I decided to go with a shoulder princess-seamed version; Vneck; with 3/4 length sleeves (the cap sleeves I was considering just didn't do my body any favors); vent/kick pleat in the back seam. I am making it 'just-below-the-knee' length...I chose 43" as my finished back length. I also made this straight (as in, no flare) but again, I am not sure that was the best choice either! Those 'hams' just under my back waistline (on each side) are trying their best to be the star of the show!
The fabric is a navy poly/rayon blend, and it is either a jacquard or a matelassee...I have no idea how to spell that, and am not even sure of the pronounciation! I goofed when I cut out the center back piece...I was on the phone while cutting, so my attention was diverted when I layed that piece onto the fabric after cutting the other 3 pieces--front, side/front, and side/back---which all fit nicely across the width of the fabric. I cut those 3 pieces, then pulled more fabric onto the cutting mat to lay out and cut the CB, sleeve, facings, etc...and, well, I was distracted and forgot to consider the pattern repeat! In this picture, you can see how that CB and Side/Back would have related to each other...I had to slide the back piece upward, as in the right side, to align the design repeat. So I cut a new CB piece that DID keep the fabric's repeat aligned! Thank Goodness I had extra fabric!
Regarding the pattern...
- I found that I needed to draft with 2" extra hip ease than desired, because the long front dart extensions need to remove a full inch on each side...for a 2" reduction in front.
- And it turns out that using a Side/Hip placement of (+0.5..moving the SS/hip backwards) gives me mirrored sideseams, which is desirable to me! Although this initially makes the front pattern WIDER than the back pattern at hip level, after I sew out the long front waist darts, the back becomes wider than the front...which is more logical, since there is a bum back there!
I think I might have to tweak my CFL measurement just slightly (for next time) to provide a bit more front length to make garments better conform to my shape...that is, I need MORE than just 'adequate' front length if I want the garment to sit closer to the rib cage under the bust, as opposed to falling straight toward waist.
I drafted this with 7" of hip ease , thinking that after I sewed out the front waist darts, I would have 5" ease. Well, 5" turned out to be too much. I ended up sewing out an inch at both waist and hip...all the way to hem. So 4" hip ease and 1" waist ease turned out to be good for me on this dress. My choice of bust ease was 1.5". More on drafting this later...