Trace around all the edges except the straight edge, meant for the middle. Using your handy dandy ruler mark 1" and make a dotted line all the way down.
Connect your dots and you'll end up with a widened back. mark the original line for your bodice template, now you know exactly where to fold when making your button panel.
Using your template and your other pattern pieces cut out what you need for your bodice. Mine happens to have a princess cut to it so I have 3 pieces, but you may just have 2.
Next you're going to finish the edge of your back bodice middle. You can either do this by serging it, like I did, or you can use your zigzag stitch on your sewing machine or do a really thin fold. using a 5/8" seam allowance.
put the rest of your bodice together at the side seams.
to finish the neckline you have a few options, you can either fully line your dress, make a facing or use bias tape. I like the bias tape, I think it looks clean and adds a pop of color to the inside.
If you choose bias tape, unfold your bias tape completely and stitch on the closest line to your edge.
Next fold your bias tape over and fold so it nicely covers the inside of your garment. Next, lift your collar up (if you have one) and stitch it so it stays nice and neat.
Now fold your back over by 1" stitch it using your 5/8 seam allowance from edge you serged.
Repeat to the other side.
Mark your places for buttons and button holes and using your machine make your button holes. My machine comes with a button hole foot. If yours does not I HIGHLY recommend one, as well as a zipper foot for when you do want to do a zipper.
Now follow the rest of your pattern.
When it comes to the back of your skirt you're still going to leave the slit you would for your zipper but rather than a zipper you're going to finish the raw edge off with bias tape.