This particular dress I actually bought at a charity shop with the intention of shortening it - even if I'd wanted to, there was no way I could have worn it with a bra, just look at that bust, a strapless bra would show right through that hole in the middle and I don't do braless. I loved the print and the fabric is a very thin, very stretchy, very slinky knit - feels gorgeous but I was soon to find out that it is a nightmare to sew with my machines. I don't know what this fabric is called but I have quite a few maxis made out of it and quite a bit of it in my stash (which would be a good thing apart from the aforementioned 'nightmare to sew' bit).
I started this dress about this time last year (yes, last year), I finished it in Oct/Nov. Why the delay? The hem - as I've mentioned, that's where so many of my projects sit languishing for months until I get fed up with seeing them sitting around. In the end I used a double needle to do the hem - it's not a great job, there are some skipped stitches but, meh, it's done and it's been worn quite a bit over the summer. I've had a lot of compliments on it too.
To make it, I basically cut off the extra length all around the bottom, cut that in half and used it to make the top. I very carefully unpicked the top and skirt because I was happy with the way the dress fitted from under the bust and wanted to keep that shape. The new shoulder seams were originally the side seams of the skirt, the original hem is now the neckline (trying to minimise any sewing on this fabric that I can). I sewed the (now) CF together up for afew inches and overlapped where the two top pieces joined the back skirt a smidge. As I'd cut so much length off, I had to cut down the new bodice pieces so that they matched the skirt but I angled the cut out to the (now) sleeves. The sleeves came a long way down my arms and looked a bit stupid but I still wanted more coverage up there, so I sewed in a stretched piece of elastic with zigzag along the new shoulder seams to gather up the shoulders. Of course it didn't gather as much as I'd wanted because elastic never shrinks back to anywhere near it's original size after I've sewn through it but it was enough. I've since read that apparently there is specific elastic to buy for sewing through in order to have it recover, I wonder if it's easily available in Australia. After all that it was just a matter of hemming the new sleeves and skirt which apparently is a 7 month project for me.
As I said, I wore this quite a bit over the summer and I've found that I really should have made the two bodice pieces a bit shorter, sometimes if I'm not sitting up nice and erect (like I should be), the shoulders start to slip off. I had thought I might just do another round on the overlocker where the bodice and skirt meet but I don't really want to go messing with the length. I plan to make spaghetti strap out of the left over fabric and sew it across the back neckline - that should take care of that and I'll be able to slouch all that I want.