Saturday, 3 September 2016

Cinema dress pattern

Yesterday I finished sewing the Cinema dress by Leisel and Co. I've not used their patterns before, and as I've had some poor experiences with other pattern companies I went into it with some hesitation.

The dress pattern is really lovely, though, with front panels, a nice loos fit and a good length. I'd looked at other autumn dress patterns as I need something that can transition from warmer to cooler weather, layer well, and feel comfortable. I also had some great cotton slub yarn I had dyed into a soft rose colour that was really suited to this sort of pattern and had that nice relaxed vibe I wanted.

The pattern is pretty easy to follow, with nice clear instructions for constructing the yokes and skirt sections. The side panels are sewn together at the shoulders, then seamed to the dress in one long go, and that gives you a great opportunity to adjust the fit. Overall the fit was good - not too tight around the sides, waist or shoulders. I could probably have graded down for the shoulders and the side panels, and in the centre back, but that's just finessing really.

So, the pattern did trip up in two parts; firstly, the underarm is too high, and related but secondary, the sleeve head is too pointy to accommodate good range of movement, and causes pulling on the upper back whilst also pushing the shoulder seam up. It's just too tight, too high, and too narrow. I don't have very big arms, and at a UK 16 you should expect for a relaxed fit garment for there to be more room in the arm and armpit. I've found this sort of crappy sleeve head in a few patterns now, and it always ruins an otherwise great bodice fit.

So even though the rest of the dress was great, those high pointy ease-less sleeves really let it down.
Luckily I have enough fabric to draft a new sleeve and cut back the armpit to match (I'll use the ever-reliable Schoolhouse Tunic from Sew Liberated as a guide. Ye have never failed me, oh thou good and faithful servant.)

Oh, I almost forgot, although it did seem odd? The length was so...excessive.It came out at ankle-length. Everything else fit, and then there were six inches of extra fabric. I'm 5'7". HOW TALL WAS THE PATTERN MODEL? She must have been a clear 6' for that to have been mid-calf.

Pictures of the in-progress to-be altered dress, pre-sleeve mods and buttons;

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