Thursday, March 20, 2014

WILD ZEBRA Rockin' Ballet Dress

The 9th Season of Project Run and Play has begun!  I love this internet sewing contest and am planning on sewing along with all 4 challenges.
The first challenge is called, "Put Me in the Zoo" Challenge.  The contestants are to take inspiration from their favorite (or their child's favorite animal) and design and construct an outfit.

Can you guess Miss E's favorite zoo animal?

Marty the Zebra from Madagascar 3 singing "Circus Afro"
Drawing source:

Therefore my creative design is called:
WILD Zebra Rockin' Ballet Dress

I used Butterick Pattern B5845 for the upper bodice on this dress.

One of the design features that I loved on this pattern are the 14 pieces that make up the front and back of the bodice top. 


 Other than fit alterations, I did make one change in the bodice. That was to combine the 2 pieces of the center front and fill that space with a tucked fabric panel.

When I lined the inside of the bodice, I combined the upper and lower pieces  by over lapping the 5/8 inch seam allowances and then cutting out the combined piece.
So the lining looked like this before I attached it to the dress:

See, that created only 7 pieces for the lining instead of 14. 
Instead of a gathered petticoat under the dress, I added 4 layers of netting over the cotton poplin zebra fabric. 
 I edged the netting hem edges with 2 different types and widths of ribbon so you could visually tell there were multiple layers.

I increased the width of the skirt on the dress to 2 1/2  times the bodice bottom edge, as I wanted the ruffled skirt to be very full. With the four layers of netting and the increased width of cotton poplin to gather, this made it harder to work with, so you have to be willing to give it a go!
 Notice that the bodice extends below the natural waistline.

If you want to view a tutorial or learn more details about how I created this dress, click on the words below to go to previous posts that I wrote while sewing this dress:

How I created the tucked panel
How I  added ribbon to the edges of the netting 

"I'm a wild zebra!" 
" But don't put me in the zoo...okay?"


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Carin,
      This dress makes me want to be seven again!

  2. Ok, you put all the effort into this dress. is it the pleated front or the 14 piece bodice, or the overlay with black trim? It all just so lovely. hoping you will win the dress for the week! Regards.

    1. Zoeope,
      I'm glad that you liked all the details. My granddaughter loves it...and that is what really matters. When we sew for those important people in our life, we want them to feel special.

  3. Oh, what a fun dress! A lots of thoughts went into this dress...and you made it beautifully!

  4. Your zebra inspiration is so fun!

  5. Okay, I can't stop singing "Circus Afro, Circus Afro...Polka dot, Polka Dot" Hehehe. Great job!

  6. Amazing, simply amazing! The tucked panel on the front is definitely my favorite part! We did a simple reverse appliqué zebra hoodie this week for one of our pieces, but your work is simply amazing!

  7. This beyond adorable-love the black edge on the white tulle!


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