Of course, the victory came at the expense of a few yards of thread. The d*mn bobbin just wouldn't thread right! I also ripped out quite a few seams as I experimented and figured out what I was doing.
Yes, I was following a pattern. But, the pattern was a bit confusing, at times. I had my trusty iPhone at my side to look up unfamiliar terms like "stay stitching" and "understitching," as well as to watch videos about how to sew a dart, and read a play-by-play tutorial about sewing in a zipper.
This is the first time I've sewn a major project without my mom by my side to turn to for questions. ...and, I'd do it again. :) I actually learned so much about sewing - and myself - through this project, that I would not have if I had my mom to turn to every time I had a question. I wouldn't have sought out the answer; I wouldn't have tried; realized the problem; ripped out a seam; started over. I would have been harder on myself - expecting perfection rather than just seeking to learn.
The biggest lesson that I learned was this: "perfection is the enemy of good." I could easily obsess over tiny details - making sure everything lined up just right...and lose sight of the importance of just sewing. If it was screwed up so badly, well, I could rip out the seam. But, most of the time, it wasn't. One of the major 'issues' I came across is hardly noticeable in the final project. Moral of the story? Sometimes, you just need to sew - and keep pressing forward.
There is some back-story on this dress. (When isn't there a back story when I'm involved?) I set out to make this dress last March - for Easter. Then, I ran out of weekends, and then I got sick. At the end of May, I thought I'd give the dress a shot. Then, I took my measurements...and then I got sick. (figuratively, this time) I was shocked at what my actual measurements were - and that none of them matched anything on the pattern. When I bought that pattern, I thought that my measurements would match up. Nope. A big, fat NOPE.
Now, however, after losing 35+ inches (and pounds) since then, my measurements DID match up! I was a little cautious because I wanted to make sure everything would fit; I probably could have increased a seam allowance, or even gone to the next size down - but, I would rather have it fit (and be able to groove in it) than not.
So, VOILA! My first dress made all by myself!