Here's what I mean:
1. Garment construction: McCalls 4144 has an interesting skirt feature. It's actually a pencil skirt with a big fluffy overskirt. Take a look at the line drawing and the pattern pieces. You basically make a pencil skirt in lining fabric (I made mine in coordinating ombre silk charmeuse), and then cut 8 of the overskirt panels that get gathered over the pencil skirt.
2. Fabric choice: Since I decided on chiffon for the dress, I knew I couldn't count on the fabric to provide a poofy look like on the envelope. For me, this was kind of a plus since I wasn't looking to have a huge skirt going on. I also decided to minimize the poofy effect by cutting 6 overskirt panels, rather than 8.
Now, if I really wanted the poofy effect, I would have to choose another fabric, like organza or tulle.
3. Body type: This is the trickiest thing to analyze, and you have to be brutally honest with yourself. Is your waist this small?
Given these three factors, I expected the dress to have more of this silhouette, but on my body.
Anonymous asks: I love love this dress!! I do have a couple of technical questions. When looking at the pattern and then your dress, the front darts appear to be much shorter on the pattern front, did you lengthened them? if so why? Did you encounter any problems gathering and attaching the silk chiffon overskirt? One of the things I love about your blog is your attention to details.
Why thank you! I did not lengthen the darts. Looking back, I wish I'd shortened them! They looked great on the muslin, and then behaved a little differently in chiffon. By the time I'd sewn and pressed them, though, it was too late. Ripping stitches in chiffon is almost impossible, because it always shows. Also, the creases from pressing really wouldn't have come out. So, I decided the lesser evil was to have dart points on my boobs, rather than damaged, creased chiffon on my boobs. The gathering of the chiffon was one of the easiest parts since chiffon is so lightweight. I basted it by hand to the underskirt once it was gathered, and it was very easy.
Another Anonymous says: I'm in the minority on this, but while attention grabbing, this is not a look that flatters. Your eyes have disapeared between hair and the the undulating green waves of the dress. The darts at the shoulders are also not restful. I think the light pink dress from the top of the site is more complementary.
Okay, that's not really a question but I thought I'd address it. I agree that this isn't my best dress, but not every dress can be the awesomest, most flattering. One of the things I love about sewing is that we can try out different styles. Even if light pink shift dresses are the most flattering thing on me, that doesn't mean that I have to make only that for the rest of my life. I want to sew with chartreuse ombre chiffon! And wear swishy skirts even if I know dirndls make my hips look bigger! Screw it! As a sewing blogger, I post everything I make, not just the things I think will be unanimously agreed-upon as successes. It's all about the process. (As for the shoulder darts, they're actually tucks/pleats. They're not meant to lay flat. I can see how they might look weird, but I really like them!)