Dresses · Sewing

Project 6 – The Cinema Dress, Version 2

I promised this project a couple of weeks ago but of course, had a bunch of things to sew first. This is another version of the Cinema Dress, by Liesl + Co patterns. You can see the first one I sewed here. Anyway, I bought this gorgeous Art Gallery Fabric in my last little splurge (it was on sale! How could I not?) and couldn’t wait to use it for a new Cinema Dress. The problem is, when I bought it, I didn’t know what I was going to use it for and I only bought 2 yards. Luckily, I had a few modifications in mind, so with some careful placement, I was sure I could make it work.

I didn’t think I had too many changes to make to the pattern, until I wrote out my list. Boy was I surprised! The changes I planned were:

  • Shorten overall length to just above knee
  • Shorten sleeves, and no cuffs
  • No pocket welt, and move pockets to side seam
  • Reduce width from front and back centre panels
  • Drop waist by adding length to the yoke
  • Round out neckline (the pattern had a v-notched neckline)
  • Fully line the dress, as this fabric was a bit sheer

First of all, there were a few pattern pieces I needed to modify, so I started by reprinting all, since I also wanted to make this in a size 4 to make it a little more snugly fitted. By trying on my other dress, I calculated that I needed to take 18cm from the length of the shorter skirt option. I took 5cm from the “shorten here” marking, then took the rest off the bottom, so as to reduce distortion of the pattern pieces. Then, since I wanted to drop the waist by 6cm, I took a further 6cm from the top of the front and back centre panels. I didn’t need to adjust the side panels as the overall length would stay the same. To lengthen the yokes, I cut across them about 8cm from the bottom, then added 6cm of paper between the pieces, and taped them back together. For the neckline, I didn’t need to change the pattern pieces, I just ignored the markings for sewing the v-notch. I took 1.5″ off the fold line for the centre panels to reduce bulk. For the sleeve, I worked out how long I wanted the sleeve to be, then added 1.25″ for hemming. Yeah, I switch between inches and centimetres a lot.


This is how I add length to a pattern piece. Next, I tape the bottom piece of the pattern in line with the line I have ruled on the yellow paper



So, then I set about lining it. Because the fabric was a little sheer, I didn’t want anything to show through, so I cut front and back side panels, centre panels, and yokes out of the main fabric, and then also out of plain white cotton. I then cut the lining yokes and the pockets out of an old white sheet (because I ran out of good white cotton too). I basted the main fabric to the white cotton pieces with a 1/4″ seam.


I forgot to take construction photos of this, so please enjoy this poorly lit, full-length view of the finished dress. Yeah, sorry.


The construction was pretty simple, really. I constructed the yoke and centre panels as normal. Then I attached the side panels, excluding the pockets. Next, I sewed the side seams together, adding the pockets in with the same method listed in the instructions. The pocket instructions seemed a bit cumbersome to me the first time I used them, but they are worth persevering with, as they produce great pockets. Then I added the sleeves, which I had already hemmed for ease. Finally, I hemmed the whole dress. The entire construction phase only took maybe 3 hours. It probably would have been even shorter, but my overlocker really, really didn’t like the cotton sateen sheets that I used for the pockets and bodice lining and just refused to sew over them, no matter what I tried.

And that was it! I am so in love with this fabric and this dress. Fully lining it gave it a little bit more structure, which I liked as I think it worked better with the snugly fit bodice. In fact, I loved this so much that I did something I swore I wouldn’t ever do – I made a matchy-matchy dress for my daughter. Watch out for that project next up.


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My little buddy photobombed all of my completed photos. But that means you get a sneak peek of my next project, so it’s not all bad. Oh, and if you think my hair could look better, I have frizzy hair and it’s always humid…not to mention I spent the 15 mins leading up to this cleaning up vomit. So glamorous!



3 thoughts on “Project 6 – The Cinema Dress, Version 2

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