I was one of the instigators of the recent Edinburgh meet up for sewists #sewscottish which was a total joy. We had a little fabric swap and I totally lucked out with this little parcel of black viscose with giraffes thanks to Shelly.

In my day job I’ve been working with conservationists supporting projects all over the developing world for 8 years. It’s been my sad little aim to get biodiversity themed fabrics into all my big meetings. My succeses include wearing an elephant printed dress to an elephant poaching meeting in London, tropical foliage skirt to a meeting at the Botanics in Edinburgh and leopard print skirt to a meeting at London Zoo. So finding a non-juvenille giraffe fabric is a major coup.

This is my 3rd attempt at the Anderson blouse from Sewoverit and is definitely my best yet.

Things I’ve found from previous makes

  • the sizing is huge. My measurements suggest a 16 but I’ve cut a 12 this time and there is still plenty room
  • the shoulders are massive – I’ve graded down to a size 0 and could still take them in a bit
  • when you grade down the shoulders it leads to the seam line running backwards along the shoulder. I forgot to adjust it this time so it’s still not perfect.
  • the ribbon closure at the waist is fiddly to do and always comes out in the wash. I’ve changed it to elastic. On a previous make I did the elastic too tight which means the shirt rides up to my natural waistline. This time I made it looser (hip width) so it doesn’t ride up.
  • the overlap in the pattern is quite minimal. If you have sizeable boobs this means the shirt gapes a lot. I ignored the pattern and fitted it to my body so that it would still be able to slip over my head but wouldn’t expose me if I sat down. The pattern suggests a couple of stitches at the crossover point to prevent gaping but I prefer to wear this with a vest underneath – it’s February in Scotland and it’s waaaaay too chilly to just wear a blouse.
  • on a previous make I ignored the cuffs and just put elastic in. For a parent of small babies this was brilliant as I could roll my sleeves up in seconds. I decided to go back to the pretty button closure as I was going to wear this for work when there were no stinky smelly children around. I forgot that I have to deal with the little stinkers before and after work though!
  • I’ve also sewn down the front facing as Mr King hates ironing my other shirts and just ignores the facing so it flaps and looks wrinkly.

So all in all the original pattern is nice but I prefer it now I’ve done all these adjustments. From my wander around the Internet it seems a lot of people have had similar approaches to this blouse.

And as a final bonus – giraffes! I’ve got a freaking blouse with giraffes on it.

Except that now I’ve come back from  maternity leave I’m no longer working specifically on biodiversity and moving more towards mainstream poverty alleviation projects – dunno how I’m going to theme my outfits for work meetings when the meeting is something like “ecosystem services for poverty alleviation” or “an evaluation of the programmatic approach to the climate investment funds”.
Maybe I should design my own fabric??

Look at that happy little face!


15 thoughts on “Giraffes!

  1. I love this fabric! You’ve phrased it very well ‘non-juvenille giraffe fabric,’ I love animal prints but I don’t want to look like I should be on a child’s bedroom wall!

    I love the look of the Anderson blouse ( because who doesn’t want to be Stella from The Fall), but everything I’ve heard is that the sizing etc is off, and I can’t be bothered to deal with that! You have done a lovely job on it though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve bought this PDF and hope to sew it. I come a little bit outside of their upper size measurement but I had noticed this large sizing in this so hoping it will work out okay. Your comments regarding the making of it, is really helpful – thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The blouse looks great – like the pattern was meant to be! Definite improvement on the original. Love the fabric too – I would totally wear that and I’m decidedly not big on novelty print.
    Your job sounds so interesting! Like it is really relevant towards making the world a better place, not just in people’s heads and thoughts but in reality. Quite admirable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Chris – when I first started I bought a lot of prints and then barely wore them because they felt a bit silly. Nowadays I tend to keep the silly prints for my girls 😊


  4. I love this blouse. The sizing does seem a bit challenging. It is a bit of a pain doing so many adjustments to get something to fit but worth it for the end result here. The print is fabulous and fun. I have absolutely no idea what kind of print you could use in the new role. Sounds like you have a really interesting job though. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great blouse! Now you just need a giraffe meeting to wear it to! 🙂
    I’ve moved to a new NGO and am unsure whether I want to express my commitment to eye health and the treatment of worms through my clothes.

    Liked by 1 person

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