I did a lot of tacking on this one, marking the pleats with tailor tacks, tacking the pleats and then there was decorative hem stitching to finish off. I'm not normally a massive fan of hand sewing but I've found it quite satisfying.
I cut a size 8 at the top and graded out to a 10 waist and hips and it fits well (the shoulders are a tiny bit wide but I don't think it's that noticeable). The bodice is actually quite short, I don't normally have any issues with length, and if I were to make it again I'd definitely lengthen it by a couple of inches.
I was a bit worried about the pleats coming so close to the zip but through a slight misfolding there is actually about a quarter of an inch between the pleat and the zip so no problems there.
I decided to follow the pattern and do the hem facing because 1) hemming is my least favourite bit and I thought it would make a change and 2) the fabric I used is really lightweight so the facing helps it hang better. I'm pleased with the effect, my stitches may leave a little to be desired but it unless you are examining it in great detail you won't notice the unevenness.
Hopefully my mother will be pleased because the inside also looks neat!