Sew back seam of skirt, starting at notch and sewing down towards hem. Leave open from notch up to waist for zipper insertion. Sew side seams. Press open back seam, finish side seams with serger if desired. Fit skirt (using hoop skirt) and bodice, mark.
Here comes the fiddly part, you need to measure how much mesh fabric you have left and determine how many strips and ruffles you can make. Ultimately the goal is to use as much fabric as possible, it will read better to have fuller ruffles. My ruffles were cut perpendicular to seam allowance, 10" wide. I place the ruffles at the top of my skirt, and at every 8 inches down to the bottom, 5 tiers for a total length of 40". This gives about a 2" overlap between ruffles which ensures no gapping between ruffles. The bottom ruffle should come to the edge of the hem, and should not have a 2" overlap with the hem, so you will pin that ruffle slightly higher than 8" below the next higher ruffle. YMMV, you may need a shorter skirt (I am 5'10) so do the calculations!
Once you have your calculations done, cut out strips for ruffles. Each ruffle should be composed of a strip 2.5x the measurement around that part of the skirt. So if your skirt is 30" around the top, 2.5x30" would be a 75" long strip. My fabric was 42" wide, so I would need to piece together about 1.5 strips. Use a french seam when piecing strips together. Once pieced, sew a basting stitch and gather. Because the fabric is so flimsy, my machine gathered the fabric itself when set on a basting stitch with no tissue paper (very helpful). Gather until the ruffled strip is the correct measurement.
Sandwich the ruffle between the skirt and bodice. Be sure your french seam on your ruffle is facing the correct way. Pin and machine sew bodice, ruffle and skirt together carefully.
Do a final fitting of dress, and sew in zipper. I will cover my technique here, but there are many techniques for adding zippers. Ultimately the back of the dress will mostly be covered by veil and hair, so the back closures don't need to look perfect. I chose to hand-pick the zipper to avoid catching the many ruffles while I sewed since there are ruffles all over the bodice. I fit the dress to me, then sewed the back seam with a basing stitch, pressing the seam open. I pinned the closed zipper along the seam. I hand-picked the zipper into the dress (here is a tutorial on hand-picking zippers
). Once sewn, I removed the basing stitch from the seam.
If you have a dressform, put the dress on the dressform with the hoopskirt underneath. If you don't have a dress form, put on the dress and hoopskirt and have a friend pin the hem. You may need to trim the flounce off your hoopskirt if it has one. Hem the dress. Because the skirt hem is slightly curved, I found it easiest to serge the edge of the hem, gather the serged threads slightly, and machine sew the hem (the hem will be covered by a ruffle). Once hemmed, put the dress back on the dressform+hoopskirt or you+hoopskirt and begin pinning ruffles on. Measure down 1/5 of the length of the skirt (in my case 8") and pin the next ruffle on. Because I was using a dress form, I pinned one ruffle, hand sewed the ruffle on, and then pinned the next. If you do not have a dress form, you may want to pin all ruffles on at once using safety pins to keep them on (unless you have a very patient pinner friend). The bottom ruffle's edge should be close to the hem of the skirt (within one inch), so pin this ruffle carefully. You can sew these with your machine, though I recommend sewing at least the last one by hand to make sure your ruffles lay correctly.