Just got back from my first viewing of the portrait at the house. She's lovely!
I've always been amazed by how much detail there is on the portrait, and on the costume in particular, but having seen it today I was taken aback by how much work there is in it. It definitely won't be a problem trying to work out the embroidery pattern on the bodice, it looks as though Robert Peake has painted every stitch!
You can definitely see how the paining has improved from its restoration. The one thing that struck me is how much lighter the bodice is. From the original painting I had an image of gold coloured fabric, however going from what I have seen today it seems to be lighter than that, more of a dark cream.
It was also pointed out to me where the restoration team believe the painting was altered after its completion. They believe the shape of the bodice was changed, by making it shorter, to keep up with the fashions. Understandably, it would be frustrating to pay to have your portrait done, only to have what you are wearing quickly go out of favour! They can see the alterations from the way the there is less detail in top of the skirt, around her right arm/waist area. Why would Peake spend so much time putting detail into the whole painting but not this area? It is a much more feasible explanation that the painting was later altered by somebody else. I'm not sure if you will be able to tell from the pictures I have taken today, but it is much more clear when you see the painting for yourself.
I also received the mannequin the costume will be made for today so, after taking some measurements, I am ready to get started!