Many thanks to everyone who gave advice for finishing this dress.
I took off all the ruffles, took it in at the waist, shortened the sleeves, and hemmed it to hit right at the knee. I would have liked a navy belt to go with it, but I don’t have a navy belt buckle yet, so I added my vintage red flower buckle belt I created for another dress last year. I wore it out last weekend when a friend and I went to Colonial Williamsburg (which explains the large tag and the large straw hat on my head – my friend and I do Revolutionary re-enactments, so the hat will become one of my props!). And I even got a few compliments on the dress from other tourists there! This one is sure to be worn many times.