We tried this pattern again with new and improved fitting adjustments. To give more room through the bodice (this pattern is sized too small for Clara) I cleverly extended the sides this time, instead of pulling the pattern back from the center fold. And I moved those outrageously high dart points down from the stratosphere. A perfect fitting score this time!
As for the skirt, I ditched the pattern altogether in favor of a circle skirt. I had hardly any fabric, *and* I didn't want to mess with matching plaid on all those gores.
To support a bountiful skirt in a light fabric, I used rayon seam binding as a stay in the waist seam. I also made sure to interface the seam with the zipper in it to keep the cotton from buckling or rippling. Those moves paid off with very smooth construction.
This is such a delightful pattern. With my change to a circle skirt, I had literally four pieces total in hand to sew up, plus three strips of bias binding. Can't beat that.