Painted zebra wrap dress, B5320

Pattern Description: MISSES' DRESS: Mid-knee, lined wrap dresses A, B have inseam pockets, pleated collar, front princess seams and gathered back. A: cap sleeves. B: sleeveless. I choose a modified version of B.

NOTIONS: 1/2" Wide Ribbon and One Snap. Didn't use ether.

RECOMMENDED FABRICS: Lightweight Stretch Broadcloth, Linen and Crepe. Unsuitable for obvious diagonals. Allow extra fabric to match plaids or stripes. Use nap yardages/layouts for pile, shaded or one-way design fabrics.

Pattern Sizing: BB(8-10-12-14), F5(16-18-20-22-24)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Mostly, except for minor changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Pretty straight forward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Liked the gathers and pockets. Disliked the gathered back upper and the voluminous collar.

Fabric Used: 100% cotton print by J.Crew from Haberman's. I know! They got a pretty good shipment in last week. I was shocked at my luck! No stretch, sateen. Feels like butta, cuts like butta, sewed like butta! 2 yards of lining, but I only used 1.25yds. And there's enough left for a pencil skirt! Yea!

Pattern alterations or any design changes made:

Waistline: shortened by 1.5 inches.

Gathers: Decreased the gathers on the front side and back panel by about 4 inches on each piece. I cut 4 inches off so the skirt was not that fluffy! I can't imagine using all that fabric on my derrière. This was enough!

Collar ruffle: I didn't use the pattern piece, I drafted my own. Reducing the width by more than half. Modified the length to fit only around the neckline. The knife pleats are randomly placed and alternate to each side. After the ruffle was stitched and steamed (not pressed because I didn't want to deal with the crease down the middle of my ruffle), I reshaped the ruffle (separating the flat ruffle, slightly twisting then securing with pins & steamed) for a miniature crushed ruffle look.

Back upper: For a more fitted look, I added 2 custom back darts, so I didn't have to do the upper back gathers. Its very simple to do if you have a good form. If not you may want to swap it out for another favorite pattern piece with darts.

Hem: Raised the hem by 2 inches. Machine sewed lining, hand stitched fashion fabric hem.

Inside: Understitching, helped everything lay nicely. Oh, I didn't interface the front facing at all. The fabric has good weight, and I wanted to keep the swing!

Belt: Is supposed to be cut on the bias. Instead I cut it on the grain, just to go with the flow, especially on the back view. And I like the contrast of the vertical bow tails with the horizontal stripes on the skirt. For the longer left belt pattern, I added a little lightweight interfacing, so that it wouldn't sag, it's pretty crisp. This was done before the turn.

Lining: I only had to alter the pattern by .75inch on each side. I liked that the skirt linings are separate pattern pieces.

Pockets: The pattern calls for the facing and pocket to be used by the fashion fabric. I faced with lining. The pockets are nice and deep!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Hmmmm...this is a really great real wrap dress, would be nice to try sans collar with 3/4 sleeves & a neckline modification, but one is enough for now!

Conclusion: I love this dress! Its very comfortable and breezy! I know I've broken a cardinal 'look slimmer rule' with gathers, ruffles and wide horizontal stripes, but some how it works! Right? Whatcha think?


  1. HOLD THE PHONE. Fabric stores sell J Crew fabric?! Or is this just a lucky match?

  2. Ok. Do hold the phone! My local fabric store (family owned BTW, not a chain) has a buyer. This is usually the owner (or another person) that makes seasonal trips to New York City to see what goodies they can bring back to their store to sell. Chain stores usually don't go this route. They order their fabrics many months in advance and it shows up in plastic wrap to their hundreds of locations. So your best bet is to find a not-a-chain fabric store and get to know the buyer...then you can put in a special request for a specific piece/brand that you are looking for. So in this case, the buyer has awesome tastes and is up to date in the world of fashion, and I do enough research to easily spot them. I've only seen a bit of behind-the-scenes action in LA fashion district...and that was an education. Haven't been to NYC fashion district, but hopefully I will before 2011!! And this is not a lucky match. It is J.Crew fabric that was sold off because the retailer/manufacturer is done with it. Like butta! My recommendation is to actually go to Mood fabrics, LA or NY and you will see designer fabrics in overload, Oscar, Vera, Herrera etc...~HLT

  3. Do you mean B5320? I've been watching that pattern for a while, no fabric for it yet though. Love your dress and collar modifications, really great dress!

  4. WOW! What a lot of work! It's gorgeous, and your review and pictures are entertaining and awesome!

  5. Thanks Jana for pointing that out. Typo corrected!

  6. You dress is just too fabulous! It does look like it should be in the J. Crew Spring/Summer catalog! Just fabulous!

  7. The fabric is awesome and you look adorable in that dress!

  8. Wow J. Crew!! That dress turn out fabulous!!

  9. Love it! Your fabric is awesome

  10. Love love love it! It is super flattering on you and I love the fabric choice.

  11. Two snaps up! Fresh and pretty!

  12. Beautiful! You did an awesome job..

  13. Love it - oh, and I want to have your local fabric store in my locale!

  14. Really cute! I like your version with the zebra (love zebra print.) I got some J Crew fabric from Eliot Berman, and it is really nice... thought I also wish I had your local store here!

  15. Truly lovely creation! Stunning on you. Love what you did with the ruffle!

  16. Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment! I wore this dress 2 days ago and I can't wait to wear it again! I was worried about wrinkling, sitting in the car, but the fabric held up great! Even at the end of the day when I put it on the hanger...it still looked polished, front and back! Thanks for reading!


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