Best laid plans ...blah blah blah. Sometimes you just have to walk away.
Okay, here's what happened:
1. I was not successful upsizing the pattern to fit my waist measurements due to the odd gathering of the "wrap around" front panel.
2. Although I was willing to change the design and make it work, I still struggled with getting it to lay right. It worked fine for the mock-up (see?! I was trying to do it right!). I thought maybe it was because I added the flatline pieces so I unstitched it all, removed the flatline and started over.
3. Although removing the flatline pieces did actually get it to lay like I wanted it to, the result of this was that the side seams no longer had the strength of the cotton lining to keep it together so it started to shred apart. Not just pull apart, SHRED apart. (This is a chance you take when you buy second-hand stuff and upcycle it. Curtain fabric is not always woven to withstand vertical seam stress.) There wasn't enough fabric left over to cut new bodice pieces.
4. Sighed. Rolled my eyes up to the Seamstress Goddess. She denied a miracle. Tossed it all in the trash. I did, however, save the sleeve pieces because I might be able to use them for ... I have no idea.
I adore the Victorian era but I live in the 21st century. I strive for authenticity but not to the point of obsession (usually). Unless the TARDIS shows up, I'm only ever going to have to 'look' the part. Sometimes close enough really is good enough.