Much has been accomplished since last I posted. For one, I worked on the skirt, cutting the front length and making the swooping curve that creates the train in back. I sewed on 4 lines of silver lace, right down the front, and pleated up the whole thing, leaving the front straight, and bound the knife pleats with self bias. Phew!
I did run into a bit of a problem, or more like a "learning experience," with the front of the skirt in tandem with the low point of the bodice. For this period, the skirt goes on under the point of the bodice, and over the tabs, and where it crosses from under to over was causing a buckle in the center front of the skirt. The bodice did not like the straight waist on the skirt, so I cut a slight V into the center front and that appears to have solved the problem.
Then on to the sleeves. I had one pleated up already, and one completely in pieces, so I set to making the second sleeve, then hand-sewing on the four lines of lace trim to both seam sleeves. And because I was curious (have been this whole time!) and couldn't stop myself, I added on the voile cuff (which I had pretty much NO idea how to do *right*), finished the bottom edge of the sleeve, and sewed it to the bodice.
Sewing these sleeves to this bodice, let me tell you, was and is no easy feat. It's like 7 layers thick! I had to do it by hand, with a decent running stitch, then make some adjustments where I hadn't taken a wide enough allowance, and I doubly-secured it with a tiny top stitch over the shoulder straps. The thing is on there! I will trim the crazy seam allowance on the inside and cover it with bias tape to finish it off, when the time comes.
I'm so pleased with it! I put the bodice on, laced and pinned, and the sleeve just look fantastic! It fits perfectly, I somehow have range of motion in my arm, and it looks good to boot :-). Now what's left...? Finish and add the other sleeve, do some interior finishings on the bodice, sew up the back of the skirt (add the gusset), and hem the skirt too, and add the hooks and bars that will keep the skirt attached securely to the bodice. Yay, almost done!
Oh yeah, then TONS and TONS of beading...........