Monday, October 12, 2020

Surprises while "On Safari"

Have you found yourself making a decision that surprises even you? I have a pretty clear sense of what I love and don't love as it relates to my style. I feel like most of what I make is generally in line with my style aesthetic. Until now, animal prints have not featured prominently.

I recently collaborated with Queenora Renee fabrics to produce a line of pattern weights featuring her fabric designs. Her Black Girl Magic Leopard print ignited a newfound passion for animal prints that I had never been drawn to before. I explained my attraction to her fabrics by the afro hairstyles represented in the prints, not the animal theme itself.

Flash forward to the new fabric releases on the horizon for Riley blake, I was  surprisingly drawn to several of their upcoming animal prints. When the "On Safari" fabric arrived my husband opened the package and exclaimed "Whoa!" with my choice of the Brown Leopard. In our 20 years together and 18 years married, he has never seen me wear an animal print. This fabric was totally off script for me, but we were both intrigued.

When I selected this design, I did not have a plan for what I was going to make with this "out of my wheelhouse" fabric choice. Fortunately, I was recently generously gifted some vintage patterns from a friend familiar with my style. Her care package included this fabulous mod mini dress pattern. 

I was drawn to the plunging neckline, the full sleeves and the mini length. The shaping was achieved with front and back darts and has a back zipper. This is a fun little dress was a fairly fast project to make.

I made it as is, with only one adjustment. I removed about two inches of ease on either of the side seams. This adjustment reduced the fullness and allows me to wear the dress without the belt. 

Or wear it with the included belt. 

I liked the look of the tone on tone belt, but wanted the option for a pop of color. I trimmed the tie belt with red piping as a fun contrast. 

Stepping out with animal prints has been loads of fun for me. Choosing a risky fabric can be a bit scary, but when paired with a pattern that suits your style, they can play well together. 

Happy Sewing,


  1. Very Nice--The style and the fabric really click!

  2. Wow! Look at you! Great fabric and style. And those shoes are so cute! You nailed it again!

    1. Thanks so much! I loved the black version of those shoes so much, I bought these right after!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It isn't everyday you make something that can work both ways. I am thrilled!

  4. Love it! Makes me want to get started with animal prints as well <3

  5. Wow. That looks amazing! Maybe I’ll get some animal print happening. And the pattern is a fabulous style on you.

    1. Thanks Rebecca, I think that is the trick when you are unsure of the fabric, nail the style. Animal prints are trending, so consider giving it a go.