"Fancy Leopardess" Dress Refashion

First off, can believe I didn't know the difference between cheetah and leopard print?! Come on, I can't be the only one. :o I didn't know what to call this print, so yeah, I googled "cheetah vs. leopard print," and came across this article which broke it down nicely. 

So I bought this dress back in December 2013, and it was just hanging in my closet for the longest time, trying to decide when to wear it. As FIDM graduation was nearing, I decided that was the perfect occasion for this dress, which wasn't too formal, but not too casual either. 

I've included instructions and pictures of how my dress turned out. Scroll down! :)

Dress: Marshall's: $20 something
Leopard Print Sateen: Michael Levine's at LA Fashion District

It was a bit too short for my taste, so I decided a leopard print would look nice and match with the beading on the neckline. 


1. Measure how much you want to lengthen the dress & all around the hem (front + back, this is called the "sweep"). Save these measurements for Step 4.

2. Mark evenly up from the hem where you want to insert the panel. This is up to you :) I didn't measure anything, I just cut across, but marked with a piece of chalk so it would be an even line. 

3. Cut across this line. 

Your dress/skirt should now look like this.

4.  Now go back to your measurements from Step 1.  The picture below explains how you need to cut out your panel. (P.S. I used 1 inch for seam allowance, because you're going to sew both the top and bottom of the panel to the dress, each side 1/2") Also, I folded my fabric when I cut out the fabric, but you don't have to, I just find it easier.

5. Cut out the panel and pin according to the picture. (So basically right sides of the fabric facing each other.) I included two graphics to make sure no one's confused. :) 

6. Sew all around with the seam allowance of your choice. (I always just use 1/2" so I can add a total of 1" to the panel measurement.)

7. Do the same thing to sew the bottom of the panel to the bottom part of the dress. 

8. Finish your seams however you like (serged, zig-zag, etc).
9. Iron, and hooray you have a unique dress that no one else does! :) 

10. *Optional: I added a bow to the waist just for fun and to tie everything together. 

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