It took me a few days, but I finally got over my scissor-phobia and cut out the Zhorelecky houppeland. Yay! It wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared and actually went really quickly once I got going. Given how many bits and pieces there are (18 pieces for the body of the gown, plus sleeves), I was surprised how quickly I got the whole thing cut out.
I got the back sewn together this afternoon and I think the heavy linen is going work out pretty well. Not perfectly, but because it's not a full-circle pattern and my bust is somewhat ample I'm not getting a huge amount of pleating above where the belt will sit anyway. Once I get the shoulders fit properly and try it with the right under-dress this will of course change a bit and I may decide I need to line the front and back anyway, but so far I think it will fold and pleat well enough. Next time I do this, I may end up cutting the gores a little wider, or using more of them to get more folds across the front.
I should be able to get the rest of the dress sewn together tomorrow and take some pictures before I set in the sleeves and start fiddling around with the collar and such. The plan is to get this done so I can test drive it at the next event I go to, which will either be Crown in two weeks, or maybe a school demo on the 29th if all goes well.