Cielo Dress : : Rome Collection : : Closet Case Patterns

Hello and buon giorno.

Perché l’taliano?

Well…because that’ll be me wearing my new Cielo Dress. It’s one of a trio of patterns in the newly released Rome Collection by Closet Case Patterns. The mini capsule features Cielo, a top and dress pattern; Fiore, a skirt pattern; and Pietra, a pants and shorts pattern. Unlike their usual naming tradition, Heather and her team turned to the ever beautiful Italian language for words that were evocative of their newest designs.

Heather’s inspiration for her Rome Collection was the Eternal City herself. And I GET IT. I too find the city to be enormously inspiring. The name Cielo (which fyi is Italian for sky) resonates with me…I remember being quite smitten with Rome’s sky. Ah Roma….it’s a good thing this pattern is rated as beginner friendly…because seriously…I found myself daydreaming about Rome every moment of the make.

I was happy to be pattern testing again for Closet Case Patterns…it’s been awhile. I sewed Cielo Dress View C – a shift dress with inseam front pockets…and those pockets…almost a pouch pocket, but in the chicest possible way.

The short sleeves are cuffed and there is also an option for the dreamiest long sleeves. I’m calling them minimalist statement sleeves. And…even though I’m so not into the big sleeve trend…I admit that I’m seriously tempted to give the Cielo long sleeves a go.

The neckline has two finishing options; either a facing as I’ve done or bias binding. Although Cielo has a boxy silhouette it isn’t without shape. Bust darts that end at the armhole edge provide subtle contouring.

I think that the horizontal seaming integral to the pockets will lend itself well to a colour-blocked version.

As is typical of Closet Case Patterns, all available sizes are included in a single pattern. Additionally, the Cielo Dress/Top includes separate pattern pieces for both C cup and D cup bodies. I sewed a size 8-C cup in the bodice, size 10 waist, tapering back to a size 8…exactly what the fit instructions suggest. I shortened the pattern at both the shorten/lengthen line, which is above the pocket placement line, and also at the hemline.

The back of the dress is pretty basic. One advantage to this….minimal wrinkling. Always a bonus if traveling. On the flip side, it might be described as shapeless. You choose.

No buttons, no zips…a flat-out-simple over-the-head shift dress. I wore mine with a silk scarf, handmade bracelets, sunnies and espradrilles. Simple accessories that I feel comfortable in. I would happily wear this outfit from day to night.

Why hello blue and white gingham. My fabric is 100% cotton shirting from Fabricana*. I love how the crisp fabrication accentuates the slightly boxy silhouette of the dress. The natural fiber is cool; the shape is breezy. Total comfort for a warm day.

*Are you local to Metro Vancouver? Have you heard that Fabricana’s Richmond location is closing (insert sad face here)? It’s rumored that they will be keeping the Coquitlam retail store open and offering online sales in lieu of their Richmond store.

Some of you may remember one of my earlier blog posts in which I discussed how I improved the fit of my Kalle Shirt Dress. I did a high round back adjustment and a forward sloping shoulder adjustment (you can see the post *here*) and those tweaks were big improvements. I opted to make the exact same adjustments on my Cielo Dress, and again, I’m really pleased with the results. The neckline lies flat and the dress doesn’t shift backwards as I wear it.

And…bonus…because the Cielo Dress has a dropped angled back shoulder seam…you can see it running diagonally from the armhole seam to the neckline in the above photo…I was able to integrate the HRBA neckline darts into the seam. Cue the angels singing!

As a thank you for pattern testing I was generously gifted each of the patterns in the collection. I’m excited to bust out the Pietra Pants…for me elastic waists are a necessity when traveling, be it a day excursion, a weekend getaway, or a full on holiday escape.

I don’t have immediate plans to make the Fiore skirt…but here’s what I predict. I’ll spend an unreasonable amount of time saying Fiore out loud…Fiore. Fi-ooooor-ay. Fi-ah-yoooor-eh…all the while telling myself I never wear skirts. Then I’ll see Closet Case Patterns samples and their inspiration boards. And then suddenly, I’ll have a deep seated need for a Fiore of my own. Does this ever happen to you?

Photos of me with my local sky as a backdrop.


  • Reply AnneW June 27, 2019 at 10:52 am

    That’s going to become a staple dress, I can see many verions coming up – colourblocked, patchworked from fabric leftovers, etc! It suits you! Gorgeous sky too.

    • Reply Sue June 27, 2019 at 11:55 am

      I agree Anne. Although the silhouette appears simple, I think it has good lines. And, depending on the fabric…or fabrics 🙂 …the overall look will change accordingly.

  • Reply Vancouver Barbara June 27, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Your dress reminds me of my first “sack” dress way back years ago. I think it was a copy or at least an inspiration from something that Balenciaga created. I thought it was pretty hot stuff and wore it to shreds. I still love that shape and know you will get lots of wear from your new dress. It looks cool and crisp and just right for hot summer days.

    • Reply Sue June 28, 2019 at 11:31 am

      Ah…Balenciaga. I think the European designers have great vision and execution. Of course Balenciaga would have a beautiful ‘sack’ dress. I imagine that was part of Heather’s inspiration…seeing women on the streets of Rome, looking completely chic and very at ease, despite the heat.

      She was also intent on making an absolute beginner friendly pattern…sack dresses are soooo much easier to fit.

      I love the shape too! I was originally intent on making this dress in linen, but the crisp and freshness of the gingham ultimately won me over, LOL. Still. Summer has just begun and I know I can whip one of these up in a very short period of time. There will be a linen one in my future. 🙂

  • Reply Nita June 28, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Good morning!
    This pattern bundle came into my inbox, and the next day your post…must be a sign, lol! I am very intrigued by this bundle. I made a shift dress a couple of years ago and wore it to death. But the pattern required so much altering – which I did on the garment, not the pattern – taking it off, fixing it, putting it on, taking it off, fixing it….there’s no way I can duplicate what I did. I should mention I’m a beginner. lol. I wonder if long darts could be put in the back to give it a bit more shape…I’m on the fence about the baggy in the back look. Though it does look wonderfully comfortable.

    • Reply Sue June 28, 2019 at 11:40 am

      Good morning to you too! 🙂

      I think there’s a trend…shift dresses/sack dresses get worn sooo much because they are so comfortable.

      There’s good news! This pattern is very beginner friendly! So, you got this.

      With respect to alterations, I sewed my first version up in a very inexpensive fabric, but then I tend to do that when I am doing pattern testing for a designer. I literally make marks right on the garment in bright felt pens. I sewed two sizes, and to be honest, they both looked fine…yes, one was a little bigger in the bust, but it’s a sack dress. That being said, I don’t know what your personal fit requirements are so I can’t say for sure how many alterations you may want to do. I suggest checking out some of the makes that are starting to pop up and see how the dress fits others.

      And also…feel free to email me with specific questions, or reply here in the comments!

      I think you could definitely put long darts in the back of the dress to give it a bit of shape. When I am doing an alteration like that, I usually go through my pattern collection to see if I have another pattern that has the, in this case, darts I’m looking for. With back darts, they can be added after the garment is fully completed. Just pin first and check the mirror. This dress has a low armscye giving the dress an extra breezy, cool feel. For me, I’m happy with the looseness at the back for just this reason.

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply Sherry - Petite Over 40 June 28, 2019 at 11:45 am

    The only thing missing here is your Vespa! You have been knocking out the fresh summer looks recently. Last week it was Paris, this week Rome! Since seeing your post on IG, I’ve been eyeballing the Cielo pattern as well as those Fiore (Fee-OR-ay!) pants/shorts pattern. But I first have to finish my other project and share them with you! So much fun to have and I’m not even in Roma!

    Ciao and Hugs,

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion June 29, 2019 at 2:02 am

    I wouldn’t call this dress shapeless. Oh no. I think it is easy and pretty. You did a good job.
    But… to be honest, there isn’t much difference for me between the Kalle shirt dress and this Cielo dress. They look similar. Something that happens to me as well. I like a certain top and then I buy multiple similar ones haha. I buy, you sew. You’re the smartest of us two.
    PS you styled the Cielo dress very well.

    • Reply Sue June 29, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      Your comment is a great compliment to Closet Case Patterns! It was their intention to draft a beginner friendly sewing pattern that had ‘style’. The fact that you don’t see much difference between Kalle and Cielo is good. I think it means they achieved their goal. (The Kalle shirtdress has some more advanced techniques with collars, and buttons etc.)

      Only thing I would disagree with on your comment is me being the smartest of us two! You are super smart…you earn an income to allow you to buy the clothing of your dreams 🙂

      • Reply No Fear of Fashion July 5, 2019 at 7:24 am

        Hahahaha… funny ! There is a big difference. You are creative. I am not being creative in buying clothes unless you reckon that to be a skill. Paris Hilton would agree to that.

        • Reply Sue July 5, 2019 at 9:36 am

          🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Reply Betsy March 8, 2023 at 10:19 am

        Hello from dar into the future! I am wondering if you possibly remember-when you say you incorporated the HRBA into the seam, does that mean you added it to the yoke piece or the back bodice or a bit of both? I’m fixing to make this adjustment for the very first time and I’m not sure how to approach it. Thank you!!

        • Reply Sue March 9, 2023 at 12:29 pm

          Hi Betsy,
          I’ll try to explain. I did the standard HRBA adjustment to the pattern…slashing horizontally across the pattern and again from the neckline down to the slashed mark. The link in the blog post takes you to the Kalle shirtdress and I have a photo of the same pattern alteration. Usually, after doing this adjustment, you would sew a dart into the neckline. I did not sew a dart! Instead I noted the measurement of the dart, say 3/4″, and I made a mark on the neckline 3/4″ from the shoulder edge. That is 3/4″ into the back bodice neckline. You not adding to the pattern here. I redrew the shoulder line beginning at my mark and ending where the original shoulder line and armhole intersect. Does that make sense? I can send you a photo if I haven’t explained it clearly!

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