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.
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.
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.