I was dismayed to find that one of the pattern pieces was torn and thus incomplete. Of course, it was one of the more complex pieces -- the front yoke. I redrew it based on the illustrations in the instructions, but I ended up taking in the shoulders and sleeves a little. I also took in the bodice by a good four inches as it was initially very blouse-y.
I made self-fabric ruffles for the yoke and pockets as suggested in one of the dress illustrations. The very large and practical pockets are lined in muslin.
The instructions on this pattern are pretty sparse and there is no pattern piece for the neckline facing. You're already supposed to know how to make a facing on your own. I guess 1940s seamstresses probably did.
I really pushed myself to finish all the details on this dress -- no skimping or getting lazy. I even learned how to make thread chains for belt loops, which turned out to be SUPER easy. I couldn't find good instructions on the Internet so I consulted my copy of Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, and all was made clear.
The buttons down the front give me a chance to tie on this little-worn vintage apron of mine. It may be hard to see in the photo, but there is a buttonhole just under the peak at the top of the apron, which you're supposed to attach onto a button on your frock. The sides are a little apt to flap down but I think a good ironing with starch might help.
I am very happy with this dress. It's super-comfy and the waist is not too tight to make household chores difficult. The cotton floral is kind of a "working muslin" as I had in mind a more autumnal color scheme, but I couldn't find any vintage-like fabric in dark, warm colors. Happily the blue floral cotton was on sale so the whole dress was pretty cheap.
And my husband's reaction? Well, he made a rather hilarious comment that I can't share here. ;) But I think he likes it.