As soon as I saw the Cinema Dress come up as a new pattern release in Liesl Gibson's Instagram feed, I knew I was going to make it. I love long dresses and here was a pattern with a long hem, a gentle princess line seam over the chest (easy to adjust for a small bust) an a line skirt, and a yoke- I love a yoke! It is at the higher price end for a PDF pattern but it is extremely well designed and well written, and having made a lot of PDF independent designer patterns, I could really see the difference especially in the instructions.
Every detail is covered including all the seam finishing for each and every seam. When pockets are fitted into a seam, I always have to think carefully how they will be finished- what will be enclosed and at which stage; some bits need finishing before they are sewn, some after- but no worries with this pattern as Liesl tells you what to do and when to do it.
I did reduce the curved seam over the bust by a small amount. I didn't make a tester dress, I was confident this was going to work and that there would be enough room in the seams to tweak the sizing. I had seen Daniela's version at Ivy Arch and checked her sizing and it confirmed my hunch that I would be a size 2 on the upper body and size 4 at the waist and hips. Like her, I omitted the notch. I don't like to wear low cut styles- not a great look for me. The alteration is a cinch to do- you just keep sewing along the curved seam rather than creating the notch. I didn't make any further alterations. I made the longer version, view B.
The contrast material is a gorgeous piece of mid 1970s Laura Ashley cotton with a print reminiscent of the wonderful Bath costume museum exhibition from last summer. I won it rather fortuitously at the very first Sewing Directory Exeter meet up and donated by Queen Sue- she knows who she is. I've been saving it for something special and this is exactly the right dress for it.
The blue fabric is Robert Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Royal. It is heavier than many of the floaty RK indigo chambrays around at the moment but still soft and a great weight for cooler weather; easy to work with too.
I even conquered the crappy buttonhole setting on my Janome by using a rounded end buttonhole and foot pressure reduced to 1 so the fabric didn't get stuck and mess the sensor up- for anyone with a Janome with an automatic buttonhole, I hope that makes sense.
I have slight reservations about the welt pocket placement- you know what I'm saying, but they are neat and useful so I'll take my thoughts out of the gutter. There's a strong 1970s vibe with this dress, especially with the fabric choices, and maybe a touch of the Prairie too, and you know that all adds up to an aesthetic that I feel very comfortable with.
You can find a Sew- along for the dress here. Liesl's pattern has its origin in the girl's version of this style, 'Hide and Seek Dress'. Thankyou to my daughter as ever for using her GCSE iArt/photography skills with the pics, taken a few weeks back xxx