Placket instruction was ingenious - step-by-step teaching all along the way. It's Home-Ec class in a pattern envelope! The only thing I did a bit different was to edgestitch the collar where the pattern actually instructed to 'set it aside for the moment' - only because my fabric was heavier and I knew I couldn't edgestitch the neckline through to the opposite side as straight as I would have liked. (That will make sense when you read the pattern, so if you have a regular weight cotton - just ignore what I said.) Tip #1: Take extra time and preparedness in cutting and marking as precisely as possible - your placket will thank you!
I'm not too sure I'm happy with my blind-hemming technique on the cuff. I think next time I would just tack it at the inside seam and let the remainder hang free... if it bugs me enough, I may take it out and redo it. There are so many ways to blind hem or tack, and some look better than others for various effects. It's been fun to try different techniques, though.
Tip #2: When pressing the loops up as instructed, make sure they are parallel to the side seam to keep them nice and straight. I did and I was really glad. Also - either decrease the length of each loop to 2 1/2 inches or tack them lower than what you see in the photograph above. Otherwise the belt tends to ride higher on the waist. Although you probably wouldn't have noticed had I not mentioned it, no?
How does one attach seam binding? By hand. Yeah - all the way around.... on both sides of the ribbon. The end result was well worth it. The ultimate compliment came tonight when my mom said, 'what attachment did you use to do that seam binding?' - that'd be 'the hand that's attached at the end of my arm'. hehe!
UPDATE, 1 YEAR LATER: Dress was still long enough for 1st grade to wear again. We only needed to shorten the sleeve length.