Everyone is shocked to find that we are *still* not finished w/costumes...Belle 10 goes on tonight and her bodice is only partially assembled. We are putting what we learned on Belle 16 to work, though, and it's going together a bit faster. We're hoping to have it done to the back hooks and eyes by noon so we can try it on her to see where to place those items.
Yesterday, after a bit of discussion (and after I'd studied that photo I posted yesterday), we decided part of the reason Belle 16's dress fit so poorly was that the sleeves were too tight and she couldn't quite pull it up to where it should be. So we took the sleeves off, serged about 1/4" off the armsceye all the way around, took the overlapping bit of the oversleeves off and pulled some of the gathering thread loose to enlarge the armhole for her, and we cut (ouch!) the undersleeve net/lace band and up into the undersleeve a bit to open the band and closed it with about an inch of 3/8" elastic. It fit much better; I was able to overlap the top of the bodice (but not the bottom) about an inch more at the top. A couple of saftey pins and a good tug on the ribbon drawstring at the top and it fit her much better. Of course, I forgot the camera yesterday so you'll just have to take my word for it. ;)
However, the instructions require that the skirt and the bodice be connected w/hooks and eyes...that doesn't work really well on an elastic waistband. We tried, but I think we're just going to have to keep her together at the waist with safety pins.
My bodice is done to the bertha and waistband hooks; don't know if I'll be wearing it tonight or not. It would be nice, wouldn't it?