I eagerly began cutting out McCall's 6503, which I got for $1 at Joann's. I was making View D (sleeves, button front). One change I plan to make in the final construction of this dress is to make and add floral piping in a coordinating color theory along the top and bottom of the waistband just like Kathryn did here.
I didn't make a muslin of this dress, which in the end, wasn't entirely a mistake. When I already had most of the dress constructed, I tried it on, only to realize that this pattern had a ridiculous amount of ease in the bodice, and the bodice was weird and stiffly blousy on me. I could remedy the back of the bodice by changing the darts and removing some material in the side seam--I wanted a really tight back, since the pleated skirt was also on the tight side. Balance is key! I have a very narrow, petite back, and when I wear clothes that are baggy above the waist I look rather dumpy from behind.
To remedy the front of the bodice, which would've been oddly baggy even if I had made darts and taken in the side seams, I decided to experiment with a new technique: smocking! I used a variety of tutorials online. The smocking isn't completed, but I plan to completely re-do it to allow more room at the bottom for attaching the waistband, and to generally tidy up the smocking. In the end, I think the smocking really makes this dress--it's a unique twist to a popular and fairly simple design.
|This is the best depiction of the color my camera could capture.|
|The sleeves also need to be taken in. They were so baggy that they made my arms look wimpier than they actually are.|
|The waistband, waistband facing, and collar also need to be taken in but are for the most part assembled.|
I'm considering letting out the pleats on the skirt just a smidge, because I'm worried they'll be uncomfortable in the future. I'm also considering a few pintucks along the hem to increase the visual interest but that's something I can add after the dress is completed.