I have all my velvet, my fur material in the form of an old mink coat, linings, all the mohair braid and fittings for closures and details. While I may not be able to replicate this ensemble exactly, given the time, I think I will come pretty close.
Sisi with her beloved dog, Shadow.
As guides, I am using Truly Victorian patterns TV446 and the free petticoat diagram for the skirt.
I have extended the lines of the bodice into a princess 'coat'.
The upper half of the underskirt will be black cotton, with the velvet material attached just under where the hem of the coat ends. There is no way I want to make the entire skirt of velvet, let alone try to pleat it into a waistband! The stuff wasn't cheap either. This was also a typical way people used to save on expensive fabrics, even the wealthy.
I may even build this over my already existing elliptical hoop, since that is what she is wearing in this 1864 photograph. For Dickens I need a regular circular hoop, but should I ever want to do an accurate portrayal of Sisi for a future photo shoot later, I can have the other option of an elliptical.
I have my muslin cut and ready to go, wish me luck.