Coral Leopard, Two Ways

PicMonkey Collage

Which came first? The mini or the ruffle? In other words… which came first, and then was changed into the other because I wasn’t happy?

Both versions have their merits… But after taking pictures of one, I went home and altered it to make the other! Maybe this will clarify things…

PicMonkey Collage unbelted

Frumpy much? I always think that an outfit that NEEDS a belt to “work” visually is not a good outfit. Sure, belts are stylish, but a stiff belt over a stretchy dress immediately makes it fussy and uncomfortable. The ruffled version was my first iteration, and I did love the ruffle, but without a belt, it was a sad sack and so it had to go.

PicMonkey Collage details

(My ruffle was made of black powernet from my bramaking stash. Goodbye, sweet ruffle! I liked you in theory!)

Back home, I made two changes. I folded under the neckband and top stitched it down for a cleaner, more open look. Secondly, I folded the ruffle under, top stitched, and trimmed off the excess! I could have cut it off and rehemmed, but I was afraid it would get too short. As a bonus, the remains of the ruffle add volume to the hem so it has a bit of flair.


The pattern is the Hey June Santa Fe top, with about 10″ length added at the hem. I’ve been a bit obsessed over this pattern all summer, so you can see more versions on my blog here, here and here.

The fabric is the Black and Grey Leopard on Orange Red Jersey. It’s a lightweight rayon knit, with a nice amount of stretch and drape. I actually bought this yardage with my own money last summer, and I’ve been hoarding it ever since. I really love leopard, and I love coral, so I ended up being afraid to cut into it! When I got the chance to blog for Cali Fabrics, I knew it was time to use this print. I ordered 2 yards more to save for later!

Now, to be honest, a part of me still isn’t sure about the dress (Is it too short?), and it may eventually get cut down to a tank top. I’ll wear it for the summer first though, before I decide! That’s the beauty of sewing: everything can be altered into something new, either right after you finish it or a few years down the road. How often do you rework “finished” projects? When you do, do you ever regret it, or is it usually the right choice?

Gillian is a teacher, cat lady, and colour-fanatic, and blogs at

Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow

Hi! My name is Gillian, and I love to sew! I blog at and I run the Sewcialists.

I’ve enjoyed sewing since I was a kid, but when I started sewing clothes in 2012, it became a bit of an obsession. I’m all about wearable, comfy everyday clothes – and my wardrobe is overflowing! I’ve pulled all the colours that I love wearing into my personal colour palette, which keeps me inspired and my fabric shopping on track. I’ve ordered from Cali Fabric for years, and I’m so excited to be able to join their blogger team!

I live in Ontario (Canada) with my nerdy and awesome husband and our two cats. I’m a teacher by day, and fabric hoarder by night!

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8 thoughts on “Coral Leopard, Two Ways”

  1. Fab dress, I really like the latest version and don’t think it’s too short, it has more shape and looks good with or without a belt. The ruffle was cute but maybe slightly nightieish

    1. “Slightly nightieish” is an excellent description! I love ruffles, but they can go wrong so easily!

  2. I like that both posts on this dress have a different story to tell — good job! 🙂 Totally agreed on the belt thing. Too many BMV patterns are styled with belts and it makes it hard to evaluate the waistline on a garment or outfit…which is so important!

    I don’t think I do a ton of project revisions — once it’s done, it’s done. But if I really love a fabric and can’t part with it, that’s when a revision occurs. Usually, I give my things away to Goodwill when they no longer work for me as-is.

    1. Thanks for noticing that, Ebi! I’m trying to figure out the balance of posting here and on my blog about the same project – I feel like they are different audiences!
      Like you, I’m always nervous when a pattern cover has things styled with a belt – is it not good enough on it’s own???

    1. I”m still wondering about making it a tank… then it would get ore wear this fall.. but less wear next summer! oh, the dilemmas! 😉

  3. I can’t believe how much removing the ruffle changes the look of this dress. It’s really amazing to see them side by side. I don’t think it’s too short at all, and I like it with and without the belt. I think you’ll really like this length when it cools down bit, and you put it on with leggings and a morris blazer or a cardigan.

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