So here's the "muslin." And some more observations.
I used the neck facings, just to see and report back. Hate 'em. They do not stay flat. (Not that I really expected them to.) In fact, the "fix" for this in the instructions is to use fusible webbing between the facing and bodice. Hahaha. My fix would be to ditch them completely and either just turn the edge under and stitch/coverstitch or bind it one way or another (depending on desired final look). In other words, there are far better ways to finish a knit neckline. And I still remain firm in my stance on not staystitching a knit neckline. I don't care what a Tilton sister says. (Said with a smile!) It's much more likely that you will overwork the knit with the extra stitching than you would stretch it out by omitting it. But if you're really worried, fuse some lightweight stay tape to it instead.
For this trial, I coverstitched about 1/2" in from the edge and if I were going to keep this dress, I'd trim away the rest of the facing from behind because it's still flopping.
But ... this is not a keeper. It looks horrible on me. This is not the fault of the pattern. It's just not my kind of dress. It's mumsy on me, and those pleats add 20 lbs. What is the fault of the pattern, though, is the deceptive line drawing, which makes the skirt look more pegged than it really is. But seeing the muses' makes out in blogland and now the pattern pieces, I knew better. Hopefully, now you do too.
The front and back use the same piece so there are pleats in the back. Yeah, I need pleats on my backside.
The midriff band is entirely too wide/deep for me. Again, not the fault of the pattern. This is a personal preference thing. If I were keeping this dress, I'd rip off the skirt and cut off about half the depth of the midriff band. (In case you're wondering, I used a faux leather, knit backed fabric. It's past its expiration date, though, because it left black marks all over the white of the bodice. I think they will wash out, but not sure I should bother trying)
Although I used the same size number for midriff and skirt, the midriff was wider where it attached to the skirt, because you're sewing a rectangle to a hip curve. Easy enough to trim, but should I have to? And should I have to create my own alignment notches? Lucky for me, I know when they're missing and can just make snips as I cut fabric to make it easier on myself when I'm matching up pieces later to actually sew them.
Whatever your answer to those questions, I think most of all I just wish there had been better testing by more experienced seamsters because many of the issues I've found would have been eliminated in the first round of tests.
The good news is that technically, this dress does actually fit. Even though I never really could agree with the weird sizing. It's a fine idea, in theory. But it's just not there yet in application and simple styles hide the flaws even when you do just throw your hands up and guess your best. After reading many Tiramisu reviews on PR, I'm sure I'm not alone in Flummoxville. I'm just a lot more blunt. :-) There are a lot of nice Tira finishes, but the paths to fit were bumpy for most.
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I'm still deciding whether I want to save the dress or just cut off the skirt fabric and move on. It depends on my motivation and whether those black marks from the midriff piece do wash out. Before I do anything, I will take some pics of me in the dress and add an actual review to PR.