I'm quite happy with how it looks now, but when I first tried it on my daughter I was not hopeful about it. My first thought was, "I didn't know a three-year-old could look frumpy!" But, cutting off some length helped as did the addition of sleeves.
This dress looks better on a body in motion than it does in photographs. Here the back looks a bit big, but it's just a very basic A-line shape. The plaids match nicely at center back, but maybe you notice that the sleeves are cut with the plaid going the opposite way. I was seriously in danger of not having enough fabric and played pattern tetris for awhile to get everything I needed squeaked out. Switching the direction of the sleeves was the only way.
I think the sleeves make the dress. The gathering at the top of the arm is done with two rows of shirring using elastic thread in the bobbin. I've never done that before. It worked out pretty well, but I don't know if I'm interested in shirring an entire waist yoke or sundress top yet. I was thankful for the plaid pattern - it made it easy to sew those lines straight.
The gathering at the wrist is supposed to be just actual gathering with the trim strip sewn on top. It was way too loose, so I put a piece of 1/8" elastic through there to gather it up snugly.
The instructions for sewing the tucks on the front yoke didn't seem to work out for me, so I just did my own thing and I'm happy with it. I like the textural interest it adds.
If the sleeves made the dress, then the hat made the outfit. For the beret I used this free pattern, cut out of ponte knit. The rose is from a purchased tutorial available here. Before I made the hat, I asked my daughter if she would like one and if she thought she could wear it without playing with it. She was very excited about having a hat and was sure she wouldn't play with it. She wore it all morning today and didn't play with it at all. I was quite impressed.
I really like the rose and added one to a headband for my older daughter to wear with her jumper. No pics of it on her, but it was a good addition.
Next Up: a vest for the little man...