Or how to avoid the dreaded raccoon boobs in 3 easy steps
I loved this fabric the first time I saw it on Dolly Clackett and Rhinestones and Telephones, then the Curious Kiwi shared a parcel of fabric she had with it in it and my little brain realised that I could have raccoons too!!! After much googling, checking on shipping options and for the first time in my life checking with my husband if I could buy fabric… not sure why but I did I was buying it anyway. I got my own Raccoons which is actually Tula Pink – Acacia winter (I am not sure if I have ever had a fabric with a name before).
I got the Ava Pattern by Victory Patterns in the first Pattern Parcel. I thought it would be the perfect pattern to showcase this fabric as there are not too many seams to cut off raccoon heads. I found a plain cotton poplin at the Fabric Warehouse that matched one of the accent colours nicely and I was off. I spent a decent amount of time holding the pattern piece to my chest trying to see where it sat. Then I traced Racoon heads and tails from my fabric onto the pattern piece and checked again as I did not want little noses pointing out from my bust.
This is the key to how to avoid the dreaded raccoon boobs in 3 easy steps and I think I managed it! I put all my cut out pieces in a bag to be sewn for the Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern month Dresses competition and carried on cutting out other projects.
For the top of the bodice I used a solid poplin so I cut two of the front and back so I could self-line the top of the bodice instead of a binding on the neckline. This means I have a nice clean neckline which I prefer. I went with the cap sleeves of version 3 but the tea length of version 1 with no ruffles or binding. The instructions on how to create a crisp point on the sweetheart neckline are great.
I went to attach the skirt to the bodice and realised I had only cut out one of the front/back pieces and one of the side panels. I then remembered that I had intended to cut out a second front/back panel on the fold, but I obviously got distracted. I got out the remains of my fabric and realised the next problem… I only had about 1 metre left by 60cm and a few scraps… and I had to cut two large semi circular panels. The fabric is a quilting cotton so is 112cm wide and I had only bought 2.75 Yards (which is 2.5metres for us metric folks), and the Ava version 1 needs 4 3/8 Metres… so I was a little short!
So I went to a calm space and remembered ‘I’m a pattern matching ninja and good at maths’. I managed to eek out half of a back panel out of my large section of fabric and carefull matched and pieced the other half.
Now I had THREE panels. Since I was one short my skirt waist seam was 63cm and the bodice was 99 that it had to match… so I did MATHS!
Using a circumference calculator online I found how much to increase the radius of the circle. I was hesitant and only cut off a 1.5cms at a time as I didn’t want to go the other way and go too big. I love that I made this work. This skirt does not have as much volume as the pattern intends and I do want to make another to show it off to its twirly swirly best.