The Disaster of the Zebra Dress
Disclaimer: This project wasn’t really a disaster, but the dramatic title just sounded better. 🙂
So. As you have probably noticed by now, I really like to make pieces for my wardrobe. What you may not know is that I am terrible at following pattern directions – which is one of the reasons I just started making my own patterns. But pretty much without fail, I’ll start making something, and I’ll think, oh, that part looks weird – or more frequently, oh, it would like so much better if I did it like this! So then I just ignore the directions and change it to be how I want it.
Most of the time, I can make my ideas work, and I like the end result better than the original. However, that isn’t exactly what happened with this zebra dress.
The first problem was that I saw this fabric and had a vision of what I wanted the dress to look like, but I didn’t have a pattern that fit that vision. And since I had taken zero pattern making classes at the time, I decided to just kind of combine a couple of the patterns that I did have and figure it out from there.
Matt does an impression of me sewing, saying “Oh shoot!”, and ripping out what I’ve just sewn. (He thinks it’s very hilarious.) And honestly, that’s pretty much what happened here. I put the dress together, and when I tried it on, I realized that the waist of the dress was about an inch above my waist. So that wasn’t going to work. Which meant that I then tore out the waist seam and cut out entirely new pieces for the top (making them about an inch longer this time).
I also needed to shorten the skirt to make the proportions right, but I’d already sewn in the hem (by hand) and I didn’t want to redo it. So I took length from the top of the skirt instead. That would have been fine, except I somehow managed to cut unevenly so that the back of the skirt was just longer than the front.
Once I got the top/skirt lengths figured out and sewn together, I realized that I needed to take the top in. A lot. (Story of my life.) Which led to what felt like a million tries (but was actually probably only three) of me taking in the top and keeping the shape of the dress in tact while not making the hip/butt area any smaller.
In the end, I got the dress to fit, and unless you look closely, you (probably) can’t tell that the back of the skirt is slightly longer and the side seams are at a slight angle.
All in all, I’ll take it.
P.S. You can see some of my projects here (a floral romper), here (a tulle skirt tutorial), here (a fur vest), and here (a patterned pencil skirt — also my very first outfit post). All of them were far more successful than this dress. 🙂