So my computer has been acting up lately and making everything more difficult that is strictly necessary. Anywhoo... If you have been wondering about the dress, it is coming slowly. I am afraid to do too much in fits and starts because I might forget how it is put together and never get it right. But, I have taken the bodice off of the skirt which including some ripping of seams and some ripping of material...
Between the bodice and the skirt (and also where the sleeves join the body) there is/was a folded ribbon. Looks like it had both a decorative purpose (like adding piping between the pieces) as well as providing some structure and support in areas that are vulnerable to stresses (bending at the waist, moving the arms about.) Pretty darned elegant and clever.
The bodice is lined with muslin to support the silk and provide some heft to the material. Without it, the top would be quite clingy and thin.... and perhaps a wee bit too revealing for the time.
I am taking apart the skirt now. Tearing out rows of machine stitching and finding the hand basting stitches below. I will be taking notes. This thing has a really interesting construction. What you see below is the front and right side. It is all one piece with some pleats. The back and left side are at least 2 other panels, maybe 3. It isn't symmetrical at all. Curiouser and curiouser.
I have this horrible fear that this will be like the Chinese Boxing Phenomenon.... Some how the Chinese have an additional dimension that they pack products in and then put them through some kind of portal. The result is the total impossibility of repacking anything packed this way back into the box in which it came. Unless you find the portal. Let me know how that goes. I would be interested in finding it so that I could pack all of my fabric and yarn into a couple of shoe boxes and make some space in my sewing room.