I cut a size 10 at the bust grading to an 8 at the waist but had to take in about an inch at the back. I made some of my usual changes, narrowing the neckline and the shoulders (I'm only 15 1/2 inches across) and cutting the lowest possible neckline. I thought a dress like this really needed a neck facing rather than just a bias, so I drafted and interfaced neck facings, which I think work well. Because others had commented on the need to lower the darts I lowered them about 1/2". That has ended up a touch too much and I would lower by around 3/5" next time.
Laurel does have a slightly gathered sleeve, but I thought this wasn't quite enough and I drafted my own which are 7" x 23" oblongs gathered and hemmed with a narrow hem. What makes me really love the dress is the fabric .... it is fabulous. I love black florals and this reminds me a bit of D olce and Gabana last season (it was advertised as Italian designer so who knows). It is Clara Viscose crepe from the Fabric Godmother, unfortunately now sold out and no wonder. It wasn't cheap at £16.00 per metre, but for me worth every penny. If it so soft and comfortable whilst retaining some body, perfect. If you find any anywhere let me know .... I would have some more. I think the dress also looks good with a belt.
The back has two darts that give some nice shaping and prevent too much bagginess. Another major change was to leave out the zip, it just wasn't needed as the dress easily goes on over the head. It might, then, be better to cut the back in one piece. The only change I think I still need to make is to move the shoulder seam forward a little. I haven't done this before but the seams seem to want to slip back a little, which then also raises the neckline. I will make this dress again, though doubt I will find such perfect material.
Isn't it great when you make something you are really happy with ..... and love wearing? I've worn it twice this week already and it is still comfortable at the end of the day ... and just to prove it, this is in the evening after the third day of wear.