intro and "no buts" dress

Hi all, my name is Nora and I'm blogless. But I have been enjoying the posts on this blog for quite awhile. I'm an acupuncturist, a knitter, and am teaching myself to sew, so needles are my life (learning to fence is next).

I decided to give this pattern, which I've had for awhile, a whirl:

I thought was pretty far beyond my capacities (I've never attempted piping before, and was worried about the sleeve trim and midriff shaping); plus the measurements were 34-26.5-36, and mine are more like 36-29-39...but magically, it fits!

Of course I'm not as attenuated as the figures on the envelope, but who is, really? This dress is SO comfortable. There's a tie in the back, and pockets, so it's like wearing an apron, in a good way. Here's a detail of the midriff and the fabric (I have no idea what year it's from, but it's vintage cotton - and pardon the weird "stain" by the armpit, it's not really there, it's just on the photo somehow):

I planned to do an FBA, but forgot, and didn't have enough fabric to try again, so the top of the midriff is about 1 inch too high. Oops; but it's not too obvious (or uncomfortable). I also had to add a CF seam because my fabric wasn't wide enough to cut it on the fold (so the fabric isn't matched there). Oh, and the sleeves were way too puffy. Luckily, due to my bleary-eyed late night sewing, I attached the first sleeve inside-out, and had to take it out anyway; so I wildly just shaved about an inch off the top of the sleeve cap. Somehow, it worked. Beginner's mind I guess. I'll definitely make it again, it's so comfy and works great with a cardigan too.