I was all planning on just making a simple elastic band across the top with thinnish straps over the shoulders when I saw the pieces left over from the first dress. (I'm not the best at cleaning up after my sewing self.) In particular, what I saw was the collar I had cut off.
At first I thought the collar would be really cool placed across the top of the elastic band, like a wide shirt collar across the dress. Then I realized that the points of the collar are shaped for the collar to be in a circle around your neck, and that when you straightened out the collar the points overlapped. No good.
But then... but then... inspiration. What if the collar wrapped around the neck? What if the collar was the strap of a halter dress? Yes, yes!
And with that, I began the project I now know as "The Yellow Halter Dress From Hell". Without any instructions or any templates or any patterns to work from, there was a lot of ripping and resewing, re-ripping and re-resewing. But in the end, I came up with a dress that I really, really love. Even better, Olivia loves it too.
The fit of the top is a bit off in these pictures. I realized the day after I took these photos that the reason it seemed too bunchy at the top was that the collar was too long. I had already taken one bite out of the back when I made the dress, but I went back and took out another tuck. Now the fit is perfect! (But the dress is dirty so I'm not retaking the photo...)
Here is a close-up of the front. The tab in the front is actually a bit of one of the cuffs. The collar is stitched down on one side, and buttoned down on the other. To put on or take off the dress, you just unbutton the one side. The buttonhole is actually the original buttonhole on the front of the collar. The bow is just something I made with a bit of the extra fabric from the sleeve. It snaps on and off (snap is hidding by the cuff-tab) so it doesn't end up in a wad after being laundered.