It would appear - from my time spent enjoying the blogosphere - that you cannot call yourself a home dressmaker until you have tackled a Colette pattern!
So I invested in the Peony Dress pattern. It's the first time I've used an American pattern and I was fascinated to find out that my suggested size was a size 6 bust, a size 8 waist and a size 16 hip! Awkward!
During my research on talented bloggers who have tackled the dress the bust size appears to come out as about a C cup. I'm a little larger than that (and that is all I am prepared to reveal on that matter!) and so I decided to draft the bodice completely in a size 8. (I know I'm supposed to draft for my bust measurements and alter all other pieces but I decided to become just a little bit maverick.)
Luckily I was happy with the way the bodice turned out. The bodice darts do look a bit concave on my model Merle here but I thought they looked ok on. The darts were in the right place so I'm not going to mess about with it!
The big question then was how on earth do I fit a size 16 skirt onto a size 8 waist. The skirt has gathers at the front section but nothing at the back. In the end I decided to cut a size 14 skirt and lose a bit of the ease on the hips. I increased the gathered sections in the front and I put in darts in the back.
How I managed to match up the darts that well on the toile is a triumph of good luck over bad maths!
I'm reasonably happy with the cut of the dress now and think it's best to quit while I'm winning and not make any more adjustments. Time to cut out the real thing in the pretty yellow cotton I have purchased for the occasion.