Success - more or less - on the dress and a major Craft Fail on the purse.
As I suspected, the dress pattern flew together pretty smoothly once I got the pieces cut. A serger would have made it twice as quick but, alas, I have no serger. The trickiest part was hemming up the dress - the skirt part actually loops all the way under the dress to be attached to the lining of the overdress panel. This makes the bottom of the dress very heavy and full. It could possibly be made more full by adding some tulle to fill out the bottom, but the pattern says nothing about that sort of addition.
Because I had to shift the pattern by 90 degrees, I was able to cut the shoulder and neck along the beautiful selvedge edge so that there is a lovely decorative gold and purple band along the sleeves. The sleeve hems need some work and the overdress is screaming for some beautiful beaded & sequined embroidery but none of those things are going to happen before tomorrow.
The purse concept is sound but I encountered some problems.
1.) I was not careful in cutting out the lining shoulder/side piece so it ended up being a few inches too short, which meant that I had to cut down the length of my back and front panels, to, making the purse about 2 inches too shallow, which makes the purse feel a bit too wide. I really wanted to be able to carry a binder and lesson manuals in it for church but those would probably stick out the top now and my planner swims around in there hopelessly. It will be a loose junk nightmare, in spite of the purse organizer I made. No photos - really - you don't want to see them. Go buy one from JPATPURSES instead. She makes great organizers - maybe I should just send her some fabric and some cash and have her make me a purse!
2.) The construction in general is not firm enough. I was running low on interfacing and didn't want to cough up more cash while buying the enormous amount of fabric Molly's dress took. I thought that the velveteen would be sturdy enough without interfacing. It is very sturdy, it just isn't stiff. I think a heavy weight iron on interfacing on the front and bottom panels would have done the trick nicely. The sides are pretty firm because of all the layers of pockets I've got there. A piece of cardboard stuck in the bottom might help.
We'll see because that's the purse I'm stuck with until I get home and can make another attempt someday. I hate to have wasted all that beautiful duponi - maybe I'll even try to extend the bottom a bit.
. . . . .