It still needs to be shortened, and one of the sleeves and collar aren't fixed. It's held together in the back with pegs. :P I need to practice zipper and buttonholes! I am not sure how much more I will do on this one as it was just for practice and isn't good enough to wear out.
Some things I learned (this is not a comprehensive guide to sewing advice, there are some much better ones out there!)
- Use pattern weights while laying out. The pattern keeps shifting, especially when your table is as small as mine. I don't have pattern weights, but things like brass candlesticks and metal coffee cups work well.
- Always ask for advice- my online sewing group Sewing for Steampunk and Cosplay was so helpful! I posted a lot of questions and got really helpful answers.
- Definitely do a mock up- you really don't want to waste your good fabric! You can't see but the material is inside out on the back of the dress! :P It doesn't matter as it's a draft! There were a lot of other things I learned as I went along, so the dress is far from perfect. But I am very proud of myself!
- Be patient! I made six different sleeves. They still need a bit of work. The sleeve in the pattern is too voluminous for me but making my own pattern just messes it up. But I think I worked out how to fix it.
- When you get too stressed leave it for tomorrow. I made this dress over a few days, only doing as much as I felt capable of at one time. There was a lot for me to learn and work out, so I didn't push myself too hard. I want sewing to stay fun!
- Someone said in sewing advice I read recently that you should own at least two seam rippers, because they are tiny and easy to lose. That is so true! I spend so much time looking for mine. Although if I had two, I'd probably lose both of them. I tried putting a chain on mine but it made it much too bulky to handle!