Another week, another awesome Sew Weekly challenge, designed to get us all thinking differently about how we sew! Last week’s challenge was Once Upon A Time, to create an outfit inspired by one of your favourite books when you were a child.
As a result, I present to you, the Hungry Cat-erpillar outfit!
Fabric: Skirt – approx 1 metre of brown cotton, thrifted, approx $2, and scraps of fabric from other projects I’ve made; Top – approx 1 metre of green stretch cotton from my stash, I’ve got no idea where it came from or how long it’s been there, so I’m putting it down as ‘free’
Pattern: Self-drafted for both items
Year: Both patterns were drafted back in 2001, although modified for this project
Notions: Invisible zip for the skirt, approx $3
Time to complete: 2 hours for the skirt, 1 hour for the top
Will I wear it? Yep! I love this skirt in particular
Total cost: ~$5
I had quite a debate with myself about which book to choose for this challenge. One of the first that sprang to mind was “Where’s Spot?”, particularly the gorgeous image of a lion hiding behind a pot-plant. I thought I could make up a dress in a green plant-printed cotton, and a hoodie with lions ears. But I didn’t have the right coloured hoodie fabric in my stash, and I couldn’t find any, so that plan wasn’t going to work.
The next idea I had was to make an outfit based on ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ – I loved that book as a child! The colours, the holes in the pages – so cute! I thought I could make a skirt, cut some holes out of it (like the holes in the book that the caterpillar makes through the things it eats), and put some other bits of fabric behind the holes.
But then in the weekend Steve and I went to Tauranga, and happened across a gorgeous wee exhibition in the local art gallery there about author and illustrator Lynley Dodd, who created some of my favourite children’s books ever, the Hairy Maclary series. I loved them so much as a child, and I still do, and I can probably recite about half the first book still! It was great looking through all her illustrations and reading a bit about her, and I got all inspired to make a Hairy Maclary inspired outfit. I even figured out what type of skirt I was going to make and what fabric to use. But sadly I couldn’t figure out what sort of top to make to really do the topic justice, and the lure of making a skirt and cutting circles out of it was just too much, so I went back to the Hungry Caterpillar idea.
And here it is!
The fabric I used for the skirt was left over from a fabric wallet I made for my lovely friend Christina . I used a bit of the brown floral fabric that was used in the wallet as one of the circle insets, and also to interface the skirt. So now whenever I wear it, it’ll remind me of Christina, even though she’s over in LA and I’m over here in NZ. *waves at Christina*
I used fabric scraps from three other dresses I made as well – the pink and yellow with brown birds was from a dress I made my friend Alison, the pink-and-white floral was from a dress I made last year (I also used a remnant of this fabric for my vintage-inspired apron a few weeks ago) and the brown-with-bugs was from my Sew Weekly creation for the TV characters challenge a couple of weeks ago. So a fair bit of history and memories in this dress!
Much as I love having pockets in skirts and dresses, I repeatedly forget to put them in, but not this time! I went with front patch pockets, simply because it’s a style I never really use, which seemed to be as good an excuse as any.
The tshirt is a bit longer than suits the skirt, simply because I’m expecting to wear it more with jeans and I hate it when tshirts ride up, hence the extra length. I added a wide band at the bottom to help with that, too. The sleeves were intended to be slightly batwing, but it turns out I didn’t add quite as much width to the top as I was planning, so it’s a bit more fitted than I was going to do. I still like it fine, though, and now I know that next time I want to do a batwing style top, add a LOT of extra width! (Live and learn!)
We adopted a new kitten from the SPCA in the weekend – Roxy, a three month old girl with tiger stripes. She wanted to be in the photo shoot as well. Isn’t she gorgeous?!