12 March 2013 by

I feel like this shirt is a little more wild that what I normally wear, but I do wear some rather bizarre outfits. If I’m going to wear an animal print, this is how I do it.

vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne

vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne

vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne

The colorful giraffe fabric is a quilting cotton I picked up at Joann last year with the intention to make a different vintage pattern. The fabric has absolutely no drape, and the pattern was rather shapeless, with no darts at all. I added the bust darts immediately, and after some hemming and hawing about changing the vintage silhouette, I put in another dart at the center back.

Although I eventually deviated a lot from the pattern, I used Simplicity 7608 from 1976. I don’t wear a lot of buttoned shirts nowadays, and I generally like my tops to be more fitted, but I’ve loved these illustrations for years and decided to give it a try. Based on the sizing measurements, I added a couple inches of width to the pattern pieces. I didn’t do this the correct slash-and-spread method, but just added it to the width because I already knew I would add some tailoring to the design.

I wound up taking out most of the width I added, but I’m glad that I had enough fabric to work with. It’s great to have so much overlap at the center front; there’s no risk of buttons pulling and gaping.

vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne

I love a single back dart, especially when I’m fitting a garment on myself. No worries about getting two darts even, and so easy to make adjustments! Although from these pictures I see that the dartiest part is too sharp; I need to round out the waist. I may add shoulder darts later to take out some fullness at the neck in the back, but I’m happy for now.

The pattern called for the placket facing to be cut as one piece with the shirt front, but since my fabric wasn’t wide enough I used my yellow striped cotton, and pinked the edges to reduce bulk. All seams and edges are bound in this yellow bias tape. It was my first time successfully using a bias tape maker, and like everyone else I am smitten. I had to resist the urge to run to the store to buy one in every size!

vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne

I love these big nickel-plated buttons! The back wraps around the shoulders, and although this is one of the pattern’s features it doesn’t work so great on a directional print. I added the yellow band at the shoulder seam to make this overlap look more intentional.

I had been planning on adding the sleeves and Nehru collar, but once I pinned them on I felt overwhelmed by all the giraffes. Perhaps this pattern would work better with a less ostentatious print, in a fabric with more drape. In any case, I feel like this sleeveless top will be perfect with shorts at the beach.

vintage giraffe blouse, made by Julianne


  1. Della

    This looks absolutely RAD with the blue pants, and if I were in your body, I would wear that outfit everyday until I died. SUPER CUTE!! I LOVES IT!

  2. Stitchabelle

    I Love Love Love this. I’m a bit of a beginner and have done a few dresses and tops, have been able to take in my final projects but not sure if I would be able to add darts or width with much success…..but this blouse makes me really want to try! I love the shape of it, and the giraffes are well cute!!!
    Did i mention I love it???

    • Julianne Post author

      Thank you! I’ve seen this print in other colorsways and scales at Joann Fabrics lately, in the quilting section. Just, you know, in case you were interested.

      A couple darts can make a HUGE difference in the fit of your garment. When it come to bust darts from a pattern, I usually will at least mark them for reference, but then draft my own darts to best flatter my own shape. Basically, when you put on the blouse that has no darts (and this is before the sleeves are added) you can pinch all this excess fabric. The dart can come from any direction, and you want it to end at the “apex of the bust” AKA nipple for most ladies. Although you want the darts to be about the same of the left and right side, most bodies are not symmetrical so it’s best to draft each dart to fit. There are lots of good tutorials for darts on the internet, although I can’t think of any in particular to recommend. It’s a trial and error process to get a good fit, and it may help to have someone else pinning your darts at the beginning so that your movements aren’t distorting the fit of the blouse.

  3. Pingback: BABY GIRAFFES ON BURDA - made by julianne

  4. Laurie

    I love the fabric! Is that a little gathered skirt you are wearing with it in the first photo.
    Like the mixed print look very much!
    I think I wore that blouse (or something very like it in 1976).
    Your version rocks way more, and the binding at the hemline, shoulder, front and sleeve is just the
    perfect compliment.
    A bias tape maker? Life is looking good again!

    • Julianne Post author

      Thanks Laurie! I made that skirt while watching the World Cup in 2006. I was feeling very circus-y while wearing that whole outfit. Did you make your 1976 blouse?

Leave a Reply

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