Cat Woman (and Kitten)

First things first. I got so caught up in January Jungliciousness that I omitted mentioning in my last post that I had a recent guest-post about stash busting over on Tumbleweeds in the Wind. Go ahead, check it out. I’ll wait.

Tiger Taffeta 4

Speaking of stash busting, I had to add to my stash last year when spotted this amazing flocked taffeta on It was labelled “Tiger” taffeta, but it also looks zebra-like to me. Maybe it’s the black and white?

Tiger Taffeta 2


The pattern is a vintage one, McCalls 5780. If you were wondering after my last post how I could be so confident that vintage 1/2 size patterns usually fit me without significant alterations, this dress would be my answer. I again moved the front darts about an inch south, took about 3 inches off the skirt length, and toward the bottom I brought in the skirt side seams a bit to give it a more pegged shape, but otherwise, no alterations. It fits like a glove, which is really saying something because the fabric has absolutely no give to it at all. Taffeta usually isn’t forgiving, but with the flocking bonded onto parts of the fabric surface, there was almost no bias behavior at all. It was kind of like trying to sew a dress out of one of those fuzzy velvet posters.  It made putting in a side-seam zipper challenging and led to a decision to do my first-ever hand-picked zipper which fits nicely into The Monthly Stitch‘s January challenge to try something new.



You can also see that I had trouble deciding on a thread color for this project. I compromised by using black thread in my sewing machine and ivory on my serger.

I had bought quite a few yards of fabric, thinking I wanted to make myself a dress with a simple bodice and a puffy skirt. Then I started second-guessing myself on my skirt choice. There’s a fine line between “ohh, look at that classy zebra dress” and “I’m pretty sure she’s old enough to have had at least two quinceañeras by now.” Ok. Maybe not that fine a line, but enough to make me wonder what I really wanted to do. I took it to the #sewcialists on Twitter (you can follow me @CariHomemaker), and Catja mentioned that a slimmer skirt would be more “cat-like”. Cat-like sounded good, but making a slimmer skirt left me with extra yardage. Guinevere was the real winner from my decision, especially since she had been eyeing the fabric on my shelf with a pouty look that said “I know I’d look fabulous in this fabric, please let me have some, Mom.” Of course she looks gorgeous.

Tiger Taffeta 6


I made her a simple circle skirt, using the same pattern piece I had drafted for her squirrel skirt. It has a little bit of 3/4″ elastic in the waistband to keep it snug, since I didn’t put suspender/jumper straps on it, and I put in an invisible zipper on the side. She wore it with a cardigan from Target and her crinoline. Obviously she likes to twirl in her new favorite skirt.

Tiger Taffeta 8

It’s the middle of winter here, so my overgrown Rhododendrons are the closest to a jungle I could get for photos. Between the soggy grass and the ladylike hat/gloves, I was feeling elegant but uptight for these photos.

Tiger Taffeta 1


I tried mixing it up by adding a “jungle gym”.

Tiger Taffeta 7

Stash-busting stats: 2 more projects completed = 6/50. Yardage total for the year: 11 1/2 yards.


6 responses to “Cat Woman (and Kitten)”

  1. […] If you’d like to see more of our outfits, I wrote a longer post about them over on my own blog. […]

  2. Peter Avatar

    Great dress (and skirt). The first thing I thought was zebra too.

  3. Angela Avatar

    The dress is lovely. You look fiercely fabulous!

  4. […] never know who’s style I covet more. Cari or Guinevere! Ok, just send me both outfits and don’t forget the […]

  5. Gjeometry Avatar

    Oh My Goodness, I did not think you could top the purple velvet duo. And yet, you did!! This zebra print dress is sublime, I love it! And, the pic of you and Guinevere on the jungle gym is priceless!! You should definitely frame that one!! Kitty and I stashbusted some zebra fabric of our own for Jungle January.

  6. sewinggoddess Avatar

    nice dress and skirt, absolutely love the fabric:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *