Hi -- this is my first post. I don't know the first thing about period clothing, so pray forgive my errors.
I'd like to replicate a German lady's outfit from an undated, small and partially obscured image, c. 1850. The dress itself is nearly identical to this one: http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=4070.0
- except that there is what looks like a rather furry, or at least thick, trim along the V-neck.
She wears this over what appears to be a high-necked blouse: the collar looks to my untrained eyes like one big ruffle, just a bit shorter than a modern turtleneck and somewhat looser. No fastenings are visible on either the dress or the blouse. She wears a soft white cap. The image was struck at her child's wedding.
I've not seen patterns for any of these three garments. Would it be appropriate to use the Past Patterns dart-fitted dress bodice and just experiment with slashing the right neckline? Or is there a pre-existing pattern in this shape?
Could I use Simplicity 4551 (which I own) for the skirt, and put the two together?
Are there patterns for such a blouse and cap?
What fabrics are appropriate for this style? (The original dress has thin stripes at intervals.) What might have been the dark trim along the neckline?
If there are any mysterious elements in this description, I'll ask the publisher permission to upload the image. I'd imagine the outfit was pretty ordinary for the era.