A few of you suggested that having the black buttons was just too much black, and you were right. Funnily, these are the buttons I originally wanted to use, but I thought they were too stark. I tried to soften it a little by using magenta thread:
I'm much happier with the dress now, so I'm calling it finished and putting it in the closet to await spring. At which time, she'll come back out so I can model it for you!