Introduction: Setting the Wayback Machine to 2006, I made a hideous plaid evening gown for a friend. Recalling it, another friend commissioned a gown with a similar concept. It was dubbed the "Plaid Horror", and work begun on 1880s inspired thrift store chic formal attire. The skirts, both over and under, are adapted from Truly Victorian late bustle patterns.
January 16, 2012: So my friend who commissioned this monstrosity recently started seeing a nutritionist. I ended up having to take it in almost an inch and a half on each shoulder seam and an inch at the back. I guess the exercise in tailoring an already-finished garment was worthwhile, but more than a little obnoxious. Now all that needs doing is attaching the flat hooks on the skirts.
The whole idea behind this dress was the contrast of the close-fitting, tailored bodice cut to fit over a corset, the elegant drapery of the 1880s, and the mismatched fabrics. It had to fit perfectly.
As for process, I started with several ugly non-flannel plaid shirts from several different thrift stores, clean and pressed. I used cotton twill as an interlining for added stiffness and basted the two together. The lining is a simple white muslin, and the edges of the armholes are bound in different color plaids. My cat, Marco helped. The front closure is a series of hooks and eyes about an inch apart, and there are a pair of cable ties in the center front helping the bodice to not appear puckered.