I do not completely dislike it. I like the style of it; I just think that the fabric choice (although I like the fabric on the bolt) and the length makes it look dowdy, and with the flower appliques I so painstakingly sewed close to the bottom hem, I can't take it up without a lot of work. Since I've already invested over two hours in Simplicity Sewing for Dummies (yep) pattern #4206, I'm just going to leave this as it is. The pattern is technically not even for a dress, but rather for a shirt, and I just added a little length and flared it out a little to make a dress.
I have a stack of fabric waiting to be made into this kind of dress for her. Today at Mary Jo's, I got some clearanced Wizard of Oz fabric for $1.99 a yard, and some Project Runway Carnaby Street fabric for $3.99 a yard. That will all become this kind of dress...someday. Until it gets cold, she can wear them as is. In the winter, she can wear them as tunics with a turtleneck and leggings (which I am also in the process of making). In the meantime, she loves this, which I think my gramma used to refer to as a housedress. It's perfect for wearing at home, and today she even proudly wore it to the grocery store. She's strongly into an "I only want to wear dresses" phase, so this fits.
Next time I will:
1. make it shorter
2. sew on the applique after I make the whole dress, so I'm free to make alterations
3. remember that I need to cut one sleeve from the right side of the fabric and one from the wrong side of the fabric, so they line up on the arm (I did it correctly in this version, but I had to cut one extra sleeve because I messed up and cut two from the right side of the fabric).
I am proud of myself for seeing an entire project through, from beginning to end. I started cutting the fabric at around noon and didn't stop until I finished the whole dress, a little after 2:00. That's unusual, for me. Hurray for perseverance!
Kate loves it, and so does Murphy (pictures of him being held hostage not withstanding), so it's a success!