A retrospective post! I did finish the dress in time for costume college (2 days before even! Not the day before!), but here are some photos of the muslin.
The first one I made was super pouchy and blouse-y. Like a lot. This isn’t really a flattering look, but I kept telling myself that this is meant to be a relaxed afternoon sort of gown, and is not meant to be form fitting.
The top is a very interesting style – it’s a kimono style top, being one single piece of fabric all the way around. There is a gusset above each shoulder which will be made of lace in the final version.
However, this is not how the dress is meant to be worn. The waist should be at the natural waistline, or even an inch or two above. There is meant to be some loose fabric above it, which means you need to use a tie to see what this dress is meant to look like, as otherwise it will just hang as far as the fabric allows.
At this point I posted these pictures on the pattern maker’s Facebook page asking for advice, since I wasn’t sure how to alter this. They are very responsive! All my questions were answered within a day or two. She pointed out that this is meant to be a very blouse-y top, and thought it looked fine. I did end up taking an inch off the top (from the bottom), since I thought the blousing was still a bit excessive. That’s really the only way you can alter this pattern, since the whole top is one piece.
Then it was fabric cutting time! Which the main dress was only 3 pieces, all the trim on the dress was something like another 15 pattern pieces, so this was rather tedious.