I appreciate the advice re the maternity look of this dress.
First I unpicked the darts, as the general consensus seemed to be that the darts were doing nothing good.
Then I tried the dress with a belt. It did not look good, the fabric pouffing around the belt was not flattering.
I considered just getting used to the loose fabric around the waist, but had the nasty feeling that the dress would languish in my cupboard instead of being a useful garment.
I added shirring to the front and back waist.
It was rather tricky, as the garment is bias, already sewn, and I had lost some enthusiasm for the dress, so it is rather wonky when viewed closely.
Despite my half hearted retrofitting, the work was partially successful, as the side view is much improved, and the dress looks O.K. from the front and back.
(it was windy today)
However, making the waist more fitted has made the slight bust tightness more apparent. I am not sure that it looks any worse, but the tightness feels more noticeable. I am hoping that the dress will stretch with wear, it is bias after all.
I do like the style. I am thinking of making the top version instead, surely tucking the into a fitted skirt will improve the shaping.
I will make sure the next dress has waist emphasis.