I used some quite expensive crepe backed silk-satin purchased from Mood Fabrics on a trip to NYC and it's made from this pattern
Starting at the beginning, fitting a muslin didn't go too badly. I made an fba by creating a dart and rotating it into the waist gathers and I cut about an inch out of both the width and length of the back because it seemed unnecessarily long and droopy. Also the neckline, which is pretty low anyway, was gaping at the front so, to preserve modesty, I went against all the rules of these things and just pinched in the pattern tissue at the neckline and smooshed it flat with the iron. I have since discovered that what I should have done is made a little dart there and rotated it down into the waist gathers. Well now I know! but my quick-fix did the trick. So, all set to sew ...
Instruction step number 1: stay-stitch bodice front and back necklines 1/2" from cut edge. Except, and the sewing gods must have been looking down on me here, when I was cutting it out didn't I notice that the seam allowance round the neckline was only 3/8"? So, I'm issuing a PATTERN ERROR ALERT here - you need to stay-stitch 1/4" from the cut edge.
Next, I have a confession to make. I left out the pockets. It's not that I don't like pockets, I do. But I have to be honest and say that because there is a side zipper in this dress the instructions for inserting the left hand side pocket into the seam alongside the zipper was all too much for me. Probably, if I'd really applied myself to trying to understand it, I could have managed it - I can't blame Simplicity for their instructions - the fact is I just wasn't willing to work that hard. Shame on me!
So, here's where it went wrong. The very last thing you have to do is make the neck ruffle and stitch it on the dress. I joined the two pieces together and made a beautiful narrow hem all around both sides, I gathered the ruffle and attached it to the dress. Wow! It was beautiful and it was glamorous ....... until I turned round -
See how the ruffle flops down at the back and shows all the insides? Of course, it mightn't have been so bad if I hadn't used crepe backed silk which has a very obvious difference between the two sides but I didn't expect this to happen. Both silk and crepe are fabrics that Simplicity recommends for this pattern and, look, here is their line drawing of the back and the ruffle quite definitely sticks up.
I told myself that perhaps, if I wore it, I could stay standing with my back to a wall but, after putting it aside for a couple of days, I decided that it just wasn't good enough. So, I took the whole ruffle off, I unpicked one row of the stitching for the narrow hem but couldn't unpick the rest so I cut it off. I then recut the ruffle, which now had to be narrower and slightly shorter, but this time I cut the back neck so that it started to narrow in from the shoulder and became very narrow at the centre back and didn't flop down.
I think that looks much better!
Trauma now (almost) forgotten I do like the dress but Mr Fabulous says I look like a chocolate eclair in it - all brown and glossy. Now I love chocolate eclairs but do I want to look like one - I'm not so sure? However, next time I'm invited to a fancy dress party all I need is a can of spray cream and I'm good to go ........