Thursday, 14 April 2011


Eeny, meeny, miney, mo. Catch a leopard.... Whatever.

It'll surprise no one that I'm persevering with the dress. Thank you all for your suggestions and support, you guys rock!

leopard dress full

All these animal prints in my stash must be giving everyone the wrong impression of me... I've never worn an animal print in me puff. Honestly.

leopard dress draped and pinned

For those of you interested in the process (the process that I'm more-or-less winging I might add before people start threads on sewing forums that I'm doing it all wrong), I made some changes to the bodice piece and pinned a fabric version to my last dress. The height at centre front of previous dresses was bothering me but as I always wear balconette bras there wasn't much I could do... so I bought a plunge bra and the doppelganger is wearing this. That's a handy hint from me to you: if you have a dress form, make it wear the bra you will wear with the dress. Even if it looks like a hussy and you want to judge it. It's much easier to gauge necklines and armholes if she's wearing your bra. So I changed it to a v-neck. And the under-bust gathers that were irritating me? I folded it into three under bust darts. Underbust darts always leads to a side seam dart for me too. Then is pressed the darts with the iron, fabric penned everything and made another pattern from it.

leopard dress muslin stitched

Then I stitched up the new bodice front with the darts to check the fit. I still didn't like the neckline so I played around a bit more with that. Made another pattern from that, adjusted the back bodice and straps pieces to compensate (oh dear god this process is killing me) ... and then tried it with the leopard print. Leopard print because the silk dupioni is out. I settled on a busy print for Final!Dress in the end. Et voila.

leopard dress underbust darts
You do not even see those threads hanging down.

The underbust darts are looking pretty snazzy, the v-neck covers my bra (only just though so I might add a tiny bit back on) and the straps start much lower down. The waistband needs work. I don't know what to do with it but it is not conforming to the body. Perhaps it doesn't matter so much with a print?

leopard dress full bodice

Overall, I think it's a lot sleeker than the previous dresses methinks. What say you, hive mind?

EDITED TO ADD: I'm not planning on wearing leopard-print dress. It's a muslin before my final fabric comes tomorrow. Now everyone can stop tormenting me.


  1. My gosh that's sexy. That's not just the leopard print talking, by the way. The fit and shape are amazing. All of your hard work is certainly going to pay off!

    I'm not sure what's going on with the waistband so I cannot offer any suggestions. Are you planning on doing something similar here? With a busy print I don't know if that might be too much - but what do I know.

    Can't wait to see the final!

  2. Love the fit and the pleats are vastly superior to the gathers. I think the print placement is making it look asymmetrical though. The off center dominant dark patch is making the right look larger. But the fit is a total win!!!

  3. Wow, that is a great shape for the bodice! You are really kicking some ass with that pattern!

  4. Oh yeah, I like the neckline much better..although the leopard print does seem to, ahem, accentuate the bosom somewhat. I realise you're not exactly shy in that department but they don't normally look like that!
    Now I'll have a pint of bitter please Bet Lynch!

  5. Fablious!
    Much better neckline, much less mono-boob. The pleats look good too. Are you planning on smooshing or pleating the waistband? I think it needs something on the waistband if you're going to have a circle skirt.
    And if you've never worn animal print, what's all this lot doing in your stash, hmmm? Unless you were planning on some sort of tart's boudoir bedroom makeover...

  6. My god woman you have the patience of a saint!! Hats off to you for sticking with it because its looking fantastic, even in leopard print ;)

    It looks very boobylicious, but thats fine with me. If you got them flaunt them :D
    Emma x

  7. Ok, back from hiding under the bed thinking I'll never have the courage to sew for myself if this is what it takes...

    I like the new bodice. And I think a busier print works for this dress. It hides a lot of the structural "work" of pleats/darts/what have you so that the overall effect is more sleek. Can't wait to see the final one.

    I was going to demand that you model the leopard print but figured you might be at a wit's end by now.

  8. I'm loving watching you go through this dress!! This print cracks me up.

  9. I love it, its so much more sophisticated and eveningy.

    I can only admire your patience with this, but I really think that it has paid off, can't wait to see the final version.