that drew me to the pattern.
Since I like to have some ease around the mid-section I left off the back darts and after trying it on after basting the sides I went down to a 3/8" seam allowance instead of a 5/8 seam allowance. I cut the top as a size 14 around the neckline, shoulder and armhole and cut a size 16 from the side seam. I like the amount of ease it now has but next time I'll adjust the pattern piece. There was no adjustment to the hem length at all. My favourite part are the pin tucks.
After asking for some guidance on the button from instagram followers, I went with these vintage black and white buttons. They were on a card of six for seventy cents, that old.
Oh, and the pin tucks! Even though I own a pin tuck foot I went with the method illustrated in my sewing machine manual.
It calls for the blind hem foot and to move the needle shaft to the left. Using the guide on the foot, run the folded edge of the fabric up to the guide and stitch. It turned out perfectly and there was no need to switch to a double needle. If you're interest in using a pin-tuck foot method this is a good tutorial. But I have to say, I'm really pleased with how it turned out with the blind hem foot method. The pin tucks took the most time for marking, pressing and then stitching and was worth the effort. I think they're just lovely.
I pre-treated the fabric with a tumble through the washing machine and then dryer and of course a good pressing. I typically pre-treat my fabric with the same method that I'll wash it after it's made into something. But I don't plan on tossing this through the machines. I'm quite smitten with how it turned out and plan to launder it with some tender hand washing.
And for someone who isn't typically drawn to an animal print, I can't wait to wear this one.
Fabric: 1.4 metres printed linen
Buttons: 7 - 1/2" vintage buttons
Pattern: Butterick 6026
Thread: 100% cotton thread for sewing, 100% polyester threads for the serger and basting .
Additional Tools and Supplies: Sewing machine, buttonhole foot, blind hem foot, regular foot, walking foot, serger, pins, pin cushions, cutting table, iron, ironing board, scissors, thread clippers, measuring tape, ruler, sewing and knitting gauge, tailor's ham, sleeve ham, hand needle, wax, threads, chai tea breaks, stretching breaks, and breaks to watch a bit of the Tony Awards.