I now feel in good company with my fitting woes, but was there really no laughing? My daughters were both highly amused. I suppose it is good to provide entertainment for your children....
After such lovely encouragement I unpicked the bodice of the dress, and eased the seams of the bodice to the insert so that I could shorten the insert and make it lie more flat. This improved matters somewhat, but not sufficiently, so I added a few beads to the top line of the smocking, using the beading threads to position the neckline and prevent puffiness, then I stab stitched the lower part of the insert to the lining in a few spots to keep it in place. I am now much more pleased with the dress, although I am planning to never stand with my arms behind my back whilst wearing it.
I am indulging myself with inside photographs. I fully lined the dress, with the imperial batiste used for the bodice, but was feeling impatient when I put the zip in, and sewed both layers as one. I did not like the appearance of this raw edge in contrast to my lovely lining, so have bound the zip tapes with some quilting cotton.
I also used lace to finish the bottom of the skirt lining to make it pretty. I think I like this dress now. I have made another top to wear with it, but will write about that in a later post.