On one of my forays to the thrift store I picked up a few things just for me (not sweaters for recycling). This particular dress ended up being way too big for me.
What do you mean, why didn't I try it on at the store? Do you think I was alone? Hahahaha, I always have the toddler with me. He did actually sleep through the sweater acquisition portion of the trip, which was very nice.
So anyway, these first two pics show where I pinned it on the outside (because I'm trying to practice like I'm a seamstress, and they pin it on the outside, baby). I then turned it to the inside and transferred the pinnings to the wrong side using chalk to help me. I had to take in every seam and dart (six seams in all). I had to avoid the embroidery in front which entailed taking the back and sides in more, so the side seams trail toward the back below the waist. Plus I had to rip out where the shell meets the lining at every seam. Otherwise it would have been way too bulky where I took in the seam. I handsewed the lining and shell back together at those spots when I was done.
After all that work, including extending the back darts all the way up to the neck... I washed and dried it. In the machine (on cold water). Ok, I know, but it was pretty dirty and there were a couple of stains and it was in the thrift store... I figured someone had to have washed it at least once! Apparently I was wrong. It shrank slightly, mostly in the length. I then chopped off the bottom (because the bottom embroidery motif was dropping beads and also the lining was longer than the dress after the shrinkage). If you notice that the zipper looks a bit odd it's because of the shrinkage also. Luckily I had given myself a little bit of breathing room before I washed it but now it is a very precise fit, as you can see.
Yeesh what a lot of pictures!
Incidentally, it is nowhere near that pretty and shiny a color in real life, but it is still pretty nice. The fabric is a silk dupioni.
Hairband is handknit from handspun yarn I received in a trade. Ahhhhh, serendipity.