Today I unpicked the sleeves, the pannier pannels and the main skirt. I'm going to leave the attached petticoat because it's designed to sit lower than the waist of the adapted dress and changing it will mean the bottom hem won't sit right anymore. I don't think this will mess with the fall of the completed skirts.
The unpicking yielded 3.5 meters of plain silk satin and a little over two meters (in two sections) of brocade.
I've decided that this dress is going to be constructed of 1.5 layers. The lining of the current dress will support the petticoats and the finished skirts should slip under the rest of the bodice so it ends up with the right sort of line
I've also been playing around with adding a coloured silk panel to the front to hide the lacing loops, and perhaps some flounces or detailing in the same blue/green shot silk. I've also rustled up some cream lace (both handmade and machine embroidered) and am experimenting with placement.
Lace pointing out (and hiding the piping?) or....
Hip ruffle - Idea discarded! A ruffle following the waistline of the old dress would work however the new dress has a much higher waistline. The skirt will flare sharply from this waistline to create the bell-skirt. A smaller ruffle at the waist will potentially look silly as it'll be horizontal rather than laying flat.