Zebra M6462 Party Dress!


Oh, how I love, love, love Christmas in New York. So festive. And where better to celebrate some holiday cheer than at the famed Plaza Hotel just off Central Park? Look at all those holiday decorations! There are a gazillion public rooms in the Plaza, but these photos feature the beautiful Palm Court and main entrance.

  • Fabric: 2 1/8 yards of zebra-ish knit (no idea what it is, but it’s soooo soft!) from Les Fabriques in Charlottesville, VA; 1/2 yard of black cotton tricot for the bodice lining from Spandex House, NYC
  • Pattern: McCall’s 6462 (knit)
  • Size: 10 with adjustments
  • Notions: Black stay tape to stabilize the neckline
  • Adjustments: omitted center back zipper and just cut pieces on the fold; omitted lining at skirt; omitted inseam pockets; shortened arm straps to remove gaping at front

So, yes, I have a me-made party dress – woohoo! And in fabric that’s kind of unusual for me, how ’bout that? I bought it in 2011, and every time I’ve picked it up since then I’ve thought it’s way too soft a fabric to be sitting there any longer. Well, now I’ve finally gone and turned it into something.

m6462-sideMy half-attempt at a Vanna White pose to show off that nice Christmas display.

With knits, my least favorite part is lining up the pattern pieces. I always cut knits on a single layer rather than on the fold, but it’s still tricky when the ends curl and such. The good news is once this is done, the rest feels like a breeze! This pattern can definitely be made on a regular sewing machine, but I love how my serger handles knits.

Favorite part about knits? I can cut one straight size! With wovens I usually need to go up one size in the waist (only with sewing though; don’t have that problem with RTW…).

I picked up this pattern after Meg the Grand featured it on her blog a couple of years ago as part of McCall’s upcoming holiday lineup. While I didn’t make it for that holiday season, it’s ready to go now!

m6462-sittingAn elderly couple stopped to watch as this photo was being taken. I tried to keep my cool…

Normally I like to do a little pattern research before starting a project, but I could only find one post on Pattern Review and some photos submitted to McCall’s Facebook page (but that was a woven version). So I kind of went into this not knowing what to expect – into the unknowns of the jungle with my zebra print, if you will. It’s actually a pretty straightforward pattern so no worries in the end.

I did need to shorten the sleeves (which are attached to the front bodice piece and gathered at the back) by 2″ in order to remove gaping at the front neckline. This is easy to do – during construction or even years later – because the raw ends of the sleeves are attached to the inside of the back bodice. Unhappy with the fit? Just unpick the threads and move the sleeves to a better position. The raw edges are finished so you don’t need to worry about loose threads.


m6462-backOoooo, the beautiful glass ceiling of the Palm Court restaurant! What shall I order?

To help reinforce the neckline, I added stay tape between the lining and outer fabric before understitching.

I’m sure there’s a reason to have the zipper at center back, but I’ve never had a knit dress with a zipper. Since this one easily fits over my head I left the zipper out and just cut the back pieces on the fold. This also made quick work of the circle skirt. I didn’t adjust the length of the skirt since I like this shorter version – it is a party dress after all!

The lower back where the bodice meets the skirt could be brought in a little for a better fit, but when I wear this with a wide belt you don’t notice it. Since this is a special occasion dress and I always plan to wear it with a belt, I’m okay with the looseness back there. If I had planned to wear it without a belt I would probably need to make a swayback adjustment.

I think this is what made the back of the skirt hang a bit lower than the front from the get go. I was going to hem it even, but then decided the dip in the back was also a fun design element.

m6462-fullSorry for the photo quality of these two last shots. The lighting wasn’t the best in the entrance lobby, but the magic Christmas elf photographer was a trooper.


Please divert your eyes if the blurriness in the last photo is too much for you. As I said, it was tricky to get a good shot here, but I can’t have a holiday post without a beautiful Christmas tree. I mean, sheesh. 😉

Well, that’s it from me. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the holiday season and I’ll see you in the new year!


17 thoughts on “Zebra M6462 Party Dress!

  1. I love this so much! I literally just told someone that I wasn’t going to make any more party dresses and then you had to go and show this off and I’m so jealous! It looks fantastic. I love the zebra print as well – and it’s jersey so it must be insanely comfortably. You look so great and I’m so sad I missed the dress-up happy hour. We must have another party night out before next December!

    • Thanks, Kristin! Haha, I know, the temptation to make more and more dresses is just too much. 🙂 I put By Hand London’s Georgia dress on my Christmas wish-list so if Santa comes through I may be making another party frock in the near future. Missed seeing you at the holiday happy hour, but hope to see you at the next one! Definitely need to have another dress-up occasion. 🙂

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