For the bodice front, I’d originally intended to cut the front pieces with the sari borders along the top edges so the trim would be integrated into the bodice from the beginning, the way I did with my dupatta open robe. However, the angles of the neckline for the dress made it impossible to cut the sides as single pieces, so I decided to just add trim to a normal bodice front instead.
Anyway, I lined the bodice with more blue cotton, and (sneaky shortcut) lined the back bodice pieces with single-cut pieces of cotton rather than dealing with back seams on the inside. No one would ever see them anyway, right?
Once the basic bodice was put together, I attached trim around the neckline, hand-stitching it with invisible thread. I did this before putting in the sleeves because the trim was wider than the shoulder straps of the bodice, and I wanted to catch the edges in the sleeve seams to keep things looking neat.
Then I cut out my sleeves– standard puffs, and I didn’t do anything to alter my basic sleeve pattern since it looked fine as-is. However, I did hand-stitch a piece of beaded border right down the center of the sleeve as decoration, before I gathered the top and bottom of the sleeve. I also used more border (unbeaded this time) to make brocaded cuffs lined with cotton. While the sleeves were supposed to be gathered top and bottom to make the puffs, the border section was too stiff to gather so I did a small box pleat instead. I think it turned out pretty well, and it also helped to provide structure to the sleeve so it stayed puffy-looking.
On the other hand, while the sleeves were pretty I made a fundamental error when I measured my sleeve cuffs– I didn’t measure them with my bicep flexed, so they were just a teeny bit too tight. Unfortunately, I didn’t really notice this (or was in enough denial about it) until after I’d already completely finished the sleeves and set them into the bodice. I ended up having to add a tiny gore to the underarm seam of my right sleeve (my right arm is just a bit bigger than my left), which hopefully no one will notice.
Anyway, with the bodice done it was time to put everything together!