When I opened the pattern envelope, I was pleased to see I had already picked the right size, traced the pattern, and altered it with an FBA and moving the bust darts lower. I wanted to wear the dress in the winter, so I cut full sleeves and a full lining out of white tricot knit. I bought a monster bolt of this knit recently--I wonder what I was thinking? Maybe I hit an extra 0. Maybe I thought I really needed an 8 foot long bolt of white tricot knit.
I decided to add a sway back adjustment, which I had never done before. This pattern's front and back pieces are cut on the fold, so I was confused about how fabric could be darted out and the piece could still be cut on the fold, so I added a center back seam. I read right after that in the directions that you should still cut it on the fold and I guess Pati Palmer knows what she's talking about. But alas, I had done the deed so now I have that seam. I don't think it turn out badly at all though. However, when I cut the lining, I did cut on the fold. But I must not have removed the seam allowance at the neck because it was an inch or more too big and I had to dart it out when I put the lining together with the fashion fabric. I put a slightly wider neck band on because I wanted to make sure the neckline was modest. The first band I put on was too small and made the neck pucker. I had to take it off, but the second one looks very nice.
I basted the dress together and wondered if I should take out an inch or so along the side seams. In the end, I decided not to, thinking it looked good as it was and it might turn out too fitted if I went too crazy. In the end, I think I should make it smaller if I ever make it again; it could be more fitted. Family members who've seen the dress say it looks really good.
I sewed the center back with my sewing machine and pressed the seam flat. I sewed the other seams with my serger. I did not set in the sleeves as the instructions directed; good grief, that seems so silly when it is so easy to sew them in flat. I coverstitched the hem and it looked unacceptable. It twisted as I sewed, with the presser foot pushing the top layer of fabric ahead of the bottom layer. I was so angry I wanted to yell at some Janome engineers! I fiddled with tensions and stitch lengths, and it refused to behave. I reduced the weirdness somewhat by pressing, but the back was a little higher than my lining, so I had to undo it anyway. I fiddled more with tensions and stitch lengths, sewed very slowly, lightened the presser foot to its absolute lowest setting (where the dial fell off and I had to screw it back on), and used my fingers to force the fabric to move as I wanted it to move. That all worked and the hem looks nice now.
In the end, I am happy with how this dress turned out.