I flatter myself that I'm getting a little faster and less haphazard at this alteration and sewing business. Ha, ha.
I started the Christmas dress this weekend. It had to be graded up two sizes, have an inch of width added to the upper back, and have the bodice lengthened quite a bit (I discovered after doing a muslin).
The concept looks like this. I'm still debating full-length buttons versus bodice-only buttons, but I suspect it will be bodice-only as that looks a little more formal. Ordinarily, a bodice-only-buttoning dress would then have a side zipper but I'm going to do a placket or fly in the skirt so I don't interfere with the side-seam pockets, and because the print is so dark it won't be obvious. It will also save me fabric yardage, since I'm eking this out of pre-used fabric (I'd say channeling Scarlett O'Hara except I hate that book/movie. Yeah, I said it).
The sleeves are going to be slightly belled and then gathered into cuffs with nonfunctional buttons. That's not correct 1940's but I wanted a little bit more drama. Also, I wanted more buttons. The dress fabric is very dark and I think it needs both the extra red trim and the extra buttons--I'm planning to use plain gold--to brighten it without being really silly.
Of course, I'm a genius and I mis-cut the bodice. It was half an inch short down both sides of the front opening. Because I'm working with limited fabric and because sometimes I do jackass stuff like this, I totally fixed it by adding narrow strips down the front.
This, friends and neighbors, is why dark, busy, small-scale prints are awesome. It's even less obvious in real life. Furthermore, it will be under the buttons. Nobody's looking at your hackneyed piecing if you have gold buttons.
The bodice so far doesn't look like much, but it fits acceptably and I'm well on my way.
I brought the sleeve pattern to alter today at lunch, and I have to do just enough finishing that I can attach the sleeves and inset belt later.
Unfortunately, the office party is tomorrow and, even if I don't seam-finish, I doubt I can get it done by then. I thought it was Wednesday. Darn.