The work on the blouse is coming along. I had to make several changes to the base patterns I chose to use, including the handling of certain pieces (including leaving the lower sleeve and the under part of the sleeve puff as one consistent piece).
The neck and wrist trim is going to be puffed ruffles made of the same black broadcloth as the rest of the shirt. This will hopefully add a hint of femininity, but not to the same extent as lace. I am not going to cover the front seams of the blouse with trim, which is what is done in the pattern design (below).
At this point, the blouse is probably about 50% done. My serger's settings were off, so it took a huge chunk of time and energy to get it back to some semblence of where I wanted it to be (thankfully, my husband helped out when I finally admitted a temporary defeat). What's left for the blouse are: 1. stay stitch the tops of the sleeves together, 2. stitch the seam of the sleeves, 3. attach the sleeves to the blouse, 4. attach the puffed ruffles to the bottom of the sleeves and the collar, 5. attach the collar to the blouse, 6. hem the bottom of the blouse. Hopefully after all of that, I will be able to take completed pictures of the blouse, unless I decide it needs something more. Then I get to figure out what I need to do to finish the skirt and possibly what I want to do for a petticoat.