So this dress is what I was aiming for and after sewing, frogging, and re-sewing 9 times.... I got it. Here are some pictures along the way, my husband estimates my time into the dress around 80 hours. I think that is high but not terribly high this was a lot of work. Come to find out none of them have made the dress, I am writing up notes so the next person has an easier time.
Muslin work up first run, this clearly doesn't fit or line up. In full panic mode I posted for help and several dear friends offered advice. including your building a dress that was worn over a corset - you need to wear one to fit it. So I ordered on from and it arrived early and was wonderful, strong and pretty, even comfortable (unless you try to bend at the waist.)
7 re-sewings later. The pattern is a bit out of order and assumes you will do things that are the opposite of how you would do it in a modern pattern. The arms are too long.
This is the first day of the event. I borrowed the apron, day cap and petticoats from the museum to finish off the look of the dress (which is about 1 1/2 inches too long) We demonstrated hearth side cooking and the different tools that would have been used. In the tin reflector oven is a roasted whole chicken, then a loaf of bread baked in the bee hive oven, red cabbage in a dutch oven, bread pudding in a dual heat dutch oven, clockwork spit is also in the picture. We also made ginger bread cookies, schrewsbury cakes (rosewater flavored cookies,) Kentucky fried apples in spider pans, corn bread and rib eye & pork chop combo on the bedside/room spit.
My bread from the bee hive oven, gingerbread cookies and the chicken from the second day. I also got to feed the animals on the farm and make vats of 'tea' for the event. So far I am enjoying my internship. I will be making some costuming for the men, they have lots of stuff they made back when they would get Americorps volunteers, but it is sized to fit a young college kid. This will also allow me to earn some of my internship hours while at home as the museum is about 2 1/2 hours from my house.
I hope you find as I did a revitalized commitment to something you care about, a new view and appreciation of a person you had discounted and the determination to keep going no matter how many times you have to frog it. ~ Julia