I started with Vogue 1086 and 2 1/2 yards of stretch satin (it has a nicer hand than the other satins I can get my hands on for a good price). I usually don't read reviews of patterns, but I'm so glad that I did with this (otherwise this would have been a disaster). The reviews said that the neckline was low, sizing was off (too big in most cases), and that it was near impossible to alter as you sew due to french seams. After some tissue fitting I decided to cut a size 16 (even though my measurements said to cut a 20....so much for vanity huh Vogue?) for everything but the yoke, which I cut at a 14. Yokes have a history of being to big on me and this was no exception.
I skipped the french seams so that I could fit as I sewed...honestly, I really didn't need to follow the pattern's written instructions, the pictures were all I needed. I had to raise the neckline about an 1 1/2 in.-2 in, and I cut down the yokes by about an inch on the shoulder edge, 5/8-3/4in on the neck edge. However the back was still gaping and bowing funny. So I had to overlap it more...I think it was a good 1 1/2in, maybe even 2in......it felt like I needed to cut the smallest yoke I could lol!
I embroidered the yokes and the front waistband before I constructed everything. I loved how rich the tan thread looked with the teal fabric. One of my friends couldn't tell that the embroidery was skulls at first! I usually cut/tear my stabilizer away when I'm done stitching the design, but I used it as interfacing to make those pieces a little more "beefy". This gives some structure to an otherwise shifty/slippery fabric. The design is skull array from Urban Threads, my favorite embroidery site!
Overall, I love this dress, and had a great time wearing it. I think I need to make a casual version of this (now that I know what needs to be changed, construction should go easier).
Now to go soak in the tub until I'm prune-fingered!