I can report a sad lack of progress. Work has been crazy, term is about to start and I had to move house! Needless to say, no sewing has been done. :( I've gotten the bodies put together for both the 1850's blue plaid dress and the 1872 dress and was working on fitting the sleeves to the 1872 bodice. I've cut the skirts and run up the seams on the 1872 dress, but haven't finished it.
So I broke down and bought this beautiful cotton. The softest, sheerest cotton weave I've seen with bands of silk run through it.
I love the simplicity of the fabric and I love the simple elegance of this dress so I think I'll recreate it with this new fabric. This of course means putting aside the 1850s dress, but this way my mom and I will both match pretty much and be comfortable in the warm weather.
I also, finally got my half-boned stays in the mail and although I want to make a few alternations on them I was able use them (with the help of a few pillows) and a makeshift for for fitting my polonaise! So now when I have time I can finish the front closure and officially call it done! I'm excited. It's to beautiful. I love the fall of the fabric, the colour, the shape.... I just need to buy some hooks and eyes.
NB: My tags are off because I can't decide whether the twill dress is more 1871 or '72, but one year can't make all that much difference. I'm basing it off of multiple sources, so for consistency and easy filing I'll continue to use the 1871 tag but I'll probably called it any number of things. The pictures should help maintain clarity if anyone really cares to follow along.