Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Leopard Print Retro Dress

I've been on a bit of a mission to try all of the patterns I have bought over the years.  Thanks to my great fortune of free fabric I am slowly working through all of them.  Most of the fabrics aren't ones that I would choose if I were to walk into a fabric store to purchase something for myself, but I do enjoy matching patterns that I have purchased to fabrics I have in my collection, looking for the perfect style and fit for the print.

I have this cool retro circa 1958 Butterick pattern I have been wanting to try out.  I dug into my fabric stash and I had at least 5 yards of this leopard print satin (most likely) fabric.  I'm not really a leopard print type of person, but it is all the rage these days.  I thought dress pattern B would look pretty cool in a leopard print, so I went for it.

I dug around a little for some inspiration and saw these dresses below that sort of fit the style.  They convinced me that this would be a look that could work and not end up to Jane of Jungle looking.

Here is how my dress came out:

I liked it, but it felt a little long and frumpy on the bottom.  I decided to take the skirt in a bit on the sides, so it would be more form fitting and a-line.  I also took it up a little higher to knee length, so I could walk once I took it in.  I didn't want to deal with making a vent in the back, if necessary.

Here are some before and after pictures for comparison.  I tried to put them side by side, but it wasn't working out for me, so I stacked them.


After alteration:

Back before:

Back after alteration:

I think it has a better, more classic fit now.  

I used a little different styling on the before and after pictures.  I definitely need a larger black belt to go with this look and maybe some black platforms.  I am not a heel wearer, so I have mostly slip on sanuks in my closet.  I may need to get one pair of black shoes that can go with anything for special occasions. I do have a couple pairs of boots (the closest to a heel that I have) and I tried them along with a pattened belt (on the after shots) with the dress and it works, but it feels more casual than dressy and this dress is something I am more likely to wear as a dressy dress, than a casual dress.  I am glad it seems to be somewhat versatile, though, so I can dress it down a bit and get more wear out of it.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out in the end.

  I still have a ton more leopard fabric.  I was looking at some of these other images for inspiration for the rest of it.

I really like the button up shirt.  I don't know if I would really wear it much, though.

I am more likely to wear it as a skirt.  I thought about doing a high waisted a-line.  I love the look of this:

... or just keep it simple and do a short circle type skirt.  Super easy.

I worry it might be a little redundant to the dress, though.  

For now, I am going to let the leopard fabric sleep in the drawer until I feel inspired to work with it again or a pattern speaks to me.  

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