it’s still a jungle in here

jungle januaryA construction jungle, that is.  STILL.  And since I’m being slowly eroded with the endlessness of this project, I sewed up a little bit of animal print to help me feel at home in the mess. This lovely little ensemble accomplishes three things:

  1. let’s me in for a play date at the Jungle January playground;
  2. brings me one step closer to completing my Burda Challenge 2013; and
  3. Burda 11-2013-130checks off two of a 3PAC for the Stitcher’s Guild Algebra SWAP 2014.

My ensemble is the designer pattern from Jo No Fui (Burda 11/2013 #130).  I made it up in a black stretch wool suiting for the skirt and an animal print silk charmeuse with an all-over fleur-de-lis burnout pattern for the blouse.  Let’s talk about the skirt first.

I was a bit skeptical about the extra yardage that drapes at the CF, but I like it. It doesn’t add bulk to the silhouette – it’s very clearly a pretty drape.  Burda 11-2013-130 frontThe wool I chose is perfect for this – it’s about the weight of a heavy silk crepe – and sewed up like a dream.  There is a small hip yoke piece instead of darts in the front.  The CF seam is sewn wrong sides together with the drape finished beforehand.  Burda 11-2013-130 jo no fui

The back of the skirt is simple.  It’s short – only about 19 inches in length – and cut straight.  I added a waistband instead of the facing, pegged the bottom by a total of 4 inches and added a full lining.  I likey this skirt.

Burda 11-2013-130 blouseAnd now the blouse.  Of course the star feature is the sleeves with the deep 4 inch pleat to keep the excess fabric at a decent length.  As it was, I decided to shorten the sleeves by 3 inches in total just to avoid the potential of dragging through dinner or what have you.sleeve pleatI added small squares of organza on either side of the pleat for stability and strength. I don’t want those tacking stitches tearing a hole in the middle of my sleeve, thank you very much.  The bottom of the sleeves are gathered into a narrow binding that just barely fits over my hands.  I’m not complaining – I actually like the smallness of the opening.  I think it will help keep the sleeves at my wrists.organza sleeve interiorThe instructions for binding the CF and CB slits were just asking for punishment, as far as I was concerned.  The binding strips were cut on the bias, and I should have known better and just cut them on the straight grain like one would finish a placket.  But what the hey!  I finished the neckline entirely by hand because of the finicky quality of the bias, but mostly because the charmeuse handled differently than the burnout chiffon sections in the fabric and it was just simpler to do it by hand instead of swearing at my machine.Burda 11-2013-130 bindingThe back binding extends into a loop for a button while the top of the CF slit is completely bound by the bias.  It’s a low opening, too, despite the high crew neck. Burda 11-2013-130 blouse neckline I had initially thought I’d make up a Ruby camisole in the same fabric for modesty (chiffon sections of the silk) and to prevent wardrobe malfunctions with that CF slit but the crossover of the cami doesn’t quite do the trick at this point.  Some adjustments are required before I actually wear this ensemble out in public, and I will probably also sew the bottom inch of the slit closed.leopard ruby As you all know I was a little sewn out after (almost) completing the Burda Challenge 2013, and although I want to finish it (yes, I’m that stubborn), I have a long queue that I’d like to catch up on from the last couple of years that has been pushed aside to make way for other projects.  And a lot of fabric that I would love to wear.  These are the more immediate items that come to mind:

  • Pavlova skirt & top
  • Marfy 2922 jacket in a lurex wool/silk tweed
  • Harris Tweed coat (originally part of my SWAP 2012)
  • finish the Burda Challenge
  • do something for Jungle January
  • participate in PR’s Little White Dress event

So after sifting through all these nebulous ideas wafting around my sewing room, and reading through Ruth’s post on the SG’s Algebra SWAP 2014 rules, I realized I could fit everything in my year(s)-old queue into a lovely little plan. The more I thought about this little SWAP, the more it gave me the impetus to start sewing after the December rush and holidays.Burda 11-2013-130 backAnd this little ensemble has started me off beautifully.  But more on the SWAP in my next post.


30 thoughts on “it’s still a jungle in here

  1. Oh, wow, those sleeves are just fantastic! I am a sucker for huge blouse-y sleeves. I am always amazed at how much fabric they take to make, though. Beautiful blouse!

  2. Wahoo to the alignment of plans and a fantastic outfit. The blouse is gorgeous (I need to make a ruby slip) and the skirt quietly subtle. I will have to wait for my mag to arrive (the joys of 3 month lag in BurdaStyle post) to check it out.

    Commiserations on the reno work too ….. just keep breathing, just keep breathing, just keep breathing.

  3. Dang girl! you look fab! You know what i like the most about your outfit? The first impression is that it is a classic outfit, but then you notice the details and it becomes modern, with an edge even. That would be *perfect* for my office. All the fuddy duddy big wigs would remain calm, but the girls and I, we would all know… 🙂

    1. Hehehe…. Amazing what the smart fuddy duddies miss sometimes!Costco list:
      Dried fruit bars
      WILD Salmon
      Cheese strings
      Glove wa

  4. WOW! I love that blouse! I also had discounted the skirt based on the drapey bit, cut you make it work! I’ve been really stuck with my jungle January make, but now I know what to make – THANK YOU for inspiration!!! 🙂

    1. aw, shucks! I’m so disgusted that this reno project has taken so long that I thought I may as well look at home in the stupid situation. It makes me feel a little less despairing over the whole thing when I dress up!

  5. You look gorgeous – that silk is out of this world!!! It’s so sooooo beautiful, I have fabric envy, and you get to do Jungle January as a bonus – yay! 🙂 I love the blouse, and I think I love the Ruby slip even more – I would want to wear that every day (and you probably could LOL). Lovely all around!!

    1. I’ve only made up one other Ruby camisole and was surprised at how often I wear it, so I thought an additional cat print one would be a closet bonus….

  6. I was also tempted by those two patterns. Thank you for testing them out! Love the results. Chic & elegant. Great fabric choices. Good call on the skirt tapering. Did you take the 4″ pegging all at the side seams?

    Looking forward to more coming off your queue of projects! 🙂

  7. This is really nice and you carry it off beautifully! One thing I never get on Burda patterns is the slits – why do them make them soooo low? I’m sure nobody wants to have everything showing?!! If we wanted that, we could go buy RTW and be done with it 😉

  8. I really like this outfit…itself and on you! So elegant. As I mentioned on PR – great to know the sleeves are not dipping length! The drape of the skirt is one of my favourite ‘looks’…but I don’t have one like this…yet…

  9. I agree with SewingElle. I passed right by this pattern in the magazine, but you’ve made it look much more interesting. I could use a statement skirt and the way you’ve done it, this one looks like a great candidate! Thanks for the helpful review.

  10. both these pieces are gorgeous, and super flattering! i would have been quite skeptical of the skirt drape and blouse-y sleeves, but it works so well here.

  11. This is totally gorgeous. I had discounted this designer pattern for the skirt drape (unflattering I thought- how wrong I was!) and the overly full sleeves. Now you have me rethinking. Not that I need more patterns in my queue!


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