Inadvertent Jungle January make

Thursday, 29 January 2015
Firstly some sad news - our beloved crazy dog Oscar has sadly gone to the great dog park in the sky. It seems a bit strange to share such a personal thing on a sewing blog, but since he always got comments whenever he photobombed a blog photo I thought I would share the event. He was 14 which is a very long life for a big dog like a dalmatian, and he spent each day of those years running around like crazy, wagging his tail so enthusiastically his whole body would wiggle and generally just acting like a puppy right up until the day his old body finally gave up on him. It sure is going to be quiet around here without him.

Switching gears back to my normal blog content.....

Until last year when I made this leopard print skirt I didn't own a single piece of animal print, so I've always just watched Jungle January hosted by Pretty Grievances each year with some amusement but no intention of joining in. But I've just made a few pairs of shorts for Toby using some fun cotton prints that were in the stash, two of which just happen to be lion prints. What can be more jungle themed than the king of the jungle?!

I used a pattern from a Polka Drops Japanese sewing pattern book which I think is called Easy Children's Clothing (ISBN 978-4-529-04837-8):

I quite like the aesthetic of the Japanese kids clothes, but I find the patterns are a little too simplistic - there are no zippers and very few buttons, everything is pretty much elastic waist and loose fitting styles.  Which is fine for some clothes but sometimes jeans and pants need a little bit more tailoring. That said though, I do like this pattern because it has a slim leg and a much better fit than I can usually get from the commercial patterns. And now that Toby is out of nappies he doesn't need the big baggy legs and low crotch that the kids patterns usually produce but he does need an elastic waist to be able to get his clothes on and off by himself, so this pattern suited me needs right now.

The only problem is that the waistband sits rather low - it is designed to have two layers of waistband but I can't quite decipher from the pattern book how the inner waistband is supposed to be higher because both are cut from the same pattern piece. Note to future self - increase the rise of the pattern by at least 5cm!

The first pair I made from a blue lion print with pockets on the sides of the shorts using the waistband piece from the pattern - it's quite narrow and too low so I'll need to replace it eventually.

The second pair I made from a red lion print that I didn't bother with any pockets, but made the waistband much wider and used wider elastic too. These are the same size as the blue pair but look more baggy because the waistband is tighter.

The third pair is my favourite pair, made from a blue elephant print cotton that has been in the stash a long time. I used ribbing for the waistband and patch pockets on the back. Too cute!

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