I discovered a marvelous wool blend dress at the flea market and crossed my fingers that the slim-looking bodice would be wide enough to accommodate my generous chest.
No such luck!
Thankfully, after more than few months of indecision over how to refashion it into something I could comfortably wear inspiration struck:
Here’s how I upsized that bodice-squeezing dress into a fun, chest-fitting frock!
I grabbed the too-tight dress and my trusty seam ripper.
Removed the side zip.
Stitched up the resulting hole.
Removed the sleeves.
Removed the skirt.
Opened up the side seams of the bodice.
Hemmed up the raw edges of the bodice lining.
Popped the bodice over my head and eye-balled the basic length & width required to fill the open sides then chopped a couple of pieces of fabric from one of the removed sleeves.
Sewed them on with a wide basting stitch.
Then popped the bodice on my dress form to check the fit.
Quick tip: if you’re lucky enough to thrift a dress form that is your exact measurements everywhere except the bust simply slip a well-fitting bra on it and stuff it with socks.
Once I was happy with the fit of the bodice I put it inside the skirt with right sides together and raw edges lined up and gathered and pinned it in place.
Stitched them together.
Then had the brilliant idea to bind the arm holes with a couple of strips of remaining fabric. Unfortunately, after two incredibly unsuccessful attempts I had to admit defeat and went searching through my stash for something that might work for sleeves. (and then asked for your groovy thoughts in my Q&A studio tour video)
I discovered part of a leftover shirt in coordinating colours and revisited my very oldie but goodie splendid sleeves tutorial:
Yowza! My video skills have certainly improved since then!
I now have a quirky, comfy, totally unique dress for fall!