I didn't take a lot of during shots because I am a fool. My first step was to rip all the seams holding on that horrible collar and modesty insert thing in the front. Then I detached the sleeves, which took the shoulder pads along with them. This left the front of the bodice completely unpieced. I put the dress on inside out and pulled up the front until the "belt" was just below my bust, since this is how it sits on the dress I love. I pinned the straps waaay down the back, unzipped, and chopped the length off the top of the back that I now didn't need.
I hated the shape of the back, so I cut a square neckline. Then I pinned and hemmed the bodice, back, and neck holes. I sewed the center of the bodive together a bit so it wasn't cut down to my ribcage. I raised the hem to my knee, since ankle length was just too much fabric on my 5'0" frame. I also removed the buttons from the "belt" since they were there for decoration and did not please my eye.
I wore it, washed it, and realized that Rayon frays like nothing else! So I repinned and hemmed allllll my hems again. No more fray for me!
And voila! A cute party dress with lots of swingy skirt. The entire time I felt like I was carving away all the bad stuff to find the cute dress underneath. It's given me so much confidence to be able to pull this off. If I can refashion this I can refashion anything.