At last ! I got the cartridge pleating done around the top of the kirtle. This was at great personal cost to my fingertips. They're still a bit tingly- I can't be doing with thimbles you see, so I was digitally naked (eek) whilst pushing the needle through multiple layers of velvet and lining to attach the kirtle to the bodice. It is now done, finito, attached, and the whole thing is proudly adorning the tailor's dummy.
But, like some haberdashery-based Frankenstein, I have created a monster. In dressing the me-sized dummy I find myself with what appears to be a post-execution Mary Queen of Scots in the house. The undecorated black velvet gown has a very sombre look to it and of course, the dummy HAS NO HEAD! Despite the lack of eyes, facial expressions or indeed face, somehow it is at this very moment managing to give me a haughty yet malevolent glare from just over my left shoulder. There's something most unnerving about having a headless version of yourself lurking behind you.
But at least I now know where I stand.