To help battle the overwhelmed/panicky feelings that do crop up from time to time while working in the costume room, I hung several encouraging Scriptures about the room. One of them is Daniel 11:32b, KJV... "The people who do know their God shall be strong and do exploits." The dress for Young Adult Belle, Simplicity 5724 is definitely in the 'exlpoit' realm for me. The role of Young Adult Belle is double-cast, which means two different girls will be wearing the dress. One is a size 10 and the other is a size 16. Believe it or not, the skirt (which is a separate garment from the bodice) uses the same pattern pieces for all sizes, except for the waistband. The grading is done purely by gathering up more or less fabric to the waistband.
I've already modified the skirt pattern a little; this is pre-hoop, so I am not making it quite so full, and the tier of ruffles on the underskirt has been replaced by one deep ruffle. And I'm going to use an elastic waist treatment, supplemented with a drawstring. The good part about that is that I only have to make one skirt; the girls are close enough in height that we can make up the difference in shoes. When I first saw the pattern, I suggested using one skirt for both girls, but the (non-sewing) Powers that Be were not receptive to the idea. However, once I got into the pattern and discovered that the pieces were identical, I made an Executive Costuming Decision: One skirt will be made. If the directors are not pleased with that, I can always promise a second skirt...to be made *If* we have time.
I'm making the skirt first so I can fit the bodices over it. Boned and highly fitted. Yeah, definitely exploits.