This dress is relatively simple, because I already have a dress that would work for the skirt. Currently I have been working on the bodice.
The first step was making the pattern. I did this by pinning an old fabric bodice sloper around by dress form, and pinning until I got the desire fit and shape. Then I marked the lines with a fabric pencil, and cut out the pattern, then copied it on to paper.Tracing and cutting the fabric came next. The velvet material I used is actually stretch velvet that was heat-and-bonded to a non-stretch fabric. This is a good trick to use if you can't afford real velvet, or have the perfect material but it's too stretchy.
The light blue material is some kind of silky material found in the furnishing section. The good thing about furnishing fabric is that it comes in wide lengths: I got 50cm x 300cm for under 10 Euro.
Here's the bodice after some sewing. The curves were difficult to sew, but clipping the curves with scissors helped. Basically, you make little cuts in the seam allowance, which helps the fabric stretch enough to be sewn in a curve.
For this bodice, I sewed a lining and an outer layer. I created boning channels in the inner layer by cutting out rectangles of cloth, and sewing them to the wrong side of the lining. You sew in a rectangle, leaving one of the short ends open, then push in the boning and sew across the top. If you have enough seam allowance, you can fold over the seam allowance and sew down the loose side, which creates almost the same effect.
Once the boning was in, the bodice could be sewn together. The bottom part and the back side edges were machine sewn. The corners and curves edges were clipped, then the bodice was turned right sides out. The top edge was hand sewn by folding the seam allowances inwards, pinning, and using tiny stitches to hold everything in place. I did use a little machine stitching on the centre front, because you can see machine stitching there in the actual costume.
The next steps are the sleeves and the eyelets. The eyelets are on their way (I ordered black eyelets that would blend better with the dark blue velvet). I have no ideas how to begin the sleeves. I've also been wondering how to make her necklace: any thoughts?