THAT WAS FUN!
I saw the dress and knew it'd be challenging to figure it out. I found an eBay auction (that looks less than legit; I think the dress is an unauthorized garment from a licenced factory; that happens all the time overseas), and the accompanying photos were super duper useful in figuring out how *I* would go about constructing it. Below is my awesome MS Paint diagram of what the pattern pieces would kinda sorta look like, (or rather, each panel once constructed, I guess).
The horizontal lines are approximations of the bust, waist, and hip-lines. The entire basis of the dress is the corset-like construction of the bodice, done in six panels (3 front, 3 back) of what looks like taffeta. Those panels are extended and flared to become the skirt. However, the bodice itself only extends just past the hips into the first curved-diagonal detail (RED
). What I would do is I would attach the next tier (BLUE
), fold it along the seam with the wrong sides together and trim the top tier with it's sequin-trim (GREEN
). Here's a diagram showing a cross-section of what I mean:
Once the trim was attached, the second tier would be effectively "behind" the first tier. You would have to take into account that part of the second tier will be "lifted" behind the first tier (and the second behind the third) when you calculate out the necessary length of each tier.
I would attach the third tier (PINK
) the same way. Finishing the bottom of the third tier, I'd just fold under the hem and attach the sequin-trim onto both the bottom and the exposed side piece of the panel. Once each panel was constructed, I'd put them together one side at a time, starting from the front.
I'd make the lining panels the same shape as the outer panels, but ommiting the diagonal things (just straight up and down on the skirt bits), ending it about an inch above the bottom diagonal things so that you can't see it, although it seems this dress has the lining extend beyond the bottom edge. Anyways, for the poofiness, make a simple one-layer petticoat that is longer than the skirt itself and attach it to the lining between the lining and the outside just below the waistline.
If you decide to make this monstrosity, I would recommend starting with a pattern for a corset. Here is a McCall's bridal pattern that is suitable as a start: http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4109.htm?tab=list/evening_prom_bridal&page=all
I've personally used Truly Victorian's 1880s corset and loved how easy it was: http://trulyvictorian.com/catalog/110.html
PHEW. Ok, I'm done.