I made a size 8 at the top graded out to a size 12 at the bottom. Next time, I would made the grading more gradual (i.e. start at the same place around the bottom of the ribcage but finish lower), since I think the curve out to my hips is too abrupt and finishes too high. I held up the paper pattern to my body and decided to make two alterations to the pattern: I changed the angle of the dart, raising the dart point by about 1.5", and I lengthened the skirt by 3.5" at the lengthen/shorten line. Since I had so much extra length, I ended up using 15 snaps instead of the 13 the pattern calls for - I kept the spacing between snaps the same as marked on the pattern. I also used the bottom button loop markings for the tops of the button loops.
There were a few things I thought were a bit strange with the pattern:
- the armholes are a little tight on me. After I printed the pattern but before I cut it out I got an email with a link to an updated version of the pattern, but since all the email said was that they changed the fit of the armhole (it didn't say how) I decided to just make the version I had already printed. I assume that the change is to make the armhole a little bigger, and I will probably try the new version if I make this again
- the belt seems a lot narrower and bit longer than it looks in the pictures. Also, it seems kind of strange to me that the pattern piece for the belt is concave rather than convex at the pointy end. If it were convex the finished belt would be the same shape but it would be easier to sew
- the belt loop marks are only an inch apart, even though the belt loop pieces are 2.5" long. I think the marks should probably be 2" apart
I bought a pair of KamSnaps pliers and this is the first project I've used them on. I bought size 14 long snaps in black, and I had to cut off the tips of the prongs, since my test snaps wouldn't close. The KamSnaps website was very helpful for troubleshooting the snaps. For the most part they were easy to use and I'm happy with how they worked, but I did have two (out of 15) that I squished the protruding part of when I put them in, so I had to remove them. Removing them was hard, and it put a lot of wear on the fabric around those snaps. I put some fraycheck on, but I'm pretty much just hoping it doesn't become a problem. Here's what the worn places look like.