Ok - so I found this dress and fell in love with the fabric it was made out of more than the actual garment. As luck would have it the darn thing was made to fit every little curve... so I bought it. There are still grand ideas floating around in my head about draping and shoulder straps and such, but I haven't had much time to play with it since I've gotten it put back together. Hopefully you enjoy it.
Here's the monsterpiece of a dress. It was too straight and the length wasn't flattering.
Step 1! CHOP OFF THE PUFFY SLEEVES!!
Step 2! Chop off skirt until it's at an acceptable length.
I decided to use a contrasting fabric to make godets to add volume to the skirt. They're just triangles measured out based on the desired circumference of the bottom of the skirt. So you decide where to put them and how many - it's best to space them out evenly, the next time i do this I'll do it differently. At one point, while trying this on for fit it looked like I had a flowery stinger thanks to how the fabric decided to hang.
Cut slits in the skirt to the appropriate length and attach the edges of the triangles you cut
This is what I ended up with after changing the skirt.
I then attacked the neckline deciding to go with a strapless look (For now that is. I plan on adding some ridiculously frilly straps at a later date.)
I then discovered that I should have put the godets in (the triangle things) higher up, because the added volume was a little weird. I also liked the idea of having another contrasting piece of fabric for a new waistband, so I chopped away until I got the bodice/waist/skirt close enough to "right" to be satisfied :)
After attaching the bodice to the skirt I went around the top with some fun ANCIENT gold bias tape I came across thrift-shopping one day... I found that it really helps to use an adhesive to hold the tape in place before stitching. All that was left was reattaching and shortening the zipper, hemming the bottom.
My dancin' shoes are ready to take this creation out on the town - I apologize for not getting a picture of the back before my batteries died. I ended up adding grommets to the back to lace up the bodice. The dress works really well over a full net petticoat, another thing I'm considering just sewing in when I decide how/when/where to attach a strap or two. ;) Hope you enjoyed!