Lets go in stages as to what went wrong...
1. The shoulder seams and the neck band seams just did not match up, no matter how hard I tried.
Not even the extra special effort to cut and match the notches helped. So I took apart the neck band and added them separately only to discover that one of the front pieces was then too short. Oh well I thought I'll just lap that bit at the back, no big deal...
2. I burnt the back of the bodice
See I did say I should have given up way before I did, but this burn was on the inside and not that noticeable on the outside and since I had spent so much time on the damned neck band I decided to solider on regardless. And yes the inside of the neck band does look amazingly shoddy but I'd already spent 2 evenings trying to sort it out at that point.
3. The issue with one of the front piece being too short took a lot of sussing out to try and fix, in hindsight an extra piece of fabric to make them both the right length would have worked but that's hindsight for you
4. The return of the Frump-Zilla!!
Oh. My. God! I know part of being pregnant is that you get fat round the middle and you can get away with those clothes where you think "Eeek I look pregnant in this" but Jesh Louise! I felt like the master of the Frump Clan from Frump Land. Hence why there isn't a picture of me wearing this atrocity.
Totally dejected I felt tearful (I blame the hormones) and angry to the point where I chucked the dress across the room on various occasions after trying to look for a saving grace. If I could have had a bottle of wine at this point I sure as damnit would have done, despite it being the middle of the day.
Eventually after staring at it for an eternity I figured out what was wrong. The bodice just wasn't right however the skirt was, BUT those gathers needed to be distributed evenly across the front. That in mind I went to the hairdressers thinking of what I could do with it. Luckily a light bulb struck! I could use the same bodice idea used in my maxi dress from new look 6699 and keep the skirt portion of the current dress.
Returning home from the hairdresser with a new lease of life (I think new hair does that to a gal) I cracked on with the dress, ripping out the skirt and dismantling the sleeves for a new bodice. I did nearly hit another concrete post though because I wasn't sure I had enough shirring elastic to finish the back, but the sewing gods were in my favour and had left me with just the right amount, pretty lucky since the Wedding was the next day... But it all worked out in the end, even the weather was glorious!