I found the perfect sewing course on a site called Craftsy. It is Bombshell Dress Class with Gretchen Hirsch. It is exactly what I have been looking for! I love sewing retro/vintage type dresses and this is how to do it from start to finish. Finally, I will get the sewing instruction I need. Maybe my hems will look better! Maybe my stuff will fit!
This is image stolen from the Craftsy site. The finished product from the class will be a dress like one of these. Essentially, these are the same bodice with variations for the skirt and an optional strap. I am going to make mine with a full skirt, a halter strap and use black and white polka-dot material.
I have started watching and sewing along. Gretchen is really great. I am really loving this online course. So far, I can't recommend it enough.
The first step is to create the bodice out of muslin to get the fit. Then, she shows you how to make pattern adjustments from there. This is exactly what I have been missing in my sewing.
This is my muslin after some adjustments.
I looked ahead in the lessons and the bust will have the slightest bit of padding to make it a more constructed dress, so I am not worried about the obvious roominess there.
One of the interesting things about the pattern is that it doesn't use any seam allowances. It makes cutting out the pieces easier and gives me experience marking the fabric and then sewing guide lines to match the pattern pieces.
Stay tuned for part two! Hopefully, I'll have the finished dress done.
Update: Part Two done! - http://thesewinglab.blogspot.com/2012/04/bombshell-dress-part-2.html