It's been way too long that this project has sat, unfinished! Twenty-one years is a LONG time to long for one particular dress! ;) I'm presently on a little bit of a "summer vacation," and am dreaming of wearing this dress in Williamsburg this fall (I hope!) and so, I've picked back up where I left off. Which is, with an almost perfectly patterned bodice/sleeves/stomacher, and a partially made petticoat.
My goal here is still to find a happy medium between faithfully recreating the doll's dress, but also achieving some historical accuracy. One of the reasons I stalled on this project for a long time was because the doll's dress has the bodice back pieces and skirt back cut separately, yet every extant example of a dress from this era with a stomacher that I could find had the bodice and skirt cut in one, and then pleated down. I wasn't sure if I wanted to lean more towards the doll dress, or historical accuracy with this detail. In the end, I've decided to go with the separate bodice back and skirt pieces. I hope I'll some day find at least one surviving example supporting this, but even if not, I feel it is plausible that someone who was sewing a dress at home would like the stomacher-front that had been in fashion, and mix it up with the new fashion for cutting the bodice and skirt separately. And in the story, this dress is indeed homemade, partly by Felicity's mother, and then finished by Elizabeth's mother. That the dress was made by two different seamstresses helps my case for the possibility of the two styles being blended even more. Yes, I am a dork. ;)
So far today, I have cut everything out, and shortly will begin sewing it. . .