Ava Raccoons

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).

AvaRaccoons2 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.

bodiceI 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.

Joining Seams

Joining seams hidden in the back

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. AvaRaccoons1I 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.

p.s. why am I taking photos in the dark? I was at my boys rugby and wanted somewhere different to take the pics…and I had a deadline to meet 🙂

9 thoughts on “Ava Raccoons

  1. Fabulous dress and so great to be having raccoons peeking out all over (love the way you avoided having an unfortunate bust raccoon!). Well done for making it work with such little fabric, I would have just thrown it in the corner and reached for the Gin!


    • Thanks. I did contemplate gin…but I have been watching lots of project runway so I think I just heard Tim Gunn tell me to ‘make it work’


  2. Wow, your work and (math) really paid off! I like the contrasting yoke and the fact that you opted to line it. It really does make a difference. That fabric is crazy!


  3. Another fun dress! Ava is one of those patterns that I have ignored until recently, as the styling on the Victory patterns website is lovely, but just not for me. But just recently I’ve seen some great versions that make me think it could have a place in my wardrobe, too, so thanks for the inspiration!
    (Also “I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a fabric with a name before” cracked me up – I know just what you mean!)


    • I’m not sure I would have got it if it wasn’t in the pattern parcel, but now that I have it I do like it. I think the top version is cute


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