This was my first dress from the 19th century. I saw a mourning dress at one of the blogs I follow and wanted to have a black gown, too. It is dated to 1861, because Prince Albert died at this time and black was used for many dresses. Unfortunately, I did only wear my dress two times, because I do not feel very happy in a hooped dress.
In the beginning of the project, I had to built a hoop and the undergarments, which consists of a chemise and drawers made of cotton. I used a Simplicity pattern and it worked well for both of them, but the corset did not. Some time ago I made the fourth version. In the next step, I made the pattern for the skirt. All three layers are sewn on a cotton foundation. The same material works as a lining to the top of the dress. I added about 500 beads and a lacing at the back. The outer layers are made of polyester taffetta, because I did not want to spent a huge amount of money on silk, which cannot be cleaned very well.
Thanks to Jannis, who took the photos. He shows some of his great work online, that you can see here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xjs-khaos/