Here is a sneak peek of my shirt. I had to remove and restitch the elastic. I hadn't stretched it enough to get the gathered effect I was looking for and it also was at my natural waist as opposed to empire which is where I moved it up to. It definitely flatters my figure better than before and doesn't even look like a maternity shirt which was my biggest concern.
You can see I haven't changed the buttons yet because I bought 1/2" buttons (which is what is currently on the shirt by the way) and I guess because they are rounded instead of flat they won't fit through the button holes. So back to Joann's I go. I also picked up some black/white seersucker while I was there because I really had practically nothing left to try and do something around the collar. I did the braid like you suggested and stitched it on with a huge zigzag stitch. It's simple enough and I could easily clip it off and try something else if I change my mind. But for now I like it. We'll see after the buttons get replaced.
Here's a really horrible shot of the back of the shirt. Taking pictures of your back with your phone is hard!
I had given myself a deadline of today to get it finished and I'm not sure if I'll get the buttons changed by the end of the day but I'm proud of myself for getting this far. I'm hoping to get it done so I can wear it to my niece's end-of-camp performance this afternoon. But between packing for the weekend in Gulfport and a haircut I'm not sure I'm going to make it!
P.S. Can you spy our too-short-bedskirt in the background there? That's next on my project to-do list. I picked up a navy king size bedskirt at Target for $5 the other day but it since our bed is elevated by those plastic bed raiser things I'll need to extend it with fabric so we'll see how that goes. I'm just so very tired of looking at those hideous white plastic things.