BEFORE: (the grid below is in inches, to give an idea of the scale/size)
I poked through my pattern stash, but decided to use an existing dress from my closet as the pattern, mainly because the bottom hem was straight across (like the skirt hem) rather than round for fullness. I had to unstitch the waistband to get the proper length of fabric. I folded the dress in half lengthwise with the side seams touching, and traced the pattern onto the skirt. The skirt's slit was in the center, but I moved it to the side for this short dress. The scraps were used to interface the neck and arms openings.
AFTER: A simple but classy b/w dress for $2 (found a long black zipper in my stash, what are the odds?). Plus, I know that no one else owns one like it! I put darts in the back and at the bust line, but the dress is still not as fitted in the waist as I generally prefer and additional darts in the front aren't an option, but I'll be wearing a white cardigan over this most the time anyway, so I'm happy with it.
Add this to the list of reasons I'm becoming my mother when it comes to sewing... The slit in the front of the skirt appears to have originally gone all the way up to where the white appliqué stops. A previous owner had added some modesty by hand sewing the slit down to about half the original length. Polyester + hand stitching is not as clean looking as I wanted, and I needed to once again reduce the length of the slit, so I took apart the front of the dress so that it would be machine sewn throughout, and would lay nicely. I sure hope this new found perfectionism doesn't carry over into other realms of my life! Don't worry, that'll never happen, right mom?