The cheetah sweatshirt


Have you ever bought a panel, because it was sooo beautiful, only to realize later at home that it's so small and split up you'll have a very hard time making a full item for yourself out of it?

That's exactly what happened to me with this beautiful cheetah panel - which was clearly made for kids' clothing. But of course I was already at home when I realized that. It took me a while and some thinking, but then I had an idea on how to make the item I wanted with the whole panel and nothing else.

cheetah fabric sweatshirt selfdrafted modified sewing pattern Minn's Things panel

When I saw this awesome cheetah panel in a local fabric shop, my inner cat lady screamed in a very high pitch.
You must understand, I have a big thing for cats. I always had. Besides my 2 kitties and many RTW shirts, socks and decorations I do have some proof online: my cat paw bracelet, my cat fabric dress, my cat fabric covered pattern weight, my cat fabric shirt. I have painted cat faces onto old shirts and made a window curtain screen with painted cats. Add to this cat fabric curtains, another cat fabric shirt and two more cat fabrics still in my stash. I'm sure I forgot a lot. Enough prove? Great.

cheetah fabric sweatshirt selfdrafted modified sewing pattern Minn's Things drop shoulder sleeves
Sleeve band detail

And because I love all the cats, be they big, small or strange (looking at you, Flat-headed cat!) I immediately fell in love with the cheetah panel. In fact cheetahs were my favourite animal for a big part of my childhood.

cheetah fabric sweatshirt selfdrafted modified sewing pattern Minn's Things no yolk back view
So many cats! 

For this reason only I bought the panel without any additional thinking or asking. At home I spent some time petting the soft cheetah face and dreaming of a super comfortable sweatshirt made out of it. As this was shortly after I made my two Ali Sweatshirts, I immediately had this pattern in mind. Also because the fabric is some kind of sweat. With that plan in my head I unfolded the fabric for the first time to serge around the edges to prepare it for washing and drying. That was when I realized how unbelievably small the panel was. Damn! Why tf?? A lot of sighs happened.

cheetah fabric sweatshirt selfdrafted modified sewing pattern Minn's Things

So after washing and drying I took out my Ali Sweatshirt pattern pieces and tried different layouts. But not even the cheetah head was big enough to fit on the front pattern piece. So with a lot of measuring of myself, the fabric and the pattern, I managed to resize the front and back pattern pieces so they would fit onto the fabric. Similar problem with the sleeves: As big as the original Ali sleeves are, there would never be enough fabric to get to long sleeves out of it. So I had to resize those as well.

cheetah fabric sweatshirt selfdrafted modified sewing pattern Minn's Things cropped with waist skirt

It took me quite a lot of time, but in the end I had every piece cut out and no leftover fabric.
There were so many changes, that I feel I can hardly call this an Ali anymore: the bodice is a looot slimmer and a bit shorter and not straight anymore and not finished with a band. The back yolk is integrated into the bodice - though I kept the shoulder seem between front and yolk piece. The sleeves are also a lot slimmer and shorter. And I made the drop sleeves less drop-y by removing several centimeters from the bodice pieces.

cheetah fabric sweatshirt selfdrafted modified sewing pattern Minn's Things back without yolk
No yolk!

Considering all the trouble I had with this make I am quite satisfied. Except for the bulkiness at the armpits - short drop sleeves are not ideal with stiff sweat fabric. And the length. It's slightly too short for my jeans, but too long to be a good crop top. So far I either wear it with jeans and a longer cami/tank underneath or with a waist skirt like in these photos. It may not be perfect, but I still love it and wear it a lot.

cheetah fabric sweatshirt selfdrafted modified sewing pattern Minn's Things Pinterest

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2 comments

  1. OMG I love this so much! I would have snapped up that panel as well! You did a really good job of getting the sweatshirt out of the panel 🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻

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