It cracks me up now that I completely ripped off the pattern picture, down to buying the Lisette Chambray. Beginner Emily had basically no understanding of fabrics, and so buying the exact fabric on the envelope was the only sure bet. Since then, I've even inadvertently stolen the model's haircut!
And really, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, just time consuming. The trickiest bit was dealing with the chambray, which frayed like crazy and made it hard to find notches and line pieces up properly. I cut a 10 in the shoulders and then blended to a 12 in the hips. I also made a few adjustments, but nothing too crazy - this is a well drafted pattern with clear instructions. I did an SBA and took some of the excess out of the center back. It's still a little big, but I can live with it.
I'm especially happy with the fit in the shoulders. I tend to find sleeves really constricting and have a hard time moving my arms forward to drive, type, cook dinner, give hugs....basically everything. Googling the problem, I stumbled upon this genius tutorial by Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch, which instructs you to add about 1/2" of ease to the back armsyce and sleeve. It worked like a charm!
I actually set the sleeves in properly for once, and while they're not perfect, they're not half bad. I feel the same way about the collar. I was most intimidated by the collar going into this, but it turns out the collar and collar stand are all one piece. It's a nice way to ease yourself into shirt making, but it's probably worth the extra effort to have a separate stand. My collar doesn't sit as nicely as I would like.
The pockets are my favorite part! They were kind of a pain to sew up, but I'm so glad I did. They're not very functional, but they're very cute, and you could fit some money and a chapstick in a pinch.
I'm not sure if it's the most figure-flattering thing I've ever made though. When I asked my husband if it made me look especially small-chested and big-hipped, he very matter of factly replied, "It does, but I like that about you." My heart completely melted. I need a gentle reminder now and again that beauty and attractiveness don't need to have such narrow definitions. It's okay to let my hips out of hiding sometimes!
Overall, I'm really happy with the dress. It feels like a real turning point, with more challenging construction and finishing techniques. This is also first time I'm not worried that it's blatantly obvious the dress is handmade. Plus, it goes really well with my pink oxfords, and I am always looking for an excuse to wear them!
And so, on we go to even bigger challenges! I impulsively bought a plaid flannel (it was $4 a yard!) a couple of weeks ago, without really thinking about pattern-matching. This is going to be an adventure.