I've decided to feature the printed pattern as my innovation. Butterick Patterns have been an innovative company since beginning the production of graded patterns back in 1863. You can read the company's full history on the Butterick History site, but I'm going to skip ahead to 1948.
In 1948, the Butterick manufacturing headquarters had just moved to Altoona Pennsylvania. Two new printing presses were brought in with the new manufacturing plant, and the printed pattern was born. To quote their history:
The 'printed pattern' was the most significant improvement of home sewing patterns since its invention. What a joy it was for the home sewer to have bold dots, notches and lines replacing the little holes that previously marked darts, matching points and foldlines!
The pattern I am using is Butterick 5605, which is a reprint from 1956. As you can see, it has a cute back detail and a fairly simple front, with a tea length skirt. I'm using View C, in the top right corner.
So far, it has been pretty simple. I've traced out the pieces and adjusted them for size. I'm using size 22 in the bust and size 20 in the waist. The bodice is 8 pieces (Center front, side front, side back and center back) with all of the waist shaping don on the side pieces. So, I've cut the center front and back in straight size 22, while the side pieces transition from 22 to 20 at the waist.
Construction seems fairly simple, with the exception of one thing, sleeve gussets. This will be a new technique for me, so we'll see how it goes. But I have found a number of helpful-seeming tutorials on the web so far. First, from Karen at Did You Make That? an excellent tutorial with some quick tips and helpful hints (including a warning for your house-mates!). The second is from Gertie, at Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. Although this tutorial is designed for a two piece gusset in a dress with a two piece bodice, it was still helpful to read about the process before giving it a go here.
So, I'll get back to you on how it goes. Here's hoping! (Oh, and did I mention I need to finish it in exactly one week to wear to a dinner with my Fiance's new company?)