A Purple Safari Dress

Sew Well - The Purple Zoo Dress - McCall's M4758

“Pose for the camera, sweetie.”

The above picture happens. Laughter ensues. And, I realize it’s best to be really literal. From then on I ask her to smile for the camera.

But, I learned through the process that getting her to “pose” is one of the best ways to get her to pause long enough to avoid blurry photos. At least until I make the time to read up on ways to take advantage of faster camera shutter speeds! So, you get the wonderfully posed picture above since it’s one of the only ones that clearly shows off the front of my daughter’s new dress.

Sew Well - The Purple Zoo Dress - McCall's M4758

As with most of my Mood Sewing Network projects, this one started with the fabric. I found this Bright Lavender/Dark Gray Slubbed Animal Printed Cotton Voile in Mood’s cotton section and thought my daughter would just love all of the animals and trees hidden in the print. We’re well on our way through the twos, and every day is a joy… and an adventure. My daughter is slowly discovering her independence, and with that has come an insistence on picking out her own clothes. Twirly dresses are a particular favorite, so I knew this lavender print was destined to become a twirly dress.

I had McCall’s M4758 in mind since its full, tiered skirt looked like it had a lot of twirl potential. To add a bit of contrast, I found a Tinted Cream/Stone Polka Dotted Cotton Poplin also in Mood’s cotton section to use as the bodice of the dress. Construction was pretty much exactly the same as the last time I made this dress.

Sew Well - The Purple Zoo Dress - McCall's M4758

I finished off the look with coconut buttons and a pale lavender ribbon trim from my stash. I edge stitched the ribbon to the bodice, just barely overlapping the bottom of the ribbon with the waist seam, hiding the seam in the process. I ended the edge stitching a couple inches from center back so that the ribbon could be tied at the back. I really like how the polka dots show through the slightly transparent ribbon!

I sewed the coconut buttons on backwards since I liked the raw color on the back of the buttons paired with the stone-colored polka dots. Finally, I lined the bodice with some white cotton voile from my stash.

Sew Well - The Purple Zoo Dress - McCall's M4758

Just as the last time I made this dress, I left off the bottom tier of the dress. Last time it was because I didn’t have enough fabric. This time it was because my daughter requested a cape to go with her dress, and I wouldn’t have had enough fabric to do more than piece together a small cape if I’d added the bottom tier. Capes currently rank right up there with twirly dresses in my daughter’s opinion!

Sew Well - The Purple Zoo Dress - McCall's M4758

We typically make capes for her by pinning our cloth napkins around her neck. I debated making a few cloth napkins from the lavender animal print and using them as multi-purpose capes. But, in the end I decided to make her a dedicated cape with a bonus tier that mimicked the tiers on her dress. The extra tier also adds a fun amount of volume to the bottom of the cape. I added buttonholes to the top corners and cinched everything together with a bit of the leftover ribbon trim.

Sew Well - The Purple Zoo Dress - McCall's M4758

Both dress and cape were a hit with my little girl. I’m happy to have finally made her a couple things she can wear whenever she wants that don’t have a tail or feathers because they were meant for Halloween! The cute fabric was also a nice bonus that kept me motivated to find the time to sew a little bit every day!

Sew Well - The Purple Zoo Dress - McCall's M4758

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Comments


  • Angela
    May 18, 2016

    Both daughter and dress are adorable!

    • Sew Well
      May 18, 2016

      Thanks! I’m quite biased, but I’d have to agree with you 110%!

  • Amanda S.
    May 18, 2016

    Oh so cute! I know firsthand how hard it is to get pictures at this age and have many blurry shots.

    • Sew Well
      May 18, 2016

      Taking good photos of her has gotten so hard! I must have taken a million photos of her in this dress for this post, and almost all of them were a crazy blur. Oh well. It gives me the excuse to spend more time playing with her and less time behind a camera trying to capture everything!

  • Elle
    May 18, 2016

    Love the matching body art!

    • Sew Well
      May 18, 2016

      Oh, I know. She insists on coloring all over herself whenever she gets her hands on some markers. Twirly dresses, capes, and body art!

  • Fiona
    June 2, 2016

    O so gorgeous! I love the animal print Liberty designs and the fabrics and accents you’ve chosen to go with it are just perfect. The cape tops it all off!