leopard dress


DIY, fabric store, fashion, process, sewing, styleMartha Porter2 Comments

When I like a pattern, I make it twice - both because it helps build a wardrobe I want to wear, and because it is easier and more pleasureable to sew a pattern the second time around. As with pancakes, the second one is usually better than the first. This dress is McCall’s 7925, and you can see a full pattern review with some construction tips in my previous post about this pattern.


I purchased both the fabric and buttons on a recent trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. You can read about fabric shopping in Ediburgh here. This pattern is labelled “Easy”, and I think it is, but because of the neckline, I would not recommend it to a true beginner. If you’ve made a few dresses before, you should be good to go. I made very minor changes to the pattern:

• Lengthened the bodice 1” as usual, because I am 5’8”.

• Added fullness to the skirt by slashing and spreading - I kept the hem and ruffle the same, but opened up the pattern at the waist. I gathered the skirt into the waistband.

• Used thicker elastic at the wrist, for maximum scrunchie effect.


Adding the neck band to this dress is fiddley. Make sure you mark all the little squares and triangles from the tissue, and take a moment to figure out the gathering. I recommend using a very light weight interfacing on both the fashion fabric neckband piece, and the facing. This will give you more control (especially if using wiggly fabric), and will prevent these pieces from stretching on the bias as you gather the weight of the dress into them.


I also used this interfacing trick at the waistband. On this version of my dress, the waistband required this additional stability because the poly crepe fabric is heavy. I have found wearing a belt helps break up the print, but it also holds the waistband at my waist.

I like the dress without the belt, but I think wearing one helps break up the busy print.

I like the dress without the belt, but I think wearing one helps break up the busy print.


This pic is a little blurry, and I look a little stoned (I’m not), but it captures the drape and movement of this dress. I styled myself with a belt from Century 21 and a ceramic vase I made a couple of years ago - I can never resist hydrangeas!!). Leopard qualifies as a neutral in my book and kind of goes with anything, especially a bright jewel tone. I’m looking forward to wearing it this fall with ankle boots or converse, and bright colors layered on top. XO, Martha