Thanks, everyone, for the nice comments. Kathryn, the smaller dress is gathered with elastic. I don't have a zig zag machine, so I couldn't just sew over elastic thread and pull it. I sewed the elastic to the wrong side of the dress. The buttons are sparkly, but no bees.
Lyra, I, too, have been around the block a few times as far as patterns go, and Girly Style has the most confusing pattern sheet I've ever encountered. When I finally found the line I wanted, I ended up tracing over it right on the pattern sheet so I could see what I wanted to trace onto the tracing paper. I made another dress with a different Japanese book, and the pattern sheet was much more simple to use. I'm not sure which is more the norm among Japanese pattern books.