The problem with fittings is that at some point they become less about figuring out how to let out a seam here and there in your favorite bodice to fit a slightly fuller figured you and more about weighing the pros and cons of ripping the whole thing apart and starting over (or even passing the dress over altogether for something completely different).

Case in point – my aqua and orange plaid.

(Pic courtesy Imran. Who is awesome.)

It’s pretty clear that I have an unhealthy love for the combination of aqua and orange. When I saw this plaid fabric sitting on the shelf at Joanns back in 2010, it was pretty much a no-brainer that I was going to be walking out of the store with the entire bolt (which sadly was only 8 yards, so I wound up ordering a few extra yards from another store). It was the first dress I’d ever made that I was truly happy with – it fit, the skirt was fantastic for dancing, and it was in my favorite colors.

So when I tell you how on the first day of Dickens last year I started getting dressed and was ready to run out the door right after I put my bodice on and then couldn’t get my arms all the way through without them being uncomfortably tight, you’ll understand that “panicked” is an understatement for how I felt.

This week, I picked the sleeves out of the dress, thinking about the various ways I could remake the arm bands. I carefully look apart each piece, picking out all of the various loose threads, separating everything into piles so I wouldn’t mix the pieces up, and then tried the rest of the bodice on to find out the damage there (couldn’t do this before because I couldn’t get my arms entirely through the sleeves). Well, unsurprisingly the answer is: not at all.

There’s about a 4″ gap in the front of the bodice, which, while flattering to know that certain areas are not nearly as nonexistent as they were 2 years ago, is going to take more fabric than I have hidden in the seams to fix. The question now is do I remake the bodice (or certain panels of it) as is, or do I go for something completely different?

I made an everyday skirt with the extra fabric shortly after I finished the day dress, so I do have some wiggle room with regards to fabric. Sadly (or perhaps conveniently), this skirt no longer fits very well either so I have no problems ripping it apart (which I did the other night) and cannibalizing the fabric for something else.

The pattern on the fabric runs in the same direction as the day dress, the waistband of this skirt would be sufficient to remake the armbands on the sleeves, and I could probably get away with replacing a couple of panels in the bodice from this. But the real questions is – do I want to?

On the one hand, this is one of my favorite dresses and I can probably with not too much work get the bodice up to scratch. On the other hand, it seems like a good opportunity to let go of something old and remake it into something completely different (I certainly don’t have any shortage of inspiration).

So, what do you think?