My, oh my! Thanks so much for all the kind words! Yes, it's coming together and whenever you can start to see your project take shape, it feels good! Sorry for going MIA, but other responsibilities called (you know, that whole wife, mom, teacher thing I have going on...), and I just kept working away in small increments, 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there.
I put the back together the same way as the front, but it was easier to match the stripes since the curves weren't as extreme. I joined the front and back together at the side seams, but didn't touch the shoulders (you'll see why shortly). I assembled the lining completely (so much easier with no fabric to create and stripes to match!) and quickly, using a "Posh Lining" from Joann's. I hemmed the lining, and stabilized the center back openings of the "fashion fabric" layers with a 1" strip of fusible interfacing (for the installation of the exposed zipper later).