This dress was more work than I expected. There are 10 darts in the upper collar and 10 in the under collar, as well as four in each pocket. I love the shape the darts create and the way the collar drapes. I also chose to make the 6 bound button holes on the bodice as per the instructions. It reinforced how much work bound button holes require, and the difficulty my middle aged eyes have discerning dark thread on dark fabric. The dress requires a self fabric belt with covered buckle. I had hoped to find a "cover your own belt & buckle kit" (1" width) at the Sewing Expo or G Street Fabrics. G Street had the kits for 2 inch width. So I had to come up with my own kit. I bought a 1" gold belt buckle. I used Pellon Peltex double sided fusible for the inside of the belt. Peltex is a 1/16 thick, non woven material commonly used to stiffen purses, fabric post cards and bowls. It is strong and flexible. It is available by the yard at fabric stores. Below is a brief description and pictures showing the technique for covering a belt with fabric with no sewing needed.
Cut Peltex the length needed for the belt. Be sure to include enough length to attach the buckle and for any overlap. The fabric should be slightly longer in order to turn under the raw edges at the ends. For the width of the fabric I used 2 x the Peltex width plus 2x the seam allowance/overlap. My sample is made with a 6 inches long, 1 inch wide piece of Peltex 72 and a 6 inch long, 2.75 in. wide piece of fabric. I used 3/8 '' overlaps.
Place Peltex on wrong side of fabric. Wrap fabric over one long edge to back of Peltex the amount of the overlap. Use tip of hot iron to tack in place.
Turn belt over so front is facing you. Align a piece of Steam A Seam2 (SAS) 1/4 " width to remaining raw edge. Remove paper backing from SAS.
Turn belt over so back is facing you. Pull fabric firmly around Peltex. Turn under raw edge so no SAS is visible. Make sure turned under edge overlaps the raw edge tacked down in step 1. Use hot iron to melt SAS along seam/overlap and to the Peltex in all other areas.
Note: I put the overlap seam near a long edge of the belt because I later added grommets in the center of the belt for the prong of the belt buckle, and didn't want any extra bulk a center overlap would have created. I may also hand stitch the seam just to make it sure it is secure. Not shown: I cut the Peltex in a point for the end of the belt and sewed the fabric in the same shape at the end only. But you could use the SAS to fuse the fabric around the pointed end of the Peltex too.