The Dykes on Bikes Ball is rapidly approaching, and this year I thought I’d make something a little bit different to wear…
I’m calling it my Ultimate Leopard Dress – you can’t get much more ultimate than silver lurex leopard print!
The pattern is from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book – based off the Faux Sarong Dress.
There is one major difference – a removable 1950’s Kikepa Stole! I’ve always wanted a dress with a stole.
Fabric: The silver fabric is from Lincraft, and I’m sorry to say I’ll never use it again – it was terrible to sew with and the slightest pressure on the seams show due it’s loose weave. I’ve had to double stitch the zipper in to add some extra reinforcement.
The lining is plain black broadcloth.
On the upside, the pattern only took two muslins to get it fitting correctly and was very easy to put together. I didn’t experience any of the sizing weirdness some of the blogosphere has been talking about (luckily).
The amazing thing about this dress – it actually STAYS UP! I have never, ever, ever worn a strapless dress that stays up (I need tonnes of support).
The secret is two kinds of metal boning – spiral steel (left) and spring steel (right).
Spring steel is solid metal boning that you would find in proper waist-shaping corsets.
I used four pieces (one in each side seam, and one in each side-back seam) and it makes a huge amount of difference. The other seams have the spiral steel boning as per Gertie’s pattern.
And I know how much you like to see inside, so here she is (fully lined in cotton broadcloth). You can see the press studs I added to make the stole removable and the waist-stay.
- Cut the sweetheart a bit deeper (I think I would go deeper again as I like more drama)
- Did a sway back adjustment on the skirt
- Added an inch of length to the skirt – next time add more as I like my dresses longer
- I pleated my waist swag instead of gathering it like the pattern – my fabric was too bulky.