Do giraffes have more fun?

I’m not an animal print girl.  Mostly I think it’s that there’s a whole lotta gross poly that gets unfortunately printed with animal prints, so the effect is kind of cheap, but also the colorways for most cheetah and tiger prints are not terribly appealing to me.  They almost always involve black (I’m sure I’m allergic to black), and if there’s other colors at play, they seem juvenile.

But consistently, I feel like I come across two animals that are more free-spirited.  Zebra prints and giraffe prints almost always involve great color combos.

Mint and grey zebra?–of course!  Or maybe some of these prints from

Cotton Rib Knit Zebra Stripes White/LimePolyester/Lycra Activewear Knit Zebra Stripes MultiStretch Jersey ITY Knit Zebra White/Purple

This green giraffe print was a serious contender for drapes in our dining room before Mood ran out of it and I discovered I could buy it elsewhere for like 1/3 the price (in the end I settled on something with the same colors but a more geometric print).

Is it that being gentler vegetarian types, fabric designers are more inspired to make their prints just a little less edgy?  Or maybe giraffes and zebras simply have more fun?

At any rate, when I saw this navy and white ITY giraffe print a couple of weeks ago at Denver Fabrics, it leaped into my cart, having introduced itself first as a lively, swishy skirt.  As I look at the photo of it though now, I have to think that it’s a little more geometric than a lot of giraffe prints, but I still think it looks kind of giraffey even if it’s a little squarer…Robot giraffe.

The pattern is Ottobre 2-2009-11, a simple knit trumpet skirt with an elastic waist.  I figured it’s perfect for my pregnancy.  I gave myself wide SAs because I love this print enough to deconstruct the waistband and take things in to give it another life after I get down to my regular weight again.  This’ll be a fantastic wardrobe basic for me through the fall, and I’m looking forward to combining it with other things in my closet.  I think there’s little that it won’t work with.

It’s 10 gores, so it takes a bit of time to cut out, but it’s one of those brainless projects that comes together in no time.  If I hadn’t been fitting a little, the construction time is about 25 minutes.

It does however take a chunk of time to hem this skirt.  All those gores make for a lot of fussiness in pressing the curves.  Otto leaves you a 3/4″ hem allowance, but I’d say, cut off a little, use some Steam-a-Seam and call it good.  Pressing up 3/4″ is nearly impossible with the curves.  I used 1/4″ S-A-S and pressed twice which was annoyingly boring and time consuming, but effective.  1/2″ would save you a little time, but I’m not sure if pressing up 1/2″ would work.

Since I was using ITY, I opted for Steam-A-Seam in the hem to stabilize it and keep it in place while I was hemming.  I love this finish for ITY because it keeps the hem crisp, but because ITY is poly anyhow, that crispness doesn’t feel weird like it can in natural fabrics.  It also helps the hem hang really nicely.  Have I endorsed Steam-A-Seam enough here?

What’s your opinion on animal prints?  Do they speak to the depths of your soul?  Are there some that make you shudder and others that make you dance?

My full review of the skirt is here.

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