I later decided to try my hand at turning the dress into a top. I scaled the pattern down further, and used a larger seam allowance for the facings to get a more fitted look (using a black fabric that has a little stretch).
The buttons are just some of the many I bought from Skull Buttonry. The Skull Buttonry Etsy store is run by Cate, who many of you many know as the brilliant woman behind the Foundation 18 orphanage in Indonesia. In addition to her other Etsy stores raising money for the orphanage (see Foundation 18 and The Giving Bowl), Cate now sells buttons to raise much-needed funds (with ALL of the profits going to the cause).