fixing a sheath dress, thrifted sheath dress

I reserved this dress for VDAY since its reddish/black and thought it appropriate for a nice evening out.
For the day dedicated to LOVING your spouse, significant others, kids, family 
and friends more than usual.

 I'm REALLY not fond of lace
but I loved the cream sheer panel behind the lace and kinda digged the buttons. 
 This is the 2nd lacy item I now own too.
The dress is boxy, has no shape at all and is SO blah. 
I figure I'm helping the ladies who might have worn as is....or the landfills of another trash piece lol
It needed to be taken in a few inches on each side, sleeves shortened 
and maybe the length too.


The lace overlay and black material are attached in 3 areas- zipper and both underarm areas.

To work on the width I had to 1st detach black/lace underarm areas so that I could fully get to the black material.

Lace pulled up and out of the way...I pinned the sides (a few times)until I got a decent shape around the mid area.

I stitched slowly down the dress removing pins along the way and then trimmed excess.

When I was satisfied with the black part I moved onto the lace and did the same. 
This proved to be slight harder since I over-stitched a tad, which made it too narrow for my hips.
 I struggled with removing the thread and had to be super careful to not to cut the actual threads from lace errr.
 You know how hard it is to find black thread on black lace?! lol 
WHEN I finally got it fixed, I cut the excess lace too.

 Sides were done and now to the sleeves.
 I unstitched arm pit seam so that the underarm was open. 
This beautiful "flower" is what I saw... I had to take a pic. 
I ended up taking 1 in. or so off of the sleeve and finally reattached the black material 
and lace in the underarm area.

 I was going to straighten these but then tried placing them in different patterns and just couldn't find something I really liked. 
I also couldn't work any jewelry with buttons on...It seemed to be too much for me. 
I just left them off.

I then hit the length. 
I used the bottom row of flowers as my guide, pinned black material at that length
and then cut lace overlay around the flower pattern. 
I then finished off the black piece by hand (long stitches) because the machine didn't work well the bottom kept snagging.

The extra lace I stitched together for a sash to wear with the dress but totally optional.

Sides were taken in and sleeves/length shortened.
 Due to its upper sheerness, a strapless undergarment was necessary.
 I wore with 2 dark silver necklaces, a cream pearl necklace, dark silver studs, black boots (no stockings) and the sash (pictured a little lower).

I LOVE the sheer panel.




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