I did get the dress cut out on Sunday, and mostly sewed together on Monday. As you can see, this is already a huge improvement over the last attempt. I'm trying not to be bitter that I'm doing much better with Joann's-brand polyester shantung that cost me a total of about $15 than the now-possibly-useless silk charmeuse that probably cost me around $50.
It's still not perfect, though... while most of it fits (and looks) much, much better than the silk version, I'm still having trouble with those blasted side darts. Despite hand-basting them together by hand and several tweaks to the slant and depth of them. I'm still getting those points at the end. So this is leading me to two conclusions: a) if all goes well with the skirt fitting class I'll be taking over at Pattern Review over in a couple weeks, I should probably look into taking a bodice-fitting one as well as the pants one, and b) perhaps in the future I should stick with princess seams instead of double-darts whenever possible.
This whole thing has been a really discouraging experience, honestly... I can't help feeling like I shouldn't be having this much trouble with such a simple pattern. I keep telling myself that it's because it's one of those really tailored, classic silhouettes, and my style generally isn't so classic. And I know a big part of it is that I went for a higher-quality (and far more expensive) fabric than I tend to go for and it failed in spite of making a muslin. I don't like feeling like I wasted that money. And it really doesn't help that getting this wedding together has been a very frustrating and not very enjoyable experience for my entire family. Right now, I just want nothing more than to get it over with. So I just need to finish this (hopefully tomorrow...today ended up getting eaten up by handwork and further attempts to get the darts to lie better), and then maybe this weekend I can get the wrap taken care of. And then I need to find something to sew that's just fun... I'm debating between just whipping up another article of clothing, or holding off on that (since I start the skirt fitting class pretty much right after the wedding) and starting on some of the sewing for my room. Which has the bonus feature of not having to be fit on me. :P