The fabric I'm using is an ivory silk taffeta, and is a dream to work with. I've missed using this fabric, it's been a while!
Before you get worried about ivory silk at Dickens fair; not to worry. I'm careful, and I have a shawl. I can also drape it across me in a bohemian manner while at tea, if I need to ;-)
I'm using the Simplicity mid 1850s pattern #9761 as a guide, but will be doing something else for the sleeves and front.
I may even round out the points of the peplum in front and in back.
As far as commercial patterns go, this one is going together fairly easily, I just wish I'd taken some photos yesterday. I'll post some here when I'm further along on it.
I'm having the hardest time deciding on what sleeve style to do, as there were so many lovely options during the 1850s. I'd love to get away from the typical pagoda style I see everywhere, but still need something that isn't too time consuming.
The bodice front will have faux revers, and little covered buttons all down the front. I'm hoping to use some of the burgundy stripe in the fabric I'll use for the skirt to cover the buttons with. That way I'll have a nice pop of color on top, and it won't look too bridal.
I have some beautiful net lace trim on the way, too, for both the bodice and somewhere on/in the sleeves.
But yes, sleeves.
What style?! The good part is that the sleeves that come with the pattern can easily be tweaked to create any of the following, so at least I have a template that fits the bodice armscye already. The less futzing, the better!
Here are a few concepts rattling around my head as options:
The tiered sleeves on the gal in blue.
And this plate again, either one of these would be great; puffed or with multiple little cap sleeves.
And this green dress is just 'effing amazing. Again; puffed sleeves seem to be all the rage, and visually make the waist smaller by contrast.
With the puffed sleeve option, it all depends on how it will look on my frame, so I'll definitely do a quick mock-up first. With the large skirt it could either look fine and balance out, or make me look like a Stay-Puft marshmallow girl.