I've finished this dress after more than a year. It's such a relief to have finally completed it. However, it will probably be quite a while before I use this pattern again, not because it's bad; it's really the opposite. I think I was a little bit ambitious when I started it. The great thing is I've learned quite a few skills along the way, and that is priceless.
This dress, as aptly described by my dear husband, was my nemesis. I kept procrastinating to finish it for a super long time. I started sewing the dress I guess somewhere in March 2013 (I'm not even sure anymore). It has been so long! I bought the pattern for a project in my sewing class, back when we still lived in Washington. The overall process was so slow due to a few reasons. I brought Sarah with me to the class, so my attention wasn't really focused on sewing. They were 90 minute sessions of one on one instruction. That sounds pretty long, but I just felt every time I went there, it ended so quickly. I didn't try to finish the dress at home because I wasn't confident enough to attempt it on my own. Plus, when I was at home, I just felt like I had tons of other things to do. Sewing obviously isn't always my priority even though I love it so much. Does that make any sense at all?
I started this dress as a size 6-12m. The actual finished dress is a size 12-18m. Sarah is now 28 months. Luckily for me, she's a peanut compared to most toddlers her age, so this dress still fits her nicely. What happened was that I made so many mistakes with my first attempt. Since this dress was initially an in-class project that I did for my sewing class, I double-checked with my instructor before moving on to subsequent steps. Without doing any cross-referencing with the pattern's instructions, I just followed what my instructor asked me to do. The pattern asked me to: 1) Attach the bodice to the skirt, 2) Sew in the zipper, and 3) Attach the collar. I instead, sewed the bodice and the skirt to their respective linings and attached both pieces together. I don't remember when I attached the zipper but I had totally forgotten to attach the collar. It's all a bit hazy for me to remember all the details, but here goes: I think the main reason why I didn't remove all the stitches when I realized my mistake was that I had already trimmed the seam allowances of the neckline to 1/4" and even clipped them. I wanted so badly to attach the peter pan collar, that I did just that and sewed a bias binding on top of all the layers. It ended being bulky. It was not the wisest decision.
Note to self: ALWAYS go through the pattern from start to finish, and read the instructions carefully!
This is what happens when I get extremely frustrated. The zipper kept getting caught to the lining because I probably sewed the fabric too close to the zipper. The slippery lining fabric started to shred and it just looked awful. I was really at my wits' end. This was the result! What was once a dress looks as if it got terribly amputated. Yet, I'm actually glad I did what I did. If I were to just be satisfied with my mediocre work, I wouldn't have started the 12-18mth size dress from scratch, all on my own! Well, I had to do it on my own anyway since I quit my sewing class, and moved to Great Lakes, IL last September. I really miss going to that sewing class, and I miss Tammy, my sewing instructor. It was a fun place to be for me.
I used a 1" double folded hem instead of the 2" as suggested by the pattern, because of Sarah's height. The 12-18m bodice fits perfectly for her, but it would have been too short if I had used the 2" hem.
Does it matter if the sleeve's overlap is toward the back instead of the front, as shown in the pattern? When I realized it, I just couldn't be bothered anymore.
I'm not really loving this dress, but I'm happy I made it. It took me over a year to finish it. I've learned a few new skills, and I think that what really matters.