Italian Style: Animal Print & Black

Animal Print Dress Title

Animal Print & Black style has been haunting me since the wedding of my beautiful friend in Stresa, a magical, small town in north Italy. It was early December and I took a walk to discover the little city. It was amazingly pretty. The foggy mountains and  the seagulls above the icy sea gave a mysterious feeling to it.  As I wandered around amazed by the beauty of the sights, I spotted another treasure. I was passing by the windows of a small designer boutique with leopard print and black creations in it.


I always have very mixed feeling towards animal patterns. There is a very thin line between looking cheap or fabulous wearing it. I loved the idea of it’s black fabric combination. It certainly gives a stylish, elegant touch to the dress. The shop was closed but I wanted the look.

I went on a quest to find suitable materials to recreate my own animal pattern & black dress. A simple black stretch cotton is easy to find but I searched through couple of fabric shops until I found a leopard patterned one.

The pattern was an easy decision as October Burda magazine had an amazing dress that I wanted to make for a long long time but couldn’t decide on a fabric combination. They say everything happens for a reason, right? 😀 So I drew it out to see how the Italian idea would work and it clicked.

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To recreate the look you will need:

  • pattern from Burda 10/2014 (pattern 101A)
  • 1,40 m wide 1,60 m long from black stretch cotton fabric
  • 1,40 m wide 1 m from animal pattern cotton fabric
  • 60 cm black zip

Trace the patterns and cut the pieces from the fabrics. This dress has 12 pieces. That seems a lot but I actually prefer to work with more but smaller pieces because I enjoy putting the puzzle together. 😛

IMG_9045 copy First, I start with the front, simply sewing the pattern pieces together, starting with the front top parts continuing with adding the fabric of the front skirt.


The same is done with the back parts as well. To add the zip in is a bit more difficult however not rocket science just requires more care and concentration.

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Since it is a stretchy material I contemplated not adding the zip, however the neck is too narrow to pull the head through thus I needed it.


Once you have the front and back part ready, you need to sew them together by the shoulders.

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Now, all what it is missing are the sleeves. Solve and sew the puzzle for the sleeves too to prepare them ready to be added to the dress. You need to sew the rounded part of the sleeves to the armhole cut out in the dress.

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To finish, sew in one go from the end of the sleeve, through to the armpit and down the side of the dress. Seam the bottom of the dress and sleeves.


And here I have it! The animal pattern & black dress inspired straight from Italy 😛

  • Comments

  • avatar

    nice work the mix of print and solid black color is great!

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