Essentially I believe it is too big. I can only assume that in my two months home, since I was away from three course meals, lots of pasta *and* lots of wine, that my body changed between the first time I started the block to the final sheath dress. I mean, I guess it isn't a bad thing that I lost weight, but probably the only time I will admit that it makes me a little frustrated. Here are some pics that confirm my belief:
It kind of looks like a big sack, not to mention a really unflattering hemline (which is my own fault, not anything else's). I need to remind myself that I really should go above the knee with dresses. I think it might be more flattering on my shorter legs :)
Here is the one shot that really shows that something was way off. I had turned the dress inside out to try to see where I should take in excess and sat down. This cannot be what it supposed to look like, right??? I could have put my purse in all that extra fabric!
For this dress I had taken the muslin from the block and added an extra 3/8th seam to the sides only for ease. But I think at that point, since I hadn't tried on the muslin since mid December, it was already too big. Then I added the extra ease on the sides, so added even more room to the dress. This is a lesson to those who want to do their own block. It would be wise to do the first step of trying on your full body block again before cutting your pattern out. I know this seems self-evident, but apparently that didn't occur to me. sigh.
Is it just too big? Is that the right assessment? How much ease is normal for a sheath dress? This extra ease would make it about 1.5" for the whole dress (assuming the muslin had fit), but that was even bigger than this, so I already took it down to 1" before these pictures. That still seems too much, so I must be smaller. I even had Laurel double check that I didn't change the size of the pieces and we matched up the seams to the pattern pieces just to be sure — and they all fit. I didn't screw it up! So that must be the solution. I am skinnier. Grrrr. Well, sort of ;)
Regardless, I will continue. I have the block with me here in Rome, where I arrived last Tuesday morning. As soon as I arrived we went to Tuscany and then back on Saturday before school starts (I will post pics soon). This week is when the work will begin again on the block (and my sew-alongs!). My plans this week will be to take out the hem and move it up, after I take out the extra ease I gave the side pieces. So essentially I will be taking the dress back to the block form and see where that gets me. Another thing I wish I could tweak was how much I took out of the shoulder area. I took a half inch consistently around the whole arm, whereas I should have lessened to maybe a quarter inch in the front. I will remember to tweak that on my next attempt.
Any other ideas, advice or words of wisdom? Am I going to have to start from scratch again?