The basic premise is that you knit a ribbed band in alternating stockinette/reverse stockinette from end to end until it's long enough to go around you, with the lower edge at your waist and the top at your lower ribs. Then you pick up stitches and knit down to make the lacy skirt part, and pick up stitches and knit up to make the upper jacket part. So it ought to be tailored to fit any figure, right?
And that's when I finally spotted (hello, Captain Obvious) the basic flaw in the plan: It works if one has a body that is basically cylindrical, with no bust and no hips. True the pattern has one knit to different lengths to accommodate a larger bust size, but yanno, the width matters a just a little bit too, especially if one hasn't been a beanpole-shaped pre-teen for, well, a few years now.
Now, in all fairness, I had made a slight design change. Instead of putting the bottom edge of the band at the waistline, I wanted my natural waistline at the center of the band. That does make the band somewhat smaller to begin with, but still -- even with the open design of the lace, the skirt part doesn't flare out nearly enough for someone with actual female hips.
So... heavy sigh... I frogged everything back to the original waistband, whipped out paper, pen, and calculator, and set to with the math and all to figure out how to make this jacket into something real woman-shaped instead of slim dress-form shaped.
Having now picked up stitches and increased for the hip portion, we'll see how the rest of the jacket shapes up.