So far, I'm really pleased with how McCall 5522 is turning out.
Like a few others who made this shirt, I've rearranged the order of construction to suit my own methods. Instead of sewing upper bodices together at shoulders and sides, then sewing lower bodices together, then sewing upper to lower, I sewed upper to lower on fronts and back, then sewed the shoulder seams.
At that point, I could pin the sides and see how the fit was going, but I still didn't sew the side seams until I added the ruffle and the front bands - which is now done.
I had a suggestion from Nancy K to do the front band on the bias, and I thought I had enough fabric left to do that, but I didn't. So I did the next best thing, which was to rearrange the front bands so that they line up perfectly on the lower part of the shirt, and where they don't line up, it isn't as noticeable because the ruffle is on either side.
I'm liking it.
I'm doing it my way on the sleeves, as well. When I cut the sleeves, I removed some of the extra ease in the sleeve cap. There was a lot. After thinking about it a little, I decided that rather than easing in the rest of the excess, I would treat this as a man's shirt. Men's shirts have no sleeve cap ease. You sew them in completely flat, and if there's a plaid - guess what? it lines up!
Excess fabric - gone. I did it sort of quick-and-dirty instead of doing it properly. If this way hadn't worked, I would tried another way, but this worked. I started pinning the sleeves in - flat, remember - from each end. I pinned until I got to the ease marks. I put a pin at the shoulder seam mark. Then, I looked at how much excess there was, and where, and I started fiddling.
After only minimal muttering and swearing, I got the sleeves to where they are now. They don't line up perfectly, and I'll continue to tinker with that, but they're much better than any attempt at plaid-matching I could have achieved after easing in 2 extra inches of fabric.
I pinned the sleeves from the cuff all the way up, and then back down the shirt to the hem. Just like a man's shirt. And it worked.
Best of all, IT FIT. But Project Runway will be on shortly, so it's time to stop for the night.