Before starting this project and during the planning stages of it, I did a lot of reading at historicalsewing.com, where Jennifer Rosbrugh has generously shared vast amounts of knowledge and experience for those of us looking to step up our game. The design itself is very simple. Not necessarily easy, but simple. I made extensive use of geometry and ratios. I knew how much fabric I had to work with (4 yards) and I wanted to maximize my hem length. For fabric length, take the length from waist to floor over hips plus a few inches for hem adjustments and seam allowance and waist to floor over my bustle plus a few inches for hem and seam allowance. Divide the fabric in “half” both lengthwise (more or less, the bustle adds a few more inches on one “half”) and cross wise on paper, then designate one of those quarters (from the longer “half”) to be the back pleated panel. I divided that width by three (to account for the fabric taken up in the pleats) and subtracted that from my waist measurement. The remaining waist measurement gets divided by six. I intended to get two gores out of each of the remaining quarters, with two being cut on a fold for the front piece, making five gores. I had two options.