Firstly, apologies for the dog's bottom. Funny the things we sometimes don't notice in photos until later.
This dress is McCalls M6433, which I made in a very crisp batik type cotton. Description: Fitted, lined bodice, front and back darts, stitched shoulder pleats, back zipper and self lined cap sleeve. Obviously mine doesn't have the cap sleeve.
I made up a muslin first and found that the back definitely had some excess fabric, horizontally. I thought I could fix it by shortening the bodice by about a centimetre, as I have made this alteration on dress patterns before (seems to make sense, as I'm classed as petite in height, being only 5ft 2). However, although this worked in straightening out the back somewhat, it in fact brought the waistline up too high (and this is the final version I am talking about). I'm wondering if the fabric should have been pinched out higher in the back, and then the trunk area lengthened to stop the waist from rising too high. Aargh. I'm a bit frustrated about it. Also, the dress is too tight on the hip area, and across the tummy. But a bit looser in the waist. So much for making a muslin! I think something was lost in translation there...I would like to make this one again but next time I will be more careful at the fitting stage.
The pleats, which are sewn flat into place for a few inches from the waist down to the hip, were lovely to do in this crisp fabric. However, I did feel that it would be a devil to press the remaining length of the skirt pleats without any crease lines as guides after washing, and would be a bit hit and miss, so I sewed the creases along each pleat back and front, very close to the edges, whilst keeping the pleats free still. I think this will help.
For the lining I used a very fine and floaty silk. I think it works nicely with the dark blue fabric. And it feels great!
This dress was a real pleasure to make. I might make it again in the knit version they show on the packet.