A trip to the op shop turned up exactly what I was looking for. A stretchy lace top in a colour that would go with grey. When I got it out at home my husband looked visibly shocked and exclaimed that it was 'hideous' hoping, I assume, to put me off wearing it out of the house the next day. It was a sort of pink stain gathered strappy number with black lace overlay and an exposed black zip down the front. Very trendy I'm sure but luckily for him I was in total agreement as presumably had been the lady that took it to the oppy! Anyway it was exactly what I needed!!! I had a long visocse maxi dress I had got at a garage sale, it had pretty greek style stop but was in fact too big, and too fiddly to adjust. They would go together perfectly.
Our new French Au pair Estelle had appeared a few days earlier in a dusty blue jersey dress with beige lace on the top. It was super pretty but not a thing I would have normally considered to make/wear myself but it stuck in my head. I asked to try it on, it was a bit tight but the idea was good so I traced the shape around the bust and cut out the top just a bit larger, it needed a seam down the back but all good. Then cut off the maxi dress below the bust, cut out the inverse shape on the front of this, sewed the front and the back on, with a gathered bit in the back, and then serged the sides to make it fit the lace bit. Then I sewed some elastic inside using a zig zag stich to give it a drop waist. The original had a higher one but really doesn't suit me so much and the heavy drape of this fabric makes the drop waitst really nice.
Result a lovely stylish, romantic and super comfy dress and a look of surprise from David that something with such unpromising beginnings had turned out so nicely! I'm imagining it in Autumn with my long tan boots. I think it will be a really versatile dress, easy to dress up or down.
Please ignore my strange shaped boobs despite taking 3 pairs of shoes in my basket to the beach (none of which i used) I omitted to take appropriate undergarments as i had it in my head I was wearing a black bra. Rather than have the white straps showing I opted to take the straps off which turned it into a very weird shape. hmm one of those things you may not have noticed but now you will...anyway you get the idea.