And some shots of the detailing:
Top left: Collar, front pleating, button placket and belt
Top right: Close up of the bottom of the button placket and the belt
Bottom left: Back pleat
Bottom right: View of the back
I found the directions for this dress to be a little bit tricky. I had the directions written by the pattern maker (links to pattern and instructions here), and then Grosgrain also included step by step instructions for each day of the Frock By Friday event. In the end, I followed the pattern writer's directions and referred to the great photos on Grosgrain.
As a note, I didn't find that the 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric was enough. I chose to use the burgundy print for both sides of my belt, so I did have enough. Next time I think I'd buy a 1/3 yard.
The button placket was my first hiccup, but google helped me out. ;) Because the pattern came from Bernina, the pattern writer referred to a few garment construction techniques from Bernina. A little bit of web searching and I found a really great explanation, which resulted in a pretty snappy placket!
I also found that the sizing was off by quite a bit (why can't they give finished garment measurements?). When I first tried the finished dress on, it looked like a burgundy potato sack! I didn't want to deconstruct the entire thing, so I took in the sides with basting stitches until I found the right fit. I ended up taking in the sides by about 4 inches total!! This resulted in a slightly different look for the cuffs. I also took about 3 inches off of the hem. Looking at the pics, maybe that was a tiny bit too much. ;) Oh well, it's not like I show off my runner legs all of the time!
The belt really helped to pull the look together. I was able to do less fitting on the sides because of it. My last "alteration" was to wear the cuffed turned up. I'm not actually sure how the dress was meant to be worn, but I looked like a floral football player if I didn't cuff them.
Despite the extra researching that I had to do, the stitches that I tore out, and the extra alterations, I do love this dress. I wore it out for my birthday and never once got the goofy "I hope my dress doesn't look Suzie Homemaker" feeling!
If you decide to give this project a try, I would suggest following the day by day instructions on Grosgrain. Knowledge of garment construction isn't necessary, but I did do some extra research before I tackled the more detailed parts of the dress. There are a lot of great tutorials on the web, so take a few extra minutes to look into them. :)