With a few days off I tackled little bits of the dress and petticoat. It has definitely helped to be able to leave everything out on the dining room table. I can walk by and go “Yeah I’ve got a few minutes. I’ll cut out some skirt panels.” Little bit by little bit the steps are being checked off.
I did take that horrid mess of a waistband off the petticoat (it has yet to go back on). The four panels for the skirt have been cut with special help from the hallway floor (the dining room table wasn’t long enough). The bodice fabric and lining has been cut out as well.
Step 1 of the bodice took a little while to fully understand as it was another battle against vague instructions, and an ignorance on my part about how to actually hand-gather fabric. Once I had done all the hand gathering I was still at a bit of a loss as to when I should be tightening and tying off the stitches. Apparently it’s more towards the end of sewing the bodice together… is what I imagine because it never really says.