It's true. Even with all of the hand sewing I have done, I have never once used a thimble. I used one today. It was an odd experience, but once you go thimble, you never go back.
I was also a piping virgin before today. Before you gasp in shock and horror, imagining the many unpiped 1860's garments I might have, that is not so. Someone else did the piping for me those times. Today I piped all on my lonesome for the first time. The entire neighborhood heard me yell in anguish when I realized that I had missed half of my armscye with the piping.
Anyway, I got a decent amount of work done on my dress. It is a gorgeous raspberry 100% tropical weight wool. I piped the entire bodice and sewed the collar and fixed the placket. Before today it was a very fray-y not-even-close-to-finished mess, and today it looks lovely! All I have to do is sew and set the sleeves, set the collar, connect the skirt and the bodice and hem the skirt. Then, on to my wrapper!