I couldn't wait for the sewalong and jumped straight in. The pattern is wonderful and it is straightforward to make. The bodice is cut on the bias and it has an elastic waistband. I always tend to read the instructions, even if I don't follow them when actually sewing. They are clear although I seem to have missed the line where it tells you to stitch the sides of the bodice together... The skirt is flared and gobbles up fabric. The pattern calls for 3m of 150cm wide fabric if you want to include the collar. I only had 3m at 115cm so sacrificed the collar but managed to squeeze out the rest of the dress with some creative layouts before cutting. I even managed to get the 4m of bias tape out of it!
I graded out from the bust to the waist and then in again to the hips - my standard alterations. I made a toile for the bodice and it fitted perfectly. The bust darts are exactly in place and the length of the bodice hits perfectly at my natural waist. Even the length is where I wanted it to be. It is the first pattern in a long time where the fitting felt effortless.
The cotton was also a breeze to work with it. It hardly moved when prepared for stitching at the machine and stayed in place after just one press. Making the bias tape was extremely easy as a result which was great as pinning it and sewing it onto the skirt felt like an age. It also encloses the neckline. That is when I realised just how flared the skirt is. It also helped for a very tidy finish on the inside. I used French seams where possible and overlocked the rest - they are probably the neatest finished seams I have produced to date.
How do I feel about this dress? I absolutely adore it, as those I have spoken to since its completion can testify! I love everything about it, the fabric, the cut, the skirt, the sleeves. Need I go on? It will work well with my pink or white cardigans and a red one, when I finally get round to finding one. I can wear it with a belt or not. I wore it for a warm but slightly breezy afternoon in the park yesterday and stayed reasonably cool. There is a minor issue with it though and that is with the skirt. If you're not careful a gust of wind will reveal everything under it so I'll probably have to invest in a slip to keep my dignity! Having said that, it will take an effort not to wear it everyday and I can see me making a few more of these.