I've been quiet this last week as I was completing my dissertation. It has been handed in to my committee. It feels really good. I defend on the 11th so I still have to put the finishing touches on my presentation, but I'm not too worried about that.
In regalia updates: I have received all my swatches and I am narrowing own my choices. I really like the 4-ply crepe and I can get it for about $25/yard. I have also found some lightweight tropical wool that might work if it looks like the silk will be too heavy.
I have traced, adjusted and cut out the Butterick pattern in muslin. It will be sewn together soon. I'm going to see if I can do the cartridge pleating with the amount of fabric in the pattern or if I will need to add fabric.
ON another side note, I bought the Threads fitting DVD set. I think I recommend it. I find it very helpful to watch someone make adjustments and be able to pause on a good shot and watch them doing it over and over again. Definitely worth a watch and probably a purchase.