The zigzag dress!

So, it's clear that the world loves zigzags and chevrons, in design and fashion. They are fabulous, I agree. I think it's the contrast of the white and black or whatever colors, plus the bold lines in the pattern, that look so fun and fresh and exciting.

So, with all the zigzag love in home dec, there's also great chevrons and zigzags to wear, and being the DIY-er that I am, I wanted to make myself something zigzag-ey rather than buy.  Inspiration: there's the basic zigzag shift dress, of drapey poly...



And I've also seen a great draped zigzag print dress or two...


But of course I've never seen such a fabric at any fabric store, and I don't like sewing on drapey poly, anyway, and I tend to like more structured dresses. Here's some inspiration for a heavier fabric and more classic style, in this cute multicolored zigzag dress...


Adorable, right!?  But again, do any fabric stores sell such fabric?!!?  Not that I know of... seriously, they would make a lot of money if they did.  We're all out here freezer paper stenciling zigzags and turning striped fabric into chevrons, but could JoAnn stock some zigzag fabric?  Would it be that hard?  Seeeeriously.

Speaking of which, there are also some cute chevron dress options if you want to make your own zaggey fabric. (Clarification: I'm pretty sure the definition of "chevron" is one V-shaped pointy line or lines, like the Chevron logo. And a "zigzag" is an unlimited series of up-down zig-zag V or M shapes and lines, like in a row. Either way, we chevron lovers are underrepresented at JoAnn). Regardless, here's another bold chevron-ey dress inspiration.


So the point of all that is, I wanted to make myself a bold chevron print dress, but didn't know what fabric and therefore what shape. Loose or tight? Straight skirt or full? Sleeves or sleeveless?

I did some Googling and found Premier Prints, Inc, who makes an intimidating number of amazing bold print cottons, mostly for home dec. I used a wide stripe of theirs to make this jacket, and I also got to use this zigzag fabric in Coral/White for this dress!!  They had loads of choices but I went with this one. You'll see.

Now that the fabric was set (7 ounce cotton, I think, sort of heavy and good for curtains, etc.) I could design the dress.  I wanted to show off the pattern with an interesting design detail, but not get too complicated with straps etc.

I used--yet again--McCall's M6350 for the bodice, thinking the pleats would be fun with the also diagonal lines of the zigzags!

I made it strapless this time. Again, thinking about the texture and weight of the fabric, I went with a straight skirt, although I guess pleated might have worked, too.See?

And, not to brag too much, but I totally matched the zigzags in the center back... there's even a little diamond at the waist where the left and right sides meet!


So I finally have a zigzag dress now! Can't wait to wear it to a backyard party or something this summer. What are your styling ideas for it??

And if you want a zigzag or other awesome, bright, bold print, Premier Prints' online store has lots of fun ones!

40 comments

  1. The only problem is that you cannot dry Premier Prints...the colors will fade. I know from experience.

    I suggest Spoonflower for dryable chevron/zig zag fabric, in a variety of fabric choices.

    I do love Premier Prints - it's just I need to be able to dry.

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    1. Interesting, I'll have to see what it looks like when I wash/dry! I have some scraps I can test it out with. It seems to be painted on pretty well so I think it'll work ok...

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  2. This is absolutlely gorgeous! I love everything about it and the style you used showcases the print perfectly!

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  3. I used to take your blog for granted. Maybe even got a bit judgmental a time or two... But since I've been pregnant I've been sewing my own dresses `to find something cute and affordable to wear. And it is so hard!!!! You make it look easy! You are so talented and so good. Your blog is my favorite and I seriously admire everything you make!

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    1. Wow, thanks for your comment! So nice to hear! I'm sure you're doing great learning to sew, and by the time the baby comes you'll be a pro! =)

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  4. Lovely! My last chevron dress was a big hit - something so satisfying about geometry sometimes. Really love your dress - I have a neon mini zig zag print I bought in NYC and I've been struggling to come up with an appropriate pattern but a structured sheath may be just the thing.

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    1. That sounds like awesome fabric! Geometry is fun...

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  5. I went to JoAnn last night in hopes of finding a chevron print - no such luck! I would have even settled for a bold striped print I could have used - also no luck. Darn!

    Love your dress though!

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    1. Yep, hard to find there!! I think online is the way to go. Or some garment district somewhere if you live in a big city, but I don't.

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  6. Anonymous7/19/2012

    AWESOME dress!!!!!!

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  7. That truly is a gorgeous dress! Good job!

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  8. Great dress - I love that fabric. I've been looking for some chevron prints for a skirt as I think it would be a great bold print for something like that. I really love your ability to mix bodices / skirst from different patterns - it's not something I've tried yet, but your blog always offers such great inspiration, I'm going to have to try it soon!

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    1. Thanks! It's super easy to mix and match bodices and skirts, if the waist sizes match up (or if you just add a pleated or gathered skirt). And just getting used to patterns and designing helps! A chevron or zigzag skirt would be fun.

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  9. I love the print you chose! I'm pretty sure I have seen some chevron prints at fabric depot if you ever make it out to the east side :)

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  10. This is, in my humble opinion, the most fabulous thing you've ever made. I adore it. Absolutely adore it.

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  11. lol...omg i never comment but i had to let you know how much i relate to you about the fabric choices at Joanns. I usually leave empty handed from there, so frustrating. i would be ecstatic if they started carrying striped or Chevron fabric, seriously its so popular why wouldn't they, right?

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  12. Love it! That fits you perfectly. There are some adorable chevron prints at a shop near me, and I want to try sewing one as soon as i think my stripe matching skills are up to it. You can order from the store online and I think they ship all over. It's a Riley Blake Design and it looks like they have 7 colors. http://www.fiveeighthseams.com/category-s/1891.htm

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    1. Those are great! Thanks for the link!

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  13. Cute! I love the way you played with the pattern in the bodice details. This would be fun for a 4th of July party, but I would totally wear it to the office with a cardigan, too!

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  14. This dress looks fabulous! Love it!!

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  15. Gorgous!! I love the pattern you picked and how the zigzags intersect with each other. It makes it so interesting.

    I'm not sure if you watch Madmen, but it reminds me a lot of the coral chevron jacket Megan wore this season: http://pinterest.com/pin/87960998942212209/

    And when I was poking around for chevron fabric myself a while back, I found some on SpoonFlower. At $18/yard for cotton it's not super cheap, but it's cool that you can customize it and even order poplin or voile: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/706293

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    1. Thanks! Oh, yes, same colors! Nice that Spoonflower has weight choices.

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  16. This is so cute! I agree - Jo-Ann's really should start paying closer attention to trends and what customers are looking for. Well done finding the perfect zigzag though.

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  17. LOOOVE YOUR NEW DRESS!!!

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  18. I love the chevron trend, I have my eye on some pale blue fabric at the moment.

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  19. Erica R. S.7/19/2012

    So beautiful!!!

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  20. That is fantastic, it works so well!

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  21. That dress looks amazing! I admire how well you matched the stripes, I have a hard time doing that with my own projects.

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  22. I LOVE your dress ~ I really would like one of my own :)

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  23. I love it! I wish I could sew.

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  24. I may have to make one of these for myself. I have really enjoyed the dresses you have been sharing over the summer.

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  25. Zigzags and chevrons are my favourite.
    I love these elements designed in dress. So fashion.

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  26. This is awesome! You're so talented!

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  27. I would wear this with white or bead retro bead necklace. Something bold but that won't distract from the dress.

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  28. I have died and gone to dress heaven.

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