And here is my version. I made view C, which is the yellow dress above:
I made it from a wool/silk blend I found at the expensive fabric store in town which I bought on sale in February. It's a blue/gray soft plaid that was a joy to sew, so I am a bit distressed to see how much the dress wrinkled in the photo above. The dress is fully lined, so it was basically like making two dresses. I started out by lining the dress in habotai silk, which I didn't realize was such a PITA to work with. (Gertie didn't come out with her post on this diabolical silk until AFTER I started this project.) So only the sleeves are lined in the silk, as I decided life was too short to try to wrestle silk into this dress. I lined the rest of the dress in a swiss cotton satin batiste. The biggest challenge with this dress was matching the plaid. I was thrilled with my results:
(Can you tell???) Here's a close up of the front waist band:
Here's a close up of the side. I was excited by this:
I didn't bother with a muslin because I hate muslins, and the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern assured me that it would at least go around my body sufficiently. That was probably a mistake. I made my usual size 12 and had no problems, except for the bodice. The side front was cut on the bias, and either the pattern piece was too long for my torso, or the bias stretched as I worked with it (I suspect it stretched). Here's a close up of the front neckline, and it is obvious that the neckline is too low. It's not just that there is more cleavage showing that I am comfortable with, but that I have problems keeping my sleeves on my shoulders:
I also can't lift my arms very high - the armholes sit too low, causing restricted movement of my arms. You should have seen me trying to close my car door yesterday morning!
All of this is a real shame because I enjoyed making the dress so much - the plaid, the matching, the lining, all the interesting top stitching. Even the sleeves. For some inexplictable reason, the sleeves are cut in two pieces and sewn together (my matching on the sleeves was excellent; I forgot to get a photo of it), but they went into the armholes practically on their own - there was no need to do the whole basting and gathering thing to get the sleeves eased in. It was magic.
It's just the wearing of the actual garment that I don't like. Mostly the inability to move, I guess. And the revealing nature of the neckline. I wore a jacket over it at work so I was sufficiently covered up:
And of course, I realize I have no one to blame but myself! A muslin would have helped enormously. Taking Susan Khalje's course would have probably prompted me to do the muslin. Well, maybe. OK, doubtful. I'd like to say this project wasn't a waste because I learned the value of doing a muslin, but that would be a lie. I hate doing muslins so much that I am quite cheerful about having a project not work out every once in a while as the price I pay not to do them in all other projects that do work out. I have learned that if I am thinking about sewing a close fitting dress, I'm taking a significant chance that it might not fit - and if that is a problem, maybe I need to choose another project. So despite the three weekends it took me to make this dress, I'm glad its over and I'll probably be donating this dress - maybe someone who is my size whose a bit longer in the torso will benefit. Still, its a shame because the fabric is lovely . . .