After I was satisfied with the fit, I disassembled the whole thing so I could cut the pieces for the outside shell. Of course, by the outside shell I mean the silk charmeuse, which I think is not as stiff as I would have liked it to be for this type of dress.
Here is the story, silk charmeuse is kind of slinky and not as thick as heavy bridal satin. Because of the structure of that doublet, I suspect that they may have used heavy satin or taffeta. The only heavy satin that I could find at a reasonable price is bridal satin.
Here are my problems with that:
It all comes in white.
That means that I would have to dye it.
Knowing myself, it would have to be natural dyes.
My deadline is March. At this point I have no time to experiment with natural dyes and expect to finish the dress on time.
The next best option is a nicely weighted, pre-dyed silk satin from Thai Silks. The price tag? $30 per yard. Since I need at least 8 of those, plus linen for lining and other notions, this is not an option.
Hence the more decently priced, lighter, pre-dyed silk charmeuse from Denver Fabrics.
So what to do, what to do? Well, I have purchased some self-bonding interfacing and I intend to back the silk with that. At least the silk for the outside shell of the doublet and sleeves. The skirt will simply be lined in linen to give it some nice weight.
I cut a swatch of the silk yesterday and backed it with the interfacing. It worked like a dream.
I know, I know. Using any kind of modern material is anathema to me. However, if it serves to give my fabric the correct "period" look at a price I can live with, so be it.
I will be posting pictures of the work in progress as soon as I have a chance, as I have decided to start an online diary on my webpage of this particular outfit.
Of course, that will be in my copious spare time.
In the meanwhile, I am collecting images and my own notes so I can collect everything and post it there.