Hot off the back of the struggles with my last BHL Anna dress, I thought I’d launch into this one, to try out the adjustments I’d made last time.
The fabric is a zebra print rayon from Spotlight – it comes as a black and white print, and I dyed it green using Dylon dye. I initially did it in the washing machine and it came out a pale pale mint colour, so I re-did it in a pot on the stove. The pot wasn’t really big enough so there were a few areas with less dye uptake, but with the pattern you can’t really see them. I cut around the biggest areas. The dye colour is imaginatively called ‘green’.
I cut everything on the cross grain to have the pattern going the way I wanted, and I got this out of 3m of fabric, since the fabric was quite wide. I cut the skirt 4″ shorter than the pattern, knowing it would be still too long, which it was. But when I trimmed the hem after trying on somehow it came out all wonky and one side was already a bit shorter than I wanted it – I guess I wasn’t paying much attention by that point. So I evened it out and serged it and left it at that. Luckily I had bought thread that exactly matches the colour.
I cut the bodice with adjustments made last time – an extra inch on each bodice seam tapering to nothing at the underarm. But it came out too big! I think this is because it’s a loose, drapey fabric, AND it’s on the cross grain, so it doesn’t really need as much wriggle room as my last version, in a much firmer fabric, did. I unpicked and sewed in smaller, so there’s still probably an extra 1/2″ at the side seams. I’m not sure I like it, it makes it just loose enough that it feels a bit frumpy.
However, it maybe doesn’t matter because this dress is probably doomed. Even as making it I was worried it would be too much. In theory, I really like it. But I think it’s not ME enough to feel ok wearing something so loud. I am debating whether to give it some time and a few wearings, or whether to just take it apart now and make it into a skirt and a top. I would probably wear it a lot as a skirt and a top, separately! Trouble being, I’m in dire need of some plain black skirts and without that I’m not sure what I’d pair it with. I have a real hard time finding decent quality bottom-weight fabric, here. And maybe the dress will grow on me? Objectively I think it probably actually looks better on me than the last, teal version. But I just don’t feel as at home in it.
I was going to say that at least I made it for Jungle January. But zebras don’t live in the jungle, they live in the Savannah. So, this is my Sav-anna dress! I did try a little tiger claw action but they were so ridiculous I’ll only show you my reaction to them: