I have had this hideous 80's dress in my closet for about 5 years now. I got it at a second hand store very cheap and couldn't resist the 80's pattern and red zebra fabric. However, I have never once worn it in public, so I decided that if I messed it up, it wasn't that big of a loss. Here's the before pic.
I started by cutting off the awful piece attached to the top of the skirt. I cut it as close to the garment as possible.
Next, I cut the top away from the skirt and black elasticy waist part. I left about an inch under the top of the dress because I thought I may be able to use that later. I hemmed the top part of the skirt down, making sure to fix up the zipper so it would be a good waistband for the skirt.
I tried the skirt on and it fit perfectly as a nice trendy pencil skirt. Right to the knee, perfect for church. :)
I decided to try the top part on backwards and it worked really cute as a short jacket to match my skirt. I pinned the zippered sides under, sewed them up, and voila! a matching bolero!
I think it looks much better than the 80's dress that it has been for the last 30 years or so, and I'm excited to wear something new and original to church in the morning.