I'm not sure what it is lately, but Ella and I both are drawn to zebra fabrics! Remember this Darling Daisy Top I made her a few weeks ago? Well, it had zebras on it, too! We bought both zebra fabrics at The Fabric Studio, a new fabric store in town. This hot pink, large zebra head version is called Zahara by Alexander Henry fabrics. I had admired this large print zebra fabric on multiple occasions to the shop, but I couldn't quite decide which project would be ideal to use it on. Then I saw Susan from Living with Punks version of the Busy Lizzy dress and knew instantly that the zebras would work!
Originally, I thought I had purchased enough of the zebra fabric to make the entire sleeveless Busy Lizzy Dress pattern, but when I laid out the pattern pieces, I didn't have enough fabric to cut out the entire back! So, seeing the markings I made on the pattern piece the last time I sewed this pattern (see the previous long-sleeved version HERE), I decided to piece the back again.
At first, I thought about using a stretch lace or some other sheer fabric, but when we paid another visit to The Fabric Studio, I found this beautiful ecru eyelet fabric by Robert Kaufman and just knew it would be perfect! And it is! The color matches the zebra's face, and the scale of the eyelet design is the ideal proportion to compliment the large scale zebra print.
Plus, I absolutely LOVE how this small addition of eyelet fabric made this wild animal dress even more interesting! The eyelet also provides more ventilation to the dress making it ideal for spring and summer-time play at the zoo! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have Ella wear it to the zoo, now could I?
To add a tiny bit more interest to the dress, I went with a bright orange bias trim to detail the armhole and neck openings, but I kept the bottom hem simple and just turned it up for a 5/8" hem. Total time to sew this dress was about an hour and a half!
I love the front pleat, and just look at the amazing print matching I did!
I used the size 6 for this dress just as I had for the previous one. It fits well, but next time, I think I'll go ahead and use the size 7 for a little more wiggle room at the arm holes. Ella is apparently going through a growth spurt, and I am finding that we are moving up to size 7 faster than we moved from size 5 to 6!
So here's a little tip. If you love a fabric but don't have enough to sew a particular project, consider using eyelet fabric to piece it together. You might just come up with something you love like I did!
Fit: Good but a little snug under the arms.
Would I sew this again: Most definitely, but I'll make the size 7 next time!
Thanks for stopping by today! Have fun sewing!