. . . a policewoman knocked on my door to tell me that a tree had fallen on my car. It turned out to not be that big of a deal, and actually all worked out for the best because then the city came and cut down the tree which dropped disgusting brown fruit all over my car from September to December. So in the end, the trip got taken, the car got fixed, the tree got cut down, but the dress languished in the bottom of the closet. At this point I had planned to add a self-covered belt (I had already bought special buckles online) and some navy blue ribbon to the bottom. But in the intervening five years, I decided I didn't want to look like June Cleaver so much as Betty Draper. So off came the sleeves, and I also took about four inches off the bottom.
I ended up using navy fabric instead of ribbon on the bottom, and then used the same fabric to make bias tape for the armholes and collar edge. I also used it to cover metal buttons I bought at the fabric store, because I couldn't find any 7/16" navy buttons. The belt has a covered buckle and three eyelets (they were a pain, and who needs more than three?) I was most afraid of ruining the belt because I had to cut into it to put the tongue in, and also the eyelets. But it turned out okay. I'm so relieved to have that UFO finally done!