The finished product:
Let's have a few more pictures - yes, it was inside, in a not-terribly-well-lit room. Sorry!
Now for the details...the dress is made from silk taffeta, and the overskirt and all the trim(I can hear you now, saying What trim?) is made of poly (sorry! Have had it for years! It was less than $2/yd!) point d'esprit. I was very strict with myself in terms of materials, everything had to come from the Stash.
That doesn't happen often; I usually cave...
And in its former life, the taffeta was a half-finished 1790s round gown (thank goodness I never got to the sleeves), so it was a bit of a challenge making do with less fabric! In fact, I originally planned to make the dress date to 1862ish, with a rectangular-shaped skirt (or maybe slightly gored). As it turned out, the only way I could get enough fabric in the skirt to go over my hoop was to do all gores - and not even gores that had the grain going the same way!
So then, since I had such crazy grains going on plus the very-much-gored-skirt shape, PLUS I'd ended up cutting the bodice about a half-inch higher than originally planned...I thought an overskirt might be a good idea, since English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century tells me tunics/overskirts of net or tulle were popular c1864-66, which would match the shape of the skirt better anyway.
Not that I have the right hoop for that anyway - it should stand out a little more in back for that many gores in my skirt, and as a result the front of the skirt doesn't hang correctly. I just shoved it under the point of the bodice and pretended there was no problem!
Oh, and the trim.
The sleeves were where the madness started, by the way.
Shots of the bertha:
Speaking of sleeves: