* huge flat washers from the hardware store make fantastic (and inexpensive) pattern/fabric weights. I purchased ten to begin, but will be getting at least another ten for larger patterns.
* how to set up and use the rolled hem feature on my serger, which was uber helpful in taming the raw edges of the sheer fabric.
* how to insert an invisible zipper. Given my trouble with the fabric, and the fact that I've never done an invisible insertion before, I was pretty happy that it only took me two tries. I can't believe I've avoided them for so long. I had no idea how to start, so used this video tutorial on YouTube.
Now for some photos...and I'm a little disappointed in these, but that's what happens when you decide to take pictures at two in the morning.
This is the pattern, Vogue for Me 7681, view A, which is the bottom left of the three views.
My friend wanted some modifications, including shortening the dress to just below the knee, adding some extra volume to the skirt, and creating a removable, pleated sash instead of the attached half sash included on the pattern.
Here's the finished product (and it looks much better on a little girl than it does on the floor):
The bodice lining (another first for me), along with ribbon used to cover the raw edges of the gathered waist.