I am way too frugal to buy designer clothes. Issa makes some beautiful dresses, but even at 70% off, I still can't bring myself to fork over the money. (The dress in the second picture was originally $782 and was on sale for $234.) So once again, I thought I'd test my sewing and construction skills and attempt to recreate the look. Luckily, I had some zebra print IKEA sheets just lying around ...
Step 1: Materials Needed
3 yards (or more) of zebra print fabric
Your custom-fit dress pattern (see my previous instructable Shutter-Pleat Shift Dress)
Basic sewing supplies
--Chalk or fabric marker
Step 2: Create Pattern and Cut Out Fabric
For details on how to create a custom dress pattern, see Step 2 of my Shutter-Pleat Shift Dress instructable.Once you have the pattern, using a marker and a ruler, divide the pattern into five sections on both the front and back pieces. Just like the ISSA dress, there should be two sections above the waistline and three sections below the waistline. Make the sections align between the front and back pieces.
Treat each section of the pattern as if it's its own pattern when cutting out the fabric. From the second picture, you can see that I alternated between the sheet fabric, which has a more open zebra pattern, and the pillow fabric, which has a tighter zebra pattern. Leave a 1/4-inch seam allowance around each purple line. Cut fabric on the bias grain for optimum flexibility and drape. And don't forget to transfer the front darts to the fabric!
Step 3: Sew
First sew the darts on the front of the dress. Then using a straight stitch and a 1/4-inch seam allowance, sew the pieces of the front part of the dresses together and iron the seams down. Repeat for the back of the dress. Then sew the front and back pieces together, making sure the horizontal seams align. Press side seams open when finished.
Step 4: Elastic Waist Option
To give your dress more definition in the waist, sew a 1/4-inch elastic band into the seam allowance near the waistline. Sewing it into the seam allowance only will prevent any visible stitching on the dress. Stretch the elastic while keeping the fabric of the seam allowance as flat as possible and use a zig-zag stitch.
Step 5: Hem Along the Bottom, Arm, and Neck
For the bottom hem, take an extra strip of the zebra fabric. Make sure it is the same length as the bottom of the dress. Fold the strip in half (wrong sides together) and press. Using a straight stitch, sew the folded strip to the bottom of the dress, rough edges together and right sides together. Hem along the arms and the neck hold to finish. Try on and enjoy!