So this is waaay late. Sorry, last year was rough and I haven't been creating as much as I would like. I ended up taking a day off from work to work on this dress. It was a good day, sometimes I forget how much like to make things and how much and long I can focus on something when I enjoy what I'm doing.
I was a little nervous getting into this pattern. I haven't seen any reviews on it online and the ones I did see did not have a ringing endorsement. I cut into my muslin feeling confused. The instructions keep referring to the pieces by names that don't exist, notches were in the same category and they kept saying weird things like seam numbers. Then I had a revelation, those numbers by all those circles actually mean something, those were the seam numbers! I don't think you all understand the amount of relief that went through my head; all of a sudden everything made sense (there might have been an actual trumpet fanfare sounding in my head). Yay for muslins!
The fabric arrived the Tuesday before the wedding, as expected, and it was exactly what I wanted, a nice lightweight silk which felt great between my fingers. There were some white stripes in the material which went away with the first ironing. I cut out all my pieces and immediately went to work. Things went pretty smoothly. It wasn't until I went to zip it up that I realized I might have cut too large of a size. Luckily it seemed to pull together well with just taking in the back seam. However, I must note this, when making a strapless dress, especially one with weight that you plan to dance in, it's not a bad thing for it to be very fitted. It took a few tries to get the boning right, but this second time (first while making Gertie's pencil skirt), went smoother and adds the right support to the bodice.
I made it a tea length dress and used some African print fabric for the waist inset. I mixed and matched the pattern. Originally it called for the waistband to bet touched to go with the rouched bodice but I needed something more simple to show of the print off the fabric. If I had time, I would have made a purse with the same material to wear with it but I was cutting it close and just haven't gone back to that project yet. However, I did splurge with my time and decide to add some piping with the same material.
I made the rouching on the bodice with the baste and pull method. That part turned out well though it did take some effort to ensure that they were spaced well. Next time when I'm not pressed for time (if that ever happens) I'll try using the ruffler that I've owned for almost 3 years (I bought a kit of foots for the invisible zipper and haven't used ANY of the other feet yet.)
The silk itself was pretty easy to work with. This pattern used a LOT of fabric with the skirt being gathered at the waistband and lined. I had some issues hemming the lining of the dress, my machine started chewing it up so I left out unhemmed for the wedding and just using safety pins to keep out from peeking out. After the wedding I called a few swimming machine repair shops about a tune up and one VERY nice repair man suggested I try changing the tension before I brought it to him. Guess what: it worked. I felt like a fool floor not having played with that earlier but I was able to roll been the rest of the lining with no issues.
The dress wore well the day of, I'm glad I spent the time making it and I hope you all like it as much as I do!