Another of my fabric purchases in the UK was this gorgeous silver… I don’t know what to call it, and nor did John Lewis, where I bought it. It has textured white spots, is thick, like a furnishing fabric, and is silver in colour. Perfect for another variation on the Cinema Dress by Liesl + Co. As you know, I’ve made a couple of these already (you can see them here and here), and I wanted to try another take on this dress. For the record, I showed all 3 to a few people and they were all surprised that they came from the same pattern, as they look fairly different.
I wanted the same, lower waist, that I had in my second version of the dress, as well as the sleeve length and bodice fit, and overall length. But, I wanted the skirt to be pleated with inverted box pleats. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise at the time of purchase that the dots looked better with a vertical orientation than horizontal, and had intended to have a full skirt with plenty of pleats. But the width of the fabric and orientation of the dots prevented this, so instead I settled for 6 pleats; two on the front and back, and one on each side.
Construction was fairly simple, as it mirrored what I had done with the second version. I used polyester lining fabric this time as the outer fabric was quite thick and I didn’t want to add too much more bulk or structure – I do live in the tropics, after all! I was pretty nervous about sewing the lining as it frayed pretty badly, so to ensure the seams would hold, I topstitched the lining pieces to ensure the seam allowance was very secure. I didn’t topstitch the outing layer, which although it looks fantastic, does mean that the seam allowance has to be very carefully ironed to ensure there are no unsightly lumps in the bust area.
The maths part of the skirt really hurt my head, mostly because my husband was away and I had all 4 children constantly destroying my will to live/sew. In essence, what I did was measure the completed bodice width, to get the final width required for the skirt. I had to make 2 skirt pieces, and hide the seams in the side pleats. So, to allow for the box pleats, I added 4 inches for each pleat, so 24 inches in total, and 2cm for seam allowance. I measured from the centre of the bodice to the princess seam to get the distance for the first pleat, then marked the centre of the front skirt piece, and marked the bodice distance from there. Then, I marked 2 inches from that, and then another 2 inches. This gave me a group of 3 markings, and to make the pleat I simply folded the outer two markings together, right sides to, sitiched straight down along the marking for 1cm, then turned right side out and lined the stitching up with the centre mark. To make the side seams, I sewed the two skirt panels together using a 1cm seam allowance, then measured 2 inches either side of the seam to give the pleat markings. Then I attached the skirt as usual and hemmed. It was that easy!
Once again I have crummy pictures because we meant to take them before we went out to dinner, but forgot and in the hurry to get this post up I thought night time ones would do. They don’t do this dress justice. The fabric and cut are so pretty that with sandals it’s totally fine for a casual dinner out. But with heels and big earrings, it could totally be worn to a cocktail party. Which I plan to prove, when I next get a chance!