This “sabre-toothed Swap” started over on Pretty Grievances, where Ann – the instigator of Jungle January – got together with PennyLiberian to create an international collaboration. Where sewists would send a buddy a package of cloth and the partners would make up something to wear. A bit of a risk, but not too much of one as, let’s face it, animal print is animal print. Or is it? You can have fur, stretch, funny colours, dayglo, hot hippo pinks and yellowy brown hyenas. So while I jumped in – why not? – I was a bit scared about what would turn up. As it happens Demented Fairy (my buddy from Birmingham) sent me something very nice and the rest is history.
There was also the question of what to give her. I went to Simply Fabrics and found a very wide choice. I alighted on some deep red snakeskin, some very stretchy bright yellow leopard skin, and a very fancy fabric that can only be described as eyelash. In the end I came home with two pieces of very reasonably priced fabrics – one a lovely piece of silky stetchy Roland Mouret fabric, and a second colourful piece of stable cotton jersey. The second piece I gave to Lyn who made a DVF type wrap dress.
The Mouret fabric had been used to make stunning colour blocked dresses in his collection, and Demented Fairy took her inspiration from this, deciding to use the animal print as a detail in a jersey collection. As well as a set of underwear (yet to be completed) she chose to make – a dress, a skirt, a pair of trousers, a top and a jacket. We heard who our swap partners were on 11 January and she had the collection almost finished by the end of the month. She mixed the RM fabric with purple and green jersey fabrics she acquired at the Fancy Silk Store and Barry’s warehouse in Birminham.
DF has a straight body silhouette – high narrow hips, long slim legs, not much of a waist and fairly broad shoulders. She is a very experienced seamstress, and she knows what styles to wear to suit her shape. Here is a lovely photograph of the wedding of Demented Fairy to the gorgeous Dawn. Dawn’s dress was inpired by Lord of the Rings, DF’s own gown is inspired by a Gwen Stephanie dress and taken from a Vera Wang pattern. Both dresses made by DF herself. Sensational “updos” ladies!
For the SWAP DF chose to use Style Arc patterns which come from Australia. Some of their patterns are designed especially for the straight body shape and are often featured on Lara’s blog. Not good for my shaped body, but a godsend for women who struggle with making lots of changes to off the peg or patterns from the Big 4.
Twiggy dress #3, with added pockets and flat piping
Ursula skirt #3 or 4
Linda trousers #5 probably, made narrower, higher waisted and with added pockets and side seam flat piping
What can I say? – it is an amazing achievement and the Demented Fairy looks great in her lovely outfits. They are comfortable and flattering with just a hint of “grrr”. Super work. Well done.