Cheetah Dress DIY

Okay, so I’m sharing a secret with you guys. This dress I’m about to show you, is my life.

Before I go any further just know you don’t have to be an experienced sewer to do this! Sewing comes with time and patience. But if you are an experienced sewer and would like to finish this dress off (the hem, neckline and sleeves then be my guest, but show me pics!)

I chose not to finish the edges, which sounds crazy- I know, but with the ITY that I used and the knits that I have used, its not necessary and I like it a little rough. And you heard right, I’ve done this DIY with Knits and ITY.. AKA I’ve made a TON, they are my absolute GO TO.

I’ve even thrown one together minutes before work… that’s actually how this all started. With that said, lets get started!

Step 1: Pick out a fabric. I LOVE my ITY (which I’m giving 2yrds away to a random special someone) I used 1.5 yards, but bought 2yrds to be safe.CHeetah.png

These are the two knits I have also used before (pictures with the dresses below)

Step 2: Gather your tools


Step 3: Pin the sleeve to your shirt IN, like so…unnamed-1.jpg

Step 4: Lay your fabric out, make sure you are “minding the grain” as my teacher has always told me (so that it stretches the correct way). I personally, lay my fabric out flat, then fold in each side according to how much fabric I need so that I have a solid middle piece remnant. You will then lay your shirt on top of the fabric down the center front. You can pin this down if your ITY is moving around too much.


Step 5: Use your ruler to measure from your shoulder to the ground, this will be how long you want to cut your dress continually extending it as your t-shirt follows.

** I wanted this dress to be formfitting and a little bit edgy, so I followed the cut of my shirt, if you want it loose and non formfitting, add 2-3 inches as shown below, when doing this, you may want to add a piece of elastic to the back, if you don’t know how to do this, please comment and ill add the steps **


Repeat steps 4 & 5: This will be your back, you should end up with TWO cuts that look the same, like this…


Step 6: Who loves french seams?! Because I know I do!! To those who are unfamiliar, we are going to start by sewing the dress together as if you are actually wearing it. That means pattern print goes OUTWARD. Starting with the shoulders, we pin, then sew (I used a stretch stitch)unnamed-8.jpg

Sew the shoulders and the sides

Step 7: Trim your garment to 1/4″ from the seam like so


Step 8: Now the magic happens! Flip the dress inside out and sew 1/2″ stitch unnamed-10.jpg

Sew the shoulders and the sides

AND THAT’S IT! I can’t stop making these nor do people stop giving me compliments on them. This in total takes me about 20 minutes (if that) to make.

Here’s how I wore (wear) it!




Bring on the shoppers…

What a fun Saturday morning! Last Saturday, July 20th, we had over 80 of MimiG’s followers descend on our store. Mimi and I have been talking about this day for months. When we started discussing the numbers I think it was around 50, but it quickly rose and before I knew we were up to 89 shoppers. I just wanted to share a few pics from the morning and give a big thank you to Mimi, her great family who was there to support her, and of course the shoppers. We had a great time answering your questions, feeling fabric with you, searching for what you wanted, and watching our fabric cut like crazy! We hope you guys had as good of a time as we did. We can’t wait to see what everyone makes with the fabric they bought, as well as the fabric from your goodie bag. Make sure to tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Here are a few pics…


Setting up the goodie bags


Yummy snacks from Panera and Coffee Bean.


We made one of Mimi’s dresses so everyone could see it in person. This fabric is almost sold out. I can’t wait to wear this dress in Hawaii. It is so comfortable!


And the cutting begins!photo

Just one of the many hold piles. The knits stretch wovens, and cottons were all hot sellers.




Lining up to get questions answered from Mimi. This went on for the entire 3 hours. Mimi is a great source of knowledge and you could tell this group really wanted to absorb as much as they could from Mimi, as well as the Michael Levine staff.


Bringing more fabric from the warehouse. There were a few prints that everyone really liked. We can’t wait to see how everyone interprets the same fabric in different ways.


Checking out and our new Michael Levine bags. Don’t forget to check in on August 6th to see how you can win a goodie bag of your own. I will announce the details on our Facebook page.


Larry, the owner, and I had to get a picture with Mimi. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know her this year.


More shoppers checking out of The Loft, our “per pound”

Even while everyone was waiting for the bus to arrive they were asking questions and getting information.




And the bus arrives. Whew. What a fun-filled 3 hours! We really enjoyed our time with you guys. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter so you can keep up with everything we’re doing. If you’re a local, make sure to say hi when you visit again and if you’re from out-of-town, don’t forget you can still shop us at Again, we can’t wait to see what you make from all the fabric you bought. Have fun!


The bloggers came to town…

I just want to share a few photos and say a big thank you to the 22 bloggers that came and visited Michael Levine & It was really nice to meet these women. Most of them are moms, they all sew, and they love to post pics on Instagram. Needless to say we hit it off immediately!

They were scheduled to arrive at 12:30pm.


Once I was done setting up for them, I decided to walk downstairs and see if they were here yet. As I crossed the street from my office this is what I saw…


I knew I had found them. There was no shortage of hand-held devices.

It was so fun watching them all take pics and get so excited as Larry & I took them on a behind the scenes tour. Many of these bloggers were from out of town so they had never been to the garment district or our store. We started our tour in the Home Decorating store and that moved to the warehouse. They were in heaven…


(Entering the warehouse)


(They can’t believe their eyes, so much fabric)Image

(Three stories of fabric)                                                               (photo from Little Hooligans)

Once we were done with our tour, and lots of laughing, we sent them off to shop. Between the Loft, the Apparel store & the Home Decorating store it was a full day. Here are a few of the bloggers getting up close and friendly with the fabric they found….Image

Leanne Barlow from with some amazing sequin chevron
(photo from Leanne Barlow)


Caila from loving The Loft (fabric by the pound)
(photo from Caila)


Merrick from with some two tone sequin
(photo from Marrick)

They all left with lots of fabric and I’m so excited to see what they make.


A very full trunk                                  (photo from Melissa Esplin)

If you want to check them out, just #fabricweekend2013 on Instagram and/or Twitter and you will find them. There are lots of pics on Instagram, as well as on each blogger’s individual blog. Lastly, make sure you visit The Train to Crazy and enter to win one of the five prizes from this Fabric Weekend Giveaway.

Hopefully these bloggers will inspire you and you will come back to us and buy your fabric.