Let's talk about the skirt on this dress. It was a lot more difficult than I expected, and I'm still not too sure I like the result, but it's almost too late to do anything about it.
I'll start with the pleats. There were a LOT of pleats, and some of the smaller pleats did not seem to have a purpose because they were hidden underneath the larger pleats, but I went with it anyway. This is the front skirt pattern piece, with pleats A, B, C and D.
And here are the instructions:
So here is what it looked like after I basted:
At one point I feared that the petticoat may not provide enough poof, so I added a layer of tulle as an underskirt:
Like the bodice, the seam allowances just wouldn't say flat, so I catch-stitched them all:
Finished side view, with 4 small pleats on the side:
I added some hanger ribbon to the sides at the waist line, and joined the skirt to the bodice. I let it hang on my dress form for a few days, then it was time to hem! This part made me very nervous! I am accustomed to cutting off up to 4 inches sometimes, since I'm only 5'2", but I did not want to mess this up!!
The pattern instructions called for horsehair braid in the hem, and I was happy to try it. I've never used it before, so I was glad for the experience.
But alas, on this particular dress, or maybe because I hemmed it a bit shorter, the horsehair braid made it too stiff on the bottom, and because of all those pleats, the skirt flared out almost into a square! It looked really weird, so I took it out and hemmed it by hand with a catch-stich. :(
In retrospect, I wish I hadn't used the drapery lining to underline the skirt. It seems too heavy and stiff, and that made the pleating much harder, not to mention joining it to the bodice. In the end, I'm not sure I like how the skirt is draping, but we'll see.
Just for fun, here is the dress inside out, after finishing:
And here are some His and Her garment bags I threw together from McCall's pattern 5600. Thinking ahead!!