So, I began to look around for ideas when I stumbled upon these photos:
I figured something like the above would be perfect but I didn't have any vintage or vintage inspired patterns that even came close to that so....I drafted my own.
I managed to find a vintage brown zipper that was the perfect length in my collection of zippers (they kept selling pack of ten of them at the thrift store for $1 so...I have a lot). Amazingly, the zipper went in without any issues.
Below is a picture of the finished dress.