This counts as an official Part II! I managed to fritter away most of my weekend--my "things accomplished" list included allowing Mispickel to sleep on me for two hours--but then finally did settle in and get some sewing done. Honestly, I had gotten to the point of having to finish the sleeves, and I was procrastinating because I was intimidated.
I had to do sleeve plackets. I had never done real sleeve plackets before, and they scared me.
I've done continuous-lap plackets a bunch of times, and they work, but I've never really liked them because I don't trust methods in which so little fabric is caught in a seam. It just seems like disintegration waiting to happen, especially on relatively coarsely-woven fabrics such as homespun and chambray. I was very close, though, to chickening out and doing them again on 4718. Comfort zones are powerful things, no?
Then I put on my big-girl sewing pants, got out the copy of David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking that I found at Half-Price Books, and jumped headlong into making real, live, shirt-sleeve plackets. (If you don't have this book, though, consider it. Seriously.)
I may never go back.
If you don't have the book, the method can be seen here. Beginners: I know your immediate reaction will be to panic and back-click, but don't. It looks like a horrorshow of folding and ironing and potential disaster, but I swear it works. It's exactly the kind of thing I could manage to completely mangle--I am, after all, the girl who cannot install a decent zipper to save her life--but my results, on my first attempt ever (I didn't even practice with scrap fabric, I swear) looked like this:
That's right, ladies: I owned those sleeve plackets!
They're even beautiful on the inside: No raw edges!
I got the sleeves sewn on and will spend lunchtime today--it's raining, anyway--finishing the armscye seams and sewing the cuff buttons by hand.
This dress actually has four different types of buttons on it. The cuff buttons are plain white 3/4 inch buttons I found in my stash; the sleeve keepers have small white buttons with a chevron pattern, also from my stash; the breast pocket has a small white button with a squarish excavation in the middle, from my stash; and the buttons down the front and on the skirt pockets are going to be these adorable-but-not-too-girl-for-a-chambray-shirt-dress round buttons with streamline square design, from Joann Fabric (that's a sleeve keeper button next to them):
The La Mode buttons didn't come any smaller than that; they were too big for the cuffs, keepers, and breast pocket.