I haven't made any of these patterns, but I think I can answer your non-pattern specific questions. Yes, you should cut the mock-up to your largest measurements then adjust for the ones that are smaller. Things are easier to make smaller than larger. Using a woven fabric with a pattern made for a knit can be difficult. Sometimes the clothes won't hang correctly. Patterns for knit also have less ease so watch out for that - cutting it to your size might not be enough, you might need it to be bigger and you most likely will need a zipper or buttons to get in and out (since a knit would let you just slip the clothes on but a woven usually won't). You can measure the actual pattern pieces at key points (bust, waist, hips), subtract seam allowances, and see if the finished piece will have enough ease compared to your actual measurements. Mark the dots that are on the pattern with chalk or pencil on your fabric. They're to help you match placement of things, tell you where to gather, etc. The fabric requirements seem a little high, but they're probably about right. The tiered skirt is cut with a ton of curved pieces, which uses more fabric than straight pieces would, and the top has gathering plus full sleeves. Sleeves especially eat up a lot more fabric than you'd expect. If you're not sure, you can cut out the pattern pieces before buying fabric and lay them out on the floor in a rectangle as wide as standard fabric, then measure how long the rectangle is to see how much fabric you need.
Once you have the pattern you can fold it in half then line up the fold when you cut the fabric if you want to keep the circle continuous. As long as you have the pattern made up with correct measurements, you can cut it up into as many segments as you want. Just make a note of how many segments are needed for the whole skirt - for example, if I drew out the pattern and cut it up into 4 pieces, keeping only 1/4 to use when cutting fabric, I would make a note to cut the piece out 4 times (plus seam allowance) for a 3/4 circle skirt. If you're having trouble following her directions for the pattern itself, I suggest trying it. It might make more sense when you're actually doing the math and drawing it out.
How about adding another longer ruffle to stick out over this one? If you can't find matching black fabric, you could use lace or soft tulle. Using lace to fill in flat like Blacksmith said might look less obvious than other material too.
That would be great! I'd love to see another pic. I like the idea of a circle skirt but never attempted making one for the same reason - that it needed a petticoat.
Here's a photo as promised I am wearing a relatively narrow slip to keep the skirt from being see-though but no petticoat.
I think circle skirts look great without petticoats too, I just like wearing petticoats If you look at the hem of it like this, you can see how some parts hang lower than others - that's because it stretched on the bias, so watch out for that if you make one (it's best if you can let the skirt hang for a day then mark the hem while it's on a person or form so it hangs stretched). I think you should totally try making one if you like the idea!
The whole outfit is just adorable! I'd be curious to see how the skirt hangs without the petticoat. Great job
I think the unevenness of the hem becomes very obvious without the lift from the petticoat. Other than that though, it just falls into large waves. Would you like me to take a picture later? I don't mind.
The way this hangs makes it look like a gathered rectangle with curved ends rather than a half circle. Take a look at this tutorial: http://egl.livejournal.com/10611382.html Though instead of just cutting the pieces on the diagonal, cut with a large smooth curve (like you can see in your dress photo). Also, she lists specific measurements, but generally you would make the waist 2.5 to 3 times your waist measurement for the kind of poof on this dress.
Since you have a laser printer, you can easily print your own tags (easier than inkjet and without buying the expensive special paper!). The ink in laser printers in pretty permanent - When I've tried this, I noticed it'll come out with vigorous washing, but not in normal use or light washing. You would need some cotton fabric and freezer paper. Cut both to the size of a normal sheet of paper and iron them together with the shiny side of the paper touching the fabric till the paper sticks (I like to cut the fabric slightly larger than the paper, iron, then cut the fabric down to size). Then just run the paper/fabric sandwich through your printer put in so it'll print on the fabric and not the paper. The heat it takes to make the freezer paper sticky is higher than a printer gets, so you shouldn't have issues there. Though I don't know about your particular printer, I've run it through my laser with no problems at all. Peel the paper off after it's printed and iron the fabric printout to heat set it hotter than the printer. If you want to go the iron-on route, I'm pretty sure you can get iron on paper for a laser printer then cut it to the size of tags after printing (before ironing), or you can print onto fabric like I described above then use some stitch witchery (or similar) to stick the fabric tag to whatever you're tagging. Hope that helps!
They should be easy to dye as long as you wash them first to remove any sizing applied at the factory and they're not marked as "stain resistant" or something similar. Fraying shouldn't be too bad - from my experience, plain weave cottons stay together pretty well but you will want to finish the edges for wearing/washing. You can just use the zig zag stitch on your machine to go over them. If the fabric is sheer at all or you want a nicer finish than a zig zag, french seams work great (though not on very curvy seams).
I finally got around to making one of these, with a couple little changes - smaller along the top, no extra fur in the ears, and different "pom poms." It's lined in fleece and I just used iron on interfacing inside the ears for stiffness (ironed onto the fleece). Thanks again for the tutorial!
To anyone having trouble sewing the ears on with all that fur: I noticed it got a bit easier when I switched to a curved needle.