That's a beautiful sweater and I'm sure your DD will love it.
Yeah, you asked about the reverse stockinette for the bands and I wondered why it called for that. I've used garter stitch and it's not too bad. Double seed stitch/double moss stitch has worked pretty well for me too.
Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper