So I've been doing a lot of sewing lately. I found this very unflattering dress at Goodwill and thought it would look nice with a few modifications!
First I started by taking off the sleeves and the skirt. I love the brass buttons!
I tried the bodice on and marked where I needed to take in the sides. (I ended up taking in a bit more than this in the end.)
I measured it to make sure it was even.
After sewing the side seams, I laid out the skirt. I cut it off just below the pockets (it is upside down in this picture.)
I pinned the skirt to the bodice but there was a lot of excess fabric at the sides since it had been gathered.
No problem, I just let it hang off the sides and sewed across the front and back separately. I think this was the point where I pinned the incorrect sides together - oops.
I was left with this:
Now I started experimenting with the skirt. I used a ruler to trace a line from the waist to the corner. Ideally, skirts would be cut across the grain, pleated, or gathered, but I didn't have enough fabric for the first two options, and gathers are not flattering on me.
I ended up changing the angle a bit. When I tried it on. the sides were pointy and hung down, which is a style, but not one I was trying to create. At this point I decided I also needed to take in the sides of the bodice more, so I did that too.
I ended up tucking in the extra fabric (from taking in the seams in the bodice) to create a pleat on either side of the skirt. This allowed a little extra room.
I pulled out the sleeves and soon discovered I'd have to re-draft them entirely. I measured the armholes of the bodice to get an idea of how big the curve needed to be. I played around with some chalk for a while:
...and eventually decided I needed to practice with an old piece of bed sheet until I got it right. So I drafted it onto a piece of paper and made several sleeves out of scrap fabric until I found something that worked.
I didn't take pictures of the sleeves being attached. I also had to take apart the cuffs and make them smaller, but that wasn't too hard.
After the sleeves, I needed to get back to the skirt. The sides were still pretty pointy and I didn't like them like that.
I ended up ironing them into a curve, trimming, and hemming them. I was worried it would be too noticeable with the plaid pattern, but it really wasn't.
And that was all! (Mom: "Stand on this piece of broken bathroom wall, it'll look better!" Lol.)