I even managed to find nice fabric for the project, never an easy feat in a town with only one fabric shop selling clothing fabric. My choice is cotton viscose, sort of purplish red, almost papal in some lights... :) I know, the viscose isn't very period accurate, nor is the colour, but beggars can't be choosers. I'm very happy with the fabric, though, it works fine, it's just the right thickness and has a nice fall and shimmer to it.
So far I've cut the pieces, assembled and fitted the bodice and the hem and sewn them together, figured out the petal oversleeves, cut and hemmed them and only just finished the collar. Next step would be the immense amount of rouleaux piping to be made and sewn into those leafy shapes to imitate the original. I also have the beading to do. I mean to do the piping and beading decoration on the sleeves before I sew the seams, because that sort of work is so much easier to do on a flat piece rather than on a 3D one.
For pattern's I've used my trusted regency bodice pattern which I took from Jean Hunnisett's book and the pelisse hem is an 1820s three-piece pattern also from Hunnisett's book. The sleeves are from Janet Arnold's book and I drafted the petal oversleeves and the collar myself. Here are some construction photos of the project so far.
|Preparing to cut the pieces. The hem pieces are chalked on the fabric.|
|First try-on. The hem is only pinned on here.|
|The petal sleeves in the making.|
|The collar. I'm very pleased with its shape!|