This pattern was a pdf and it prints on both A4 and US letter sized paper (which I didn't notice till after I'd printed it on A4 paper....). I really liked that it had a grid on it so that if you are type A like me, you can measure out the size of the squares as you tape them together so they end up straighter than with other pdf patterns. I don't normally like pdf patterns because I don't feel my taping skills are up to snuff but this helped out loads.
I opted not to do a muslin and the top came out the right size but I did something really dumb when cutting out the skirt piece. I cut out the waist two sizes too small! Eeep! I don't know what I was thinking since I cut out the top and waist band the correct size. Oy! This was completely a user error, and had I cut out the correct size, the pattern would have fit great. And I didn't have enough fabric to recut the skirt pieces. I was able to let a bit out of each seam but since I did French seams, I couldn't let nearly enough out. I really wanted to use this fabric for this dress, so I did what I think any thrifty 40s gal would have done in the same situation, I added strips of fabric to the side seams to make up for the width needed at the waist. The busy print mostly hides it.
On the bright side, all I have to do for next time is print out the skirt pieces and cut the pattern out with the correct size.
The neckline on this dress is just gorgeous on the front and back. Pretty enough on the front that you don't need a necklace and the keyhole on the back is just darling! The original design had contrasting bands on the sleeves too, but I ran out of fabric. I really wanted a matching bolero to go with this dress and I didn't end up with enough contrast fabric for all of the things so I left off the sleeve contrast. It was a bit chilly with the bolero so I swapped it out for a sweater today.
I choose to do a bunch of French seams on this dress and hand stitching the hem and the contrast on the neckline (because I couldn't find thread that matched well enough) so it did take a while to stitch up but it came out really nice and I love the little details that make a dress special.
Overall, I really enjoyed working with this pattern. I'd make a few changes next time I made up this pattern-cutting out the correct waist size, adding the contrast back to the sleeve and using a contrast fabric that is more similar in weight/stretch etc to my main fabric because they didn't really play nice with the shaped waist band. The directions are clear with lots of pictures and include info on extras like dress shields and making your own shoulder pads.
The pattern is recommended for intermediate sewers but I think an advance beginner would do ok if you were confident in installing a zipper and you were willing to be patient with the more fiddly shaped contrasting neck piece. The hardest bit for me was the fabric chart which was only available in meters but I believe an English chart is being worked on. I used 2.6 yds of 56" fabric for my main fabric and I used a mix of sizes 8, 10 and 12 (which is normal for me).
Note: I was given this pattern for free in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.