My absolute favorite part of this dress is actually the back. It makes me think of later Victorian styles.
TIME: I clocked in at 20-1/2 hours (plus hand sewing those frog clasps on in the car on the way). My hand sewing is slow. And this outfit has a lot of it. But this time also included the collar and bustle pad that goes under there. I did not have time to make the under sleeves for this dress. I ended up buying some at the event. Something that saved me some time was the pattern on the fabric. Luckily lines on the plaid were spaced right where I needed them to be when making the pleating on the skirt.
ALTERATIONS: I didn't make any to the overall design since I had no prior experience with this time period. The bodice was a little big in the chest area for me, and I probably could have stood to go the next size down. If you plan on adding the fringe (or some other trim) exactly where they have it you can completely machine sew those sleeves if you want to. The trim covers the place where any stitching would be seen. I wish I had known that. I used premade frog clasps and black piping around the neckline.
EASE OF INSTRUCTIONS: I love whoever wrote these instructions. LOVE them. I wish they wrote all the instructions for every pattern EVER. Even the illustrations made sense to me.