I am loving the recent trend for animal print fabrics at the moment. As I do not have many animal prints in my wardrobe, I thought now would be a good time to change that. When I saw the Leopard print stretch cotton, I knew I had to have it and I chose to make a Megan Nielsen Darling Dress with it. When the fabric arrived I immediately noticed it was a really lovely weight which meant it was going to be simple to sew with and warmer to wear in the winter time.
The pattern comes with three different versions for you to choose from - a dress with a slightly gathered skirt, a dartless dress and a dartless blouse. I chose to make version 1 as I think the three quarter length sleeves and a gathered skirt is really flattering.
When I first read through the pattern, I quickly discovered that this is a really easy peasy dress to make. There is no complicated collar to construct and the trickiest part of the whole project are the buttonholes! If you are not a fan of buttonholes you could always use snap fasteners which are so quick and easy to use. They always look just as good too.
The cotton held the shape of the dress so well and the added bit of stretch makes it even more comfortable to wear. I also love how the fabric has a more neutral background so it goes with everything. You could make this dress or blouse in any light to medium weight woven fabric. Chambrays, pretty cotton lawns and crisp linens would look especially beautiful!
The fit of the dress was for me really good. I made it slightly bigger as that is my personal preference. I made no adjustments to the pattern. I added the back-tie detail as I thought it was a cute addition and it helps to cinch in the waist also. I decided to not add the elasticated sleeves and just hemmed them as normal. I need to also mention the excellent in-seam pockets which are so deep! You can fit so many sweets in them!
I have sewn a few necklines in the past year but have never used a bias binding but it came together perfectly. It gives you such a neat finish! I also loved the clever way the button placket is finished. The result is flawless and the neckline does not curl up which sometimes happens when you use a facing.
For a final touch I added nine vintage gold knotted buttons from my stash. I think when I definitely make this dress again, I might try and add an exposed zip down the front instead of the buttons or add a ruffled sleeve and hem. The hacking potential of this pattern is endless.
I absolutely loved making this dress! It is such a relaxed and easy dress to make that will definitely become one of my wardrobe staples. Teaming this with a touch of leopard print glamour, is the perfect match. I cannot recommend them both enough!
You can find me on instagram @i_seam_sew_happy_xx. I was provided this fabric free of charge in exchange I wrote this blog post. I chose the fabric, and chose what pattern to use.