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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…

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.

(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

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