I decided to make mine from plain grey cotton as cotton is fairly easy to sew and grey is a pretty generic colour that you can wear with anything! It's the first dress i've ever sewn and i'm very pleased with how it turned out! The pattern instructions were excellent with pictures and step by step instructions to help you along the way. The skirt is panelled and has deep pockets either side. The bodice is lined.
The back has a bow detail that is very pretty, although can sometimes be a little floppy. Sometimes I starch it when ironing to make it nice and crisp. I'd also consider placing a few stitches here and there to help it hold in place. Overall though the dress fits beautifully and drapes over the hips giving it a little flare; iconic of the 50s design!
The only real problem I had with making this dress (other than it taking quite a while), was hemming. It's almost circular at the base, therefore as you hem it starts to twist! My advice, having sewn it, cut it off and hemmed again, is to make the hem turning as tiny as possible. This helps to stop twisting as you sew. And obviously press the hem before you sew.
I can't be that scared off by the project... i'm considering making another! ;-) x