So I just finished sewing the all-important side seams on the aforementioned dress:
Then I proceeded to try the dress on. "Dress" might not be the right term actually. Plaid paper bag might be more correct. I can certainly see why this pattern includes ties at the back. I needed them to cinch up about 8" of extra fabric. Ouch. :(
I think I can make this work, but only with some serious modification. Like adding a waistline. I might eliminate the ties too.
Back to the sewing machine with some chalk and a good ruler.