The yoke of the cioppa was taken straight from my farsetto pattern, expanded a bit to account for layers worn underneath and little ease to get in and out of it. Looking at the source image, I decided that the pleated section would start just under the armscye, which made things nice and simple. I guesstimated how big I wanted the final hem to be, did some math based on the number of pleats I wanted, and came up with 4″ wide finished pleats at the bottom. Since they needed to be round, I planned for them to start at 6″ wide, with the extra taken up in the tucks and the curvature. I did some similar guesswork on the width of the pleats at the top, which came out to 3″ for each of the 24 pleats. This is the same ratio I’ve used in the past, so that was reassuring. Despite the lack of precision in the design phase, everything ended up lining up exactly where I needed it to go.
If none of that pleating stuff makes sense, there’s an explanation of what I’m talking about in this handout.
Here’s a picture of one of the panels:
Here the edges are basted together (they will be run through the serger after the pleats are sewn), the pleats are marked out, and one of the tucks has been basted. The basting stitches along the line of the tuck keep the layers together so I don’t miss one when I sew it. The top and bottom edges have also been turned under and finished already. Once all the panels are complete, they are sewn together at the edges and stay tapes are installed: