Happiness is a pattern that fits properly, and comes with good instructions!
For those of you who may not remember where I we last left this project, you can read about my frustrations here. I am now using a new-release Simplicity pattern, and so far it's working very smoothly. I already fitted the bodice muslin, and so far I haven't had to make any alterations. I do think the shoulders will probably have to be altered: look at where the edge of the bodice hits my arm. Although civil war shoulder seams were much wider then the actual shoulders, I think half way down the arm is pushing it. Believe it or not, I think the other evil pattern had a better cut at the shoulders. Oh well. The only perfect pattern is the one you draft for yourself, and since I don't know how to do that, the Simplicty pattern will have to work.
Instead of making up the bodice first (which is what I normally do), I decided to make the skirt so that I could fit the bodice over the hoops, petticoat, and skirt, to be extra sure of the fit.
I'm using a very simple cotton print fabric. The color shows up very nicely in this picture, where I was trying to show the knife pleats that I've been working on at the waist band of the skirt. I'm currently in the process of whip-stiching the pleats to the waist band. I'm using tiny stitches, so it might take a few movie sittings.