(Please excuse the no makeup and undone hair. I'm not going to lie to you....that's how I normally role.)
Sizing: I cut out a medium per the books sizing chart. I am 5' 10" 130 pounds and wear a size 4. My measurements are Bust 35 Waist 28 Hips 36 . I think I could have cut out a small mainly because this dress lacks the stenciling and applique. The more stitches you add to the dress the less give the fabric has. I have some wrinkling in the back (not sure is cutting a size small will fix this) and a little room in the bust. I can see where you want a snug fit as this dress is heavy and the fabric will stretch as you wear it.
Assembly: This dress goes together just as it should. Mrs Chanin you are my hero! Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see pattern pieces fit together so nicely. This is a time consuming project but totally suitable for the novice seamstress. I would also like to mention that I used 75 yards (spool and a half) of button thread.
More pictures at my Alabama Studio Style Flickr Set .