The battle is over.
It was close.
It was bloody. There was swearing. There was wine.
There is, at the end of it, however, a DRESS. Full review is here.
After the zipper debacle, there was the complication of not having enough rattail left to make piping for the seam between the skirt and the flounce. No biggie - I just cut a 1/2" strip and sewed it between the two. It's narrow enough to look like piping and not as necessary down there.
Then there was my misguided attempt at tidying my workspace before I put the dress on Evelyn. Somehow while moving my rotary cutter from one side of the table to the other (yes, with the blade exposed) I managed to drop it. It bounced off the dress. It cut a nice hole in the dress. Thankfully it was in a low-stress area and I ironed interfacing on the back of the hole and then zigzagged over it on the front.
The sewing gods sat back and thought about it and decided no, that was enough.
I like the dress, I really do. I just can't look at it right now.