The It’s A Jungle Out Here Dress

Ah, well, so much for my resolution to dress more like a grown up….

This dress can be subtitled, “The Puerto Rican Hipster Dress”. Because let me tell you something. Hipster has come to Puerto Rico with a vengeance. And, well, look, I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way, because Lord knows I love Puerto Rico deeply, but, well, the island isn’t exactly hip to modern trends. Which is kind of what is great about it, about Latin America and about islands, their isolation, their traditions, their ways. But it’s also really nice that San Juan has started, oh, I don’t know, recycling. Making salads. Brewing local coffee. And lo and behold, now they ARE! It’s pretty awesome. Recently, at a crafts fair, there was a stall serving artisanal empanadas, complete with a Thai curry coconut chicken. I mean, if that’s not hip, what IS?

So this dress, well, it couldn’t BE more hipster. I mean, I bought the fabric at the Brooklyn Flea, so….

IAJOH 1I know. I KNOW. It’s covered in animals. It’s gathered at the waist. It’s just, it’s so damn hipster I can’t even deal with it. BUT ALSO I LOVE IT AHHHHHHHH!

IAJOH 2Okay, so I did not have a lot of this fabric, and I had to be a bit creative with the cutting of it, so the skirt goes one way and the bodice the other. I like it, personally, but then, I’m a rebel, Dottie, a loner.

IAJOT 3The pattern? Ah, there we go. Okay, so, my amazing AMAZING friend Liz (hi, Liz!) was a pattern maker for a while, and we met working at the costume shop. She offered, out of the blue, to help me make a bodice and skirt block, if I wanted. IF I WANTED? Oh, yeah, no, that sounds horrible, I super didn’t want anyone to ever help me make a bodice and skirt block to my exact measurements ever even one time. But, you know, she twisted my arm, so…….


Anyway, a lot of thanking and groveling later, plus some wine and Mexican food, I got myself some blocks, and Liz got a website of Beyonce Lyrics to Art History Images. You can decide who go the better end of that deal….


And so I made this dress! I did actually muslin the pattern, I’m not that dumb, and it had to be the best fitting thing I’ve ever put on, except that the bodice was a touch short. So I added two inches to the length of it, and called it a day. Expect to see a lot more of this block in the future, I may or may not be in love….

IAJOH 5I love the way the back fits, it’s the first time in forever in which I haven’t seen back wrinkling in the back bodice….

So I just gathered and went with the skirt, and added pockets, DUH, because they are the best.

IAJOH 7Seriously, how well does this bodice fit? I need to press the neckline, and I would alter it again (and WILL) next time), but seriously, I don’t think I’ve every made anything that worked with my body this well. I adore you, Liz!

IAJOH 8Look at that! That’s some nice fit there. Hand picked zipper, like I do.

IAJOH 9Annnnnnnnnnnd this is the fabric. Whatever, whatever, whatever, for adulthood because I love this. I LOVE THIS. Shut up!

IAJOH 10As Becca, who took these photos, turned out, the upside-down tigers are particularly awkwardly placed….screw it. I love this dress. It’s going to be a hit in New York this summer, I can just tell. But that’s nothing compared to how hip I felt in Puerto Rico….


Filed under Clothing, Sewing

28 responses to “The It’s A Jungle Out Here Dress

  1. punkmik

    this is so awesome and I had a similar issue, trying to dress more grown up! to hell with that! you look awesome and feel great! enjoy it!

  2. Yeahhh to hell with dressing more grown up! who wants??? šŸ™‚

  3. Kat H

    Aaah, this is fabulous! Love that print! Great fit, too. šŸ™‚ And really, why on earth would you want to dress more grown-up? Where’s the fun in that?!?! Crazy prints forever!! šŸ˜€

  4. lol Leah you are too sassy for words. That print is ace and you can totally pull it off on the mainland I reckon!

  5. Judi

    That dress fits you perfectly and the animals are ever so fun!!! You don’t need to worry about dressing “more grown up”. It’s refreshing to see someone having fun and enjoying life…that’s how it should be at any age!!!

  6. Awesome!!!!! Animals!! Love ’em! But dude, hipster is a spectrum and we’re all on that spectrum somewhere… LOL!

  7. Love it! LOVE it! My first thought was – what the holey hell pattern is that, it fits Perfectly! Custom bodice drafting has to be the most hipster thing about the whole dress haha

  8. You know I love this dress — animals all over a fun print? Sign me up! It really does fit amazingly on you. What a great friend!

  9. This is epic. It makes me think that I could make a dress with dinosaurs on it and just call it hipster and pretend like I can wear it! I love your fabric, uber hipster šŸ™‚

  10. In my humble opinion, putting animals on your clothes does not make you a hipster, it just makes you awesome…unless of course you wear wool hats with this in the summer. I love your dress, and it looks fabulous on you šŸ™‚

  11. The fit on this dress is total perfection, this pattern is a keeper for you! I have made a couple animal printed outfits in my day so I am on board with one. Super cute and it will look good with tights and a sweater too

  12. dixiediy

    ca-ute! and you’re right, the back fits perfect. this is all around a great fitting dress. and this dress is way cooler than any hipster would wear. šŸ˜‰ such a fun print.

  13. “The pattern? Ah, there we go.” I had to laugh – I actually said “Ah, there ya go” After my scanning eyeballs found “The pattern?” I really love this dress. It looks fantastic on you. I have a simliar shape and have a very hard time finding dresses that fit me as well as this fits you. Nice work.

  14. Betsy

    As someone who owns an elephant sweater, I can safely say that this dress is AWESOME and extremely adult. Also…you got hit on wearing this dress at Bushwick Country Club…so…just embrace it. Embrace the struggle! ; )

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