Loving Leopard Prints

So apparently leopard is really trendy this fall… I can tell because I’ve been seeing enough of it that I really want more! And then my coworker asked if I could teach her how to sew – and the first thing she wants to make is a leopard skirt!

I’d never worn animal prints until my first time participating in Jungle January back in 2013! Since then, I’ve taken a deep dive into leopard, which I thought would be fun to round up here before I go sew some more!

First, the early makes that have worn out, no longer fit, or have been passed on to someone else:


2013: Leopard Lola! I loved this dress so much that last year a bought a similar black-and-turquoise double knit so that I can recreate this in my current size!

2014: Plantain with a huge cowl neckline. I loved this one too! I still wear it as pyjamas/lounge clothes. The rayon double knit is super cosy!


2016: I wore this coral swing dress a fair bit… and then wore it more once I shortened it into a tank! Now it’s pyjamas because the rayon fabric is faded and pilled. I think I have more of this fabric in the stash though!

2015: Jalie Bella dress: It’s such a fun shape, but I never loved the hip-and-belly-hugging style, especially when combined with light-weight rayon knit. I can’t remember if I’ve given this away or it’s sitting unworn somewhere. I did have two other items in this print though – a tank that got worn until it was stained, and a Jalie dolman top that… where is that top? Given away or worn out, I assume.

Now for some clothes that are still in rotation!


2015: Renfrew sweater: This one has held up surprisingly well for a polyester sweaterknit! It got progressively shorter, and I ended up putting a 6″ hem band on to lengthen it when I happened to find the same fabric again later!

2017: Pussybow Concord: This actually began life as a mini dress, and was immediately refashioned because it was way too short! I made Kristin a Lady Skater dress from this print over the summer, and she thinks of it as snake while I always thought it was leopard… but regardless, it’s animal-print excellence!


2018: You haven’t seen this whole outfit yet, but it’s my tribute to Janelle Monae! Black and white, suit-inspired, and featuring pynk. More on this once it goes up on the Cali Fabrics Blog!

2017: Ombre Ebony: This outfit gets plenty of wear! I love the border print and the rayon is nice to wear in hot weather.

You know, I’m actually quite surprised how little leopard is left in my wardrobe!  Half the leopard pieces I’ve sewn have been loved, altered, and worn out over the years! It’s a nice record of the progression of clothes through my closet, from favourites to home clothes to pyjamas before I toss them out, while things that no longer fit get passed on.

When I started this post I thought I might talk myself out of buying any more leopard fabric… but you know? I think I actually need some more! Maybe it’s like stripes – you just can’t have enough. What do you think? What prints/fabrics are mainstays in your wardrobe?



19 thoughts on “Loving Leopard Prints

  1. I do like animal print and it is easy to find at Fabricland. I have to be careful of not buying too much because I mostly make work clothes and I don’t want to be known as the animal print lady!


  2. I find most animal prints rather tacky, but lately I’m warming up to the leopard print. You’ve got some excellent examples here of non tacky ones so I might dip my toe in and buy some leopard print fabric, too 😀


    1. Personally I find black and white prints are a little less in-your-face than the tan coloured ones… hope you find one you like! 😉


      1. Yeah I think it’s indeed the colors that make the difference! I almost bought some grey black leopard stretch cotton remnant the other day, but it called “pants” to me and leopard jeans still seemed a bit too much, haha!


  3. These are outstanding pieces I’d be proud to have sewn! Very tasteful creations!

    I have a Leopard print rug and curtains in my living room. Decorated in an African theme to celebrate my children’s Heritage (the dining room was decorated with a Korean theme :o)
    Anyhoo I sewed a lot of Leopard since 1990!! And a lot of Giraffes and African animals in children’s clothes, but never for me!! I think its time!

    p.s. sorry I missed your @sewover50 shout out on instagram. My 27 yr old daughter taught me how to reply without the app last night on my computer. Now I need a device that I can put the Instagram app on, Kindle doesn’t have it???!!!!


  4. You can never have too many animal prints. I’d say I’m an equal opportunity animal print addict–unless those prints are in tans/browns. Nope, nope, nope. Greys are preferred, but I’ll do crazy colored versions too.


  5. OK – I am not up on my animal prints! Maybe I mistake snake and leopard?! I need to get out more. PS: I spent an hour writing a comment on your post about plus size but I think it was eaten. No time to recreate it now but I have thoughts!


    1. Whatever it is, it’s a good print! 😉 Sorry your comment got lost – I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic! ❤


  6. I love a good leopard print and really do consider it a “neutral”. Your garments are just lovely and such fun fabrics. I bought 4m of thick leopard print scuba from the guy in the market the other week. No idea what to make with it as it is quite thick but I can definitely see me using it up soon. Thanks for the inspiration. Xx


  7. Just made my first leopard print garment ever – it seems pretty in fashion this autumn! I kept it small scale and fairly subtle colours to ease me in. I love the mix of scales on your shorts suit. Otherwise I’m consistently drawn to star/space prints and dots, ideally a bit organic/hand-drawn looking rather than completely geometric.


  8. I’m honestly not really into animal prints for myself, I’m fairly certain that the last time I wore one was high school! But abstract/geometric florals or plaids or geeky novelty prints? Bring it. (And I’m a weirdo who likes paisley!)


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