Monday, December 12, 2011

Wild About Leopard!

When I was a young girl, my mom made me a jumper out of black and white fake pony skin.  I loved that jumper.  I was a very horse crazy kid, and in that jumper I felt like I was, well a horse.  The day that jumper no longer fit was a sad day, but leave it to my ingenious mom to sew a stuffed toy horse out of it.  (I named him Charlie horse, and I still have him!)

What I didn’t outgrow was my love of fake fur, but my favorite animal of choice these days is leopard.  I am seeing it everywhere and I couldn’t be happier because I love it.


I bought a yard of faux leopard a few weeks ago to make myself a fancy scarf, and had an idea to try creating bags with the remnants. 

This my first design-using a very tiny-but very cool barkcloth remnant from the 1950s.  The lining is an orange polka dot.  Polka dots are another favorite of mine.

leopard main

And here is the second design-a great vintage floral barkcloth that I believe to be from the 1940s.  In addition to using some faux leopard at the top of the bag, I added little patches on the lower front corners-reminiscent of a vintage suitcase.


I have just a little bit of faux leopard left, enough for another couple bags, and I’m excited to see what I’ll come up with.

And then there is this piece of faux mink I found… 


  1. Oh my goodness, I love it!!! I have been on the lookout for a pair of affordable leopard print shoes.

    ANd thank you my friend for the wonderful comment on my post. It made my day! ANd right back at you!!

  2. You have done it! Leopard and tropical Hawaiian floral. LOVE the combo! You must do more!! :O)

  3. I love your pictures and the leopard print! Of course you are the model, but who takes the pictures--Amy, maybe?

    My sister had a wonderful fake fur leopard print coat that she let me borrow for awhile my freshman year in college. We shared our wardrobes throughout high school, college and our young adult years since we were only 14 months apart in age.

    Unfortunately, while attending a dance, I carelessly threw it on a table where everyone was throwing their coats. It was stolen and I had to ride back to my dorm in a cold car on a cold January night. Then I had to tell my sister. All these years later I still hear about the fake leopard skin coat. It would look wonderful even now, almost 50 years (really, that long ago?) later.

  4. I so love that your mom made your jumper into a horse! That's so cool!

    Your bag ideas are always really fun.

  5. Well I can see now where you get your love of creative sewing from ... Your Mom! What a great idea she had with your jumper. And I love these bags, and seeing animal prints in fashion. Sometimes when there's just a touch of it, like on these bags, it's just the perfect accent.

  6. Gorgeous work, Valerie! (And I'm still envying your shoes!).

  7. Thanks Kim! And I hope you find some shoes. I'll be on the lookout for you, and If I find a fun pair I'll let you know:)

    Lisa-thanks! Leopard and Hawaiian barkcloth! Oh yes!!

    Mary-that is a great story! I'm sure your sister will never let it go:) (I have two sisters myself!)

    Lisa-my mom was pretty clever! Charlie was a pretty cool horse! (And at the time, I thought I was pretty clever to come up with that name!)

    Thanks Joanne! I appreciate that!

    Melissa-thank you! I am so glad to have found the shoes-they really are perfect for my photos, but they kill my feet!

  8. Valerie these are adorable!
    I too cherished the things my mom sewed for me as a kid.
    She paints for me now. :)

  9. Thank you both!!!
    I agree Lisa-it makes me want to go grrrrrrr too! And Ms.G-how wonderful of your mom:)

  10. I love the fabric combinations for the new bags Valerie! Such a sweet story about your stuffed horse. :)

    I've been meaning to tell you that I love those killer shoes in your shop photos.

  11. Crystal-thanks! I've been redoing all my photos slowly, but I can only wear the shoes for about 30 minutes. Then I long for something more sensible!

    I'll post photos sometime of Charlie horse:)