I have had this fabric for over a year now and finally decided what I would make out of it. It is perfect for a CW dress and I have just the pattern too. I found the Emily Wyant dress pattern (by Heidi Marsh) at James Country Mercantile and really liked the cut. It's just a little different than most of the work dresses I've seen and has a few neat details like Sleeve Jockeys - a decorative sleeve band at the top of the sleeve adjoining the shoulder seam. I decided to gather the bodice fabric and dart the lining as this was common during the era. I am also debating whether to either change the fabric for the sleeve jockeys or change the fabric for the sleeves. I am leaning toward the sleeves as this would make them a little more like undersleeves and possibly a bit cooler as well. There is a CW event in Ferndale, Washington next weekend that I will get to go to and it will be nice to have a new dress. A new chemise and a shortened over petticoat are in the works as well. I have hopes of getting a new bonnet made as well as a crocheted reticule - we'll see. As is my usual practice, I tend to bite off more than I can chew.
I cut out the lining to do a test fit a few days ago and had a lot of trouble. It's either the pattern or my physical shape, and as it's much more pleasant to blame the pattern, I will. The neckline was way to big and gaped on both sides of center front and in the back. The armscyes were way to small, but there was too much fabric there as well. After trying several things, all to no avail, I called Mom. (Why my fitting books didn't have the answer is still beyond me, but Mom is a fount of sewing wisdom.) She suggested making small darts in the correct places on the neckline to correct the fit there, and was cautious about suggesting I do the same for the armholes (I did it anyway Mom and it worked). Then I took the muslin lining apart and used those pieces to trace new ones and voil`a. Yesterday I cut into the actual fabric and basted the lining to the dress fabric for the interlining - so far so good - and today I hope to get upstairs to work on my treadle machine and actually get it put together.