A printed fabric sews up like any other. In fact, we had a great time making this jacket for Richard out of a $1 square of reptile embossed felt. (What appears to be zippers is really a novelty trim added to the front edge and pockets.) However should you come across the tiny squares of snakeskin often laying at the bottom of those remnant boxes at fabric stores, those rare lizard skins (sometimes at the Salvation Army) or that funky snakeskin jacket Uncle Robert bought in Hong Kong decades ago, there are special considerations to keep in mind when trying to make clothes.
Unlike leather which comes in a variety of thicknesses--some of which sews up in a breeze--reptile pelts are more brittle and more fragile. For that reason, you must keep the garment super simple. Forget about using a pattern. It's best to build the garment directly on the doll.
I was given two lizard pelts found in a yard sale years ago. I finally decided to make something for dolly. However, the skins were stiff, not flexible. Any attempt to sew rendered the edges brittle. So I used the entire hide in one piece as a coat. I rolled back the top edge as an enormous collar, using the holes (where the legs must have been) as armholes. i left the edges raw and wrapped everything around the doll, belting it with a leather lace.
If the pelt you have doesn't have those leg holes, swing back the doll's arms to determine where armholes should be. Make small tubes from socks or knit to fit the doll's arms. Push them through the coat holes and then glue the top edge around the openings.
Under the lizard coat, Iman wears a reptile printed 2-piece basic dress. I had a tiny scrap of the lizard left which was made into a belt, held in place with a dot of Velcro.
Our team loved the gorgeous reptile jackets they saw in Hermes, Armani and other windows along the Rue Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris!
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