Hot! The “Sick as a …..Leopard?” skirt

The Facts

Fabric: thrifted 100% cotton leopard print = $1.99
Pattern: Simplicity 7216
Year: 1967
Notions: tan couloured zipper = $1
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: not yet
Wear again? Yes!
Total price: $2.99



I’m letting my dress form stand in for me this week because I’m sick and not willing to take off my jammies.  As for the title of this post, I was going to say “sick as a dog”, but having lived with dogs before, I’ve never seen one look particularly sick…….so leopard it is.

I’ve been pinning a lot of leopard prints lately, but what actually inspired me this week was a skirt worn by a toddler at my daughter’s daycare.  Not being the type to snap candid photos of someone else’s child and post them on the internet, you’ll have to make due with my Pintrest photos.  My only hesitancy about making a leopard print skirt was the fact that I live in Montreal, and once Quebecoise women reach “a certain age”, they tend to do three things:  dye their hair a garish shade of red, wear ill-fitting white capri jeans with cheap high heeled sandals, and most importantly, wear WAY TOO MUCH animal print.  Usually it is a cheap synthetic with lots of stretch and added sequins.  And worn too small.  *shudder*

To avoid this fashion travesty, I chose a 100% cotton fabric and made an A-line skirt, rather than going with a tight pencil skirt or a super short miniskirt.  Here’s a wide shot, the way I would have worn it to take photos today.  I used a vintage zipper that I got in a big mixed bag at a thrift store for a few dollars, and luckily it matches quite well.  (The other zips are quite interesting: heavy metal ones, funky ones with ring pulls, invisible ones…….every colour of the rainbow.  I’m waiting for a zipper challenge to use some of them in different ways.)

The zip looks a bit sloppy, now that I see it up here, but I won’t nitpick.  I slip-stitched the hem to make the stitches invisible.  This is a great simple pattern that I’ve used before, but somehow I ended up making a measuring mistake this time around:  because the waist measurement is 10cm too small for me, I usually just add the needed width to the centre front and back seam when I cut the fabric, but somehow this time I added twice the needed width, which meant I had to pick out one set of darts, reset them and then correct the side seam.  That added an extra hour to the time; hopefully I’ll remember correctly the next time I use this pattern!  I blame it on constantly switching between metric and imperial measurements when I’m sewing.  Why can’t everything be standardized?!? (and by standardized, I mean metric  :P)

And the good thing about being a scrap saver?  We can use the leftovers for yayas (our family vernacular for stuffed animals.  It’s a long story, but basically my son started it and now the whole extended family calls stuffed animals “yayas”.)

A Totoro was requested, so I drew a sketch that would fit the scraps, then sewed around the sides with a 1.5mm stitch and a 5mm seam allowance.  My son cut up some foam into small chunks for stuffing, and my daughter had to get in on the action and ask for a yaya too.  Luckily, she wanted a much easier shape ;)

Have a great week everyone!  I would like to add how much I’ve been enjoying the new format and getting to see everyone’s contributions each week.  There are so many of us that I barely have enough time to read all the posts before the next week’s appear!






Vicki used to sew when she was young and free, but then raising young'uns and bringing home (some of) the bacon took up all her time. Now her closet is full of skinny clothes, maternity clothes and post-partum clothes, none of which fit properly. Maybe that's why she started sewing again in 2010.


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  1. Looks great Vicki, I had to laugh when you mentioned the look of an older lady in leopard print haha, Peg Bundy came to mind I know exactly what you’re saying. Shame she doesn’t fit. Yay for scrap saving.

    • Yeah, Peg Bundy, but speaking Joual (slang Quebecois). It’s a nice look to aspire to in my middle age. (someone needs to invent a sarcasm font. I would use it ALL THE TIME.)

      It does fit really well, and I even wore it to work yesterday. With two pairs of tights and a cardigan over the top. But still, I wore it.

  2. Nice work! And bonus points for Totoro!!!

  3. Wow, I must have been really jacked up on cold meds because I messed up this post! I didn’t put the photo at the top and I totally forgot to put my inspiration photo. Well, I’ll try to stay lucid this week.

  4. Nice skirt! The a-line does make it classier than the look you described.

  5. I think they get confidant about wearing leopard with age – I did! Cute Totaro – love Studio Ghibli films. My cousin used to have a Gaga, her sister had a Ling Ling. Very cute skirt – very wearable

  6. It looks lovely, I don’t think you would be compared to one of those ladies wearing this.

    • Thanks Trish, sorbetsurprise! Although I did get a targetted ad on Facebook the other day for “ – Meet attractive younger men in your area who are looking for women like you!”, so I guess I’ve reached a new demographic ;)

  7. So cute! I’m a total sucker for animal print, especially leopard. But you’re right… some of those women of a certain age live in my city, too. In fact, I just ran into one yesterday in a fantastic leopard jacket. Her hair was black, so it was cool. Hope you’re feeling better :)

    • I remember wearing lots of animal print back in the ’80s (especially zebra print T-shirts), but I haven’t been seeing much until this past season. I’m hoping it’s a fashion moment, and not the fact that I’m reaching “a certain age” that is making me wear it again!

  8. I remember wearing lots of animal print back in the ’80s (especially zebra print T-shirts), but I haven’t been seeing much until this past season. I’m hoping it’s a fashion moment, and not the fact that I’m reaching “a certain age” that is making me wear it again!

  9. Oooh! Love a bit if leopard! Excellent job – I may have to have a go at making your make this look myself.

  10. I’m never quite sure about animal prints (for the very reasons you stated!)but a simple skirt with the tights and plain top plus cardi would work beautifully.

    What’s your dress forms’s name?

  11. Hahahaha…the older Quebeciose ladies quip was too priceless. I’ll have to remember to tell a Montrealer friend at school tomorrow. In Toronto we’d never see that..jokes, of course they’re here too. Nice styling with the tie front sleeveless blouse , guess you’re ready for June eh?