For me it is unclear how the shell is mounted to the lining. When finishing one panel and beginning another are the two shell panels sewn together or is each edge of each panel pressed under and tacked down much like finishing bias edge tape?
Jennifer - they are folded and pressed, then stitched onto the lining - yes, very much like finishing the bias edge tape! stitch one panel directly into the lining, without folding over - the adjacent panel with a folded edge will cover the rough edge. i used that technique on the 1650 gown bodice, it is discussed and illustrarted in the article on the Your wardrobe unlocked!
depends on how fast you can work! 40-60 hgours does seem a reasonable time frsme - i was making mine in between commissions etc ( part of the chanels were stitched in a car on a way to Scotland at some point...), but i would estimate about 50 hours in total. good luck with yours!