The fiance and I went to the dry goods store there today and had a look at some calicos, there was a really pretty white one with little dark purple/maroon flowers on it that I liked a lot. Not sure that white is the way to go, but we shall see. It was only $6/yd. I'm planning to check another place on Hwy 49 and see what there is to see.
In light of this and the fabric search, I've also come up with a small collection of exant dresses that I like quite a bit and might borrow for inspiration.
The above is an 1850 day dress from kci.or.jp. I really do like the neckline of this one as well as all the flounces. Would require a shirt of some sort for underneath, which I probably don't have time to do right now.
1850 day dress from tidenstoej.natmus.dk
I love this one a lot, but like the former, the wide sleeves mean it needs an undershirt. The two piece construction is nice though.
1850 dress from fashionmuseum.co.uk
This is pretty standard compared to most of the dresses I've seen around the park. I do like the wider biship sleeves and all the pintucks on the bodice. Might not be the most practical for the amount of time I've given myself to get this done. It is stripey though...maybe I should make a reproduction of this instead...
1846-55 dress from dhm.de
Almost exactly what I'm currently wearing to work, but with a fan front bodice and sleeve caps. Maybe not the most exciting considering I wanted something different.
1846-55 bodice from dhm.de
I really really like this one a lot. Bishop sleeves, button front, fringe detailing, plus the same kind of tucks that my current dress has. Plus it's separate from the skirt. I might do this one just because I can.
1842-1850 dress from americanhistory.si.edu
A really nice example of something more fancy than I've bene wearing. I adore this dress. Flounces on the skirt, interesting sleeve details, fan front bodice. This might be the plan for Easter.
1840-50 dress from manchestergalleries.org
More "bleh" that's the same as my current work attire. Nothing special at all really other than the fact that this appears to be the dress that every single dress that everyother woman working in Columbia has or has worn at some point in time.
As of now, after uploading these and writing a few snippets about each, I'm torn between two or three. I love the one from the Smithsonian exactly as it is, but I love the idea of bishop sleeves and the impending warm weather. More room to breath. I suppose I'll wait and find the fabric first and see what happens.