What's a wadder?

It's a completed disaster, that's what. Or specifically to me, a dress that started out a good idea and when I put it on, stuck its tongue out at me and went "PBTHHHHHT."

It looks like it could have worked, right? Very easy. No sleeves to set. I found a lovely deep orange knit fabric, solid, no patterns to match,  no slipping or jamming. I worked it through. I even did French seams down the side. And as I worked I could feel my enthusiasm for it diminishing. As I finished the hem, I even felt decidedly "meh". But I finished it, out of principle.

Let's just chalk it up to a learning experience, shall we?

If you've got sewing experience, now's the time to jump in and tell me what I'm doing wrong. I can think of the following issues off the top of my head:

1. I should have done a facing around the neck and arms instead of just hemming. This would require me to learn facings.

2. I should have taken the time to pull the belt through the front like shown, rather than thinking I liked it better this way.

3. I originally cut it out too big, and tried to fix it by taking in the side seams and taking up the shoulders. The proportions were just off. I'm swimming in that top.

I'm going to pick out the fabric and try to use it for other things - a sleep tank and some undies would be sure nice in such a soft knit, if I can figure them out. But it's frustrating. This is the kind of experience that stymies self-taught beginners such as myself. I know there's technical knowledge that I just don't have that's preventing me from feeling good about the work I'm doing, and it just ends up in wasted money, materials, and time.

In February I'm taking a beginner sewing class through the local technical college, and I'm hoping I can continue through their classes and get some guidance on things like patterns, fit, piecing, and joining techniques. In the meantime, I'm working on things like PJ pants, Christmas stockings, pillows, curtains. And I've signed up for Gertie's Crepe sew-along. Yeah... we'll see how that goes.....