Friday, 14 February 2020

Leopard Print Cardi: So Very Neutral


Here is the result of a recent experiment. I've been testing the limits of the popular theory that leopard print in a neutral. What could blend in to a wardrobe more easily than a simple, leopard print cardigan? See? I bet you hardly even noticed it in these photos!


Fabric:

So I've been regularly working part-time at Fabric Godmother for about a year and a half now (before that I would occasionally help out at their open days, plus I taught some classes there when they were running those). During the first year of the regular gig, being in close proximity to all the lovely fabric (plus access to a generous staff discount) meant that I bought more pieces of fabric that I'm entirely comfortable admitting to. Not a wild amount, but neither did I wait until I used each piece before I bought another. But then I got ahold of myself and put the breaks on. At the end of that first year, I vowed only to buy something if it is truly special, and when this leopard print ponte di Roma came along, I knew at a glance that it definitely fell into that category. 


This fabric is produced by German fabric company Albstoffe, who have a GOTS certification, meaning that their cotton fibres are grown organically and the fabric production passes a series of sustainable, ethical and fair trade requirements. It is also A-MAZING quality and (for some, including me) eye-wateringly expensive without the aforementioned staff discount.


So having bagged myself 1.5m of this special fabric, I really wanted to do it justice. How to turn it into a garment that would show off its attributes well, and also see a lot of use? One part of me envisioned some sort of awesome sweatshirt style top, with or without a ruffle thrown in to the plans. But ultimately, knowing how I like to dress, I decided a cardigan would get way more use. 


Pattern:

So having landed on a cardigan as my chosen garment style, I mulled over the question of what attributes the cardigan should have. I wanted something fairly loose that would fit over a variety of blouses, tops and dresses. There's a lot I love about Wendy Ward's Kinder cardigan pattern, likewise with the Ready to Sew Jamie cardigan pattern. But there are also a couple of things that I don't love about both. So I set about drafting my own cardigan pattern, that took inspiration from both, but ultimately had its own proportions and volume. Kind of like the Kinder and Jamie had a baby, if you will. 


Having finished the drafting process, I made a (hopefully) wearable toile in some ponte from my stash, so I could test out my design before cutting into the precious. I was so happy with the outcome that I decided zero tweaks to the pattern needed to be made. I'm going to send the wearable toile to a friend who loves a good cardi almost as much as I do!


Thoughts:

I'm soooo glad that I took the time to allow plans for this fabric to fully formulate. I love the final shape and style of this cardigan; it's exactly the type of garment I want to wear right now. I think it shows the crazy leopard print design off well; I deliberately chose to avoid patch pockets so as not to disrupt it too much. And the fabric feels sooooo nice to wear. My only hurdle now is to work out how to incorporate it into some outfits that don't always involve pairing it with a black top....

8 comments:

KS_Sews (Dressmakingbacles) said...

That is a super cool print and your cardigan looks great!

I think if you pair it with matching pants, you can coordinate the top in a different color.

A matching yellow top works or gray...teals/blues could work. A very fine b/w or b/g stripe works too I'd think! I'd wear something coral-y but I'd wear coral with almost anything :-p

Zoƫ said...

LOVE IT! What a great print, looks so good x

Sugar & Coco said...

Very nice post.
Sugar & Coco

Fabric Tragic said...

You’ve done so well! It looks perfect! Xx

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