I devised a little plan, after looking at some inspiration.
|Musee McCord dress - this is an evening gown, but has a similar construction to what I was going for|
|The dresses in the top left and top right, with the tiny pattern diagrams...|
I cut the side gathers off into their own pieces, and made them trapezoids instead of straight rectangles, for added flounciness. The front piece is cut on the fold, but the back piece had to be seamed at CB due to yardage restrictions ... not perfect, but it works.
|The gathered, inset panel at the side.|
|Somebody needs to clean her camera lens, yeesh! This is the dress without any hip belt or waist|