I got the dress completed. Thanks for all of the wonderful comments about the crochet edging. It's triggered my crocheting bug a bit and I hope to do more of it for decorative trim work. Paula, I've posted a pic of the pattern book from which I got this design. It's #38.
The thing about these 50's dresses with ginormous skirts is that they require a bit of management. For my skirt management, I stack plastic storage boxes beside my sewing table. This gives extra surface area and prevents the weight of the garment from sliding off of the table and pulling while sewing.
By adding the skirt lining, There was even more weight. I always try to keep my garments as smooth as possible while sewing. Admittedly, I'm slow. I frequently stop and adjust to prevent the garment from twisting and becoming distorted. By doing this, I find that I can sew straighter because the garment lays better. I don't mind that I sew slowly. My priority is try to sew as accurately and straight as possible. Results vary depending upon fabric and design!
After finishing the dress, I moved on to the jacket. The ivory linen/silk blend fabric arrived from Thai Silks on Friday. It's nice stuff! I can't decide if it behaves more like a linen or a silk. It's a bit stiff. This could be good for the structure required for a jacket; I just hope it doesn't end up being too much like cardboard. I'm also thinking about what the appropriate interfacing should be.
I did a quick measure of the jacket pieces and held it against myself to check if any adjustments needed to be made. It appeared a bit big through the back shoulders. I've had this issue before. On dresses with straps or a halter, shortening the straps or neckline pulls takes out the extra room. It's a minor adjustment and I'm not sure if this means I have a sway back, square shoulders or just a small bustline in comparison to my waist and hips (well, I know I do... but is here more to it?).
So I consulted my book "The Perfect Fit" to see what I should do about the back shoulder area. I don't want to add darts to the top of the jacket. The book described how to take out excess by pinching a pleat into the pattern piece prior to cutting. I used this method.
Because the color is a light ivory, I used tailor tacks to mark the darts. I didn't want chalk to stain the fabric.
The pattern has both a lined and unlined version for the jacket. I really don't like unlined jackets. I went to my stash to see what I could use for the lining. Because this is a summer dress and all of the fabrics thus far are 100% natural fibers, I wanted a natural lining as well. What is worse than having synthetic lining sticking to your body on hot day? Blech!
It just so happens that I have ten yards of ivory dupioni (54" wide bolt) lurking in my closet. The color was a perfect match; I didn't want a darker color to show through the jacket.
My goal for the day was to sew all of the darts for both the jacket and the lining. There were twelve in total: two verticals at back waistline, two verticals at front waistline and two antled ones at the bustline. I then seamed the jacket at the shoulders and the side.