Hi all, Amy here. A while back Ama and I were scrolling through IG in the studio and saw this Cielo hack pop up in our feed. We both immediately squealed and decided we needed to copy! We both really liked the transparent nature of the inspo image and since Ama had this gorgeous embroidered mesh in her stash and I had a leftover bit of sheer double gauze from Heather we thought we would get to work to show you three different options for approaching this hack!
I will be using the black and white gingham to show you what I did for this hack as the double gauze is a bit shifty (don’t sleep on this fabric, it’s perfect!)
To begin, we will be using View A from the Cielo top pattern (sizes 0-32). The only modification you need to make to the pattern pieces is to change where you want the waistline of your dress. We tried different heights on these three examples. Ama only removed 2″ from the bottom of her front and back pieces, for a waist which hits at her belly button. I made my transparent version 3″ shorter than the pattern. For the gingham version I wanted more of a true empire waist (just below the bust) and so measured up 2″ from the waist line on the pattern pieces removing 5-6″. It’s totally up to you!
In order to be able to use these pattern pieces again I simply folded the bottom part under rather than cutting it off when I cut out my pattern pieces. This is the only modification to the pattern, so everything else can be cut out as instructed.
As both Ama and I were limited in terms of our fabric (we both only had 2m), we based the fullness of our skirts on what we had. In my case, I rotated the pieces I had left over after I cut out the top to have a skirt with greater width than length. I was able to do that because this fabric has a stable grainline in both directions but if your fabric has a directional print or nap you will have to take that into consideration when planning your skirt.
Sew the top as per the instructions, finishing the neckline (with bias tape or facing) and attaching the sleeves. I wanted to try an alternative construction on this version (curiosity got the best of me) and so I tried attaching the sleeve cuffs before sewing the sleeve and side seams together. I folded the cuff in half and sewed both raw edges to the sleeve at 5/8″ and finished the seam flat. It turned out great! It was nice pressing this while it was flat rather than in the round and I was able to make sure my stripes lined up perfectly. If you don’t have a serger, the other installation (in the instructions) gives you a perfectly clean finish, but I was happy with this considering I sergered everything else.
ATTACHING THE SKIRT
Again, depending on how floofy you want your skirt, and how much fabric you have, this part is really up to you. The gathering ratio refers to how much fabric you are attaching together. In this case we are attaching about twice as much fabric in the skirt to the top, or 2:1.
I didn’t have enough of the beige double gauze to achieve a 2:1 gathering ratio (it was more like 1.5:1) and honestly, I don’t think it was as successful. There is something sort of sad about anything less than a 2:1 and it constrained my legs a bit when I walk. Ama managed to get a 2.5:1 ratio out of her fabric and you can see how the skirt flounces out a bit more (which looks great in this mesh).
You can use whichever method you prefer to gather your front and back skirt pieces. We have a blog post here, which illustrates three different methods (depending on your fabric). I used two lines of basting stitches and gathered the pieces to match the front and back of my top.
Sew the skirt to the top right sides together at 5/8th” and finish the seams as you wish. Press seams down.
Pin together the side seams from sleeve to hem, matching waist seams. Sew at 5/8th” and finish seams Repeat on the other side.
You can hem this to whatever length you want. I folded the bottom in, wrong sides together 1/2″ and again at 1″, pressed and topstitched it down.
We loved how these turned out! Ama plans on getting a lot of wear of hers as a layering piece going into spring and I think my gingham version will be going to picnic just as soon as it warms up a bit. Thanks again to @seamripperpolly for the inspo! Happy hacking!