The answer was to take it in 1,5 inches at each side seam and do wider (than normal) French seams in the front and the back. The result was pretty fitted over the bust and looser over the waist and hips, just the way I wanted it to be.
In the pictures I matched the dress with a red belt, red clog sandals and a red scarf. I'm happy with the look.
Here's the dress from the back without the belt.
Here you can see that the finished dress bear no ressemblance to a tent... :)
From the side. Personally, I don't think it looks like a preggie dress, which is always a hazard with gathers or pleats near the stomach area.
I decided to make pleats on the sleeves, because they look so big and just stood out a lot. It turned very well I think.
In these two pics, you can see how wide the Freanch seams are. Above, the side seam. Below, the front seam.
Here's the dress just hangin' on the coat hanger.... Lovely pink bias tape at the neckline, huh?!
Well, some things to think about, if you're going to make this pattern, think about waht silhouette you want, the pattern is pretty big/has a lot of ease. I think I could have cut a size US14 for the top, and I'm usually a US18. But if you want a loose-fitting dress, go with your usual size. The sleeves are also very wide. For me the length was perfect, I only used 2-2,5 cm/1 inch for the hemline, but I'm quite tall, 175 cm. I cheated a little bit, but it's acutally possible to use French seams everywhere. I cheated at the armscye and the gathered bits. I also didn't feel like using facing for the neckline, so I went with bias tape instead.
Will I make this again? Possibly, now that I know what changes to make. (I know I could have made a muslin, but sometimes I just don't feel like it....)
Would I recommend the pattern? Yes, but think about the things I wrote above.
I'm I glad to be back from the vacation? Actually, yes.... (Really boring weather=no going to the beach=frustrated kids=frustrated (pale!) parents tired from entertaining the kids....)
Bye for now,