The Simonetta ensemble is finally finished!
Here is the back view:
The fabric is a navy and bronze brocade, underlined with a black silk organza. The color changes depending on the light and time of day.
The dress is built over this boned corselette and crinoline.
The corselette calls for a total of ten bones with self-fabric to create the boning channels. The instructions conflicted with the pattern pieces regarding the bone placement, so I had to choose which one to follow. I chose to follow the instructions instead of the pattern pieces in case the pattern was perforated incorrectly. Sometimes, with vintage patterns, it becomes a guessing game. Here’s the inside of the dress:
The hero of the dress, and the part that took the most amount of work, was, surprisingly, the center front skirt, which was partially "split" down the middle. The skirt remains open in the front with a privacy panel behind it, to provide an illusion of a pleat.
Also, notice (above), that there are no seam lines on the bodice. This is because the bodice was sewn onto the dress, invisibly, by hand. No hand or machine stitching can be seen on the outside of the garment, because the hems have been turned under and slip stitched to the organza underlining.
The pattern came with an option for a sleeveless dress, or a dress with shoulder straps. I made the dress with straps. Here is the finished dress without the bolero!
Here is the back:
Another unique feature that I'd like to point out is: notice how the pleats are pleated inward, towards the center front! This is an unusual design.
I wasn’t sure if the bolero would detract from the details of the dress, but, in the end, I decided to make the bolero, and I’m glad I made it, because I think it enhances the design. I did have to make two seperate toiles to get the bolero to fit right, though.
Here is a peek inside the Bolero, which was lined with a black organza with a slipstitched facing:
I’ve been wanting to recreate this dress since I received the pattern a decade ago. I think the dress is deceptively simple and ultra feminine. This was fairly easy to make, because I worked with a sturdy brocade fabric. With only one disparity between the boning placement on the pattern piece and the instructions, I think an intermediate seamstress could easily recreate this dress without encountering a lot of complicated issues.
I was pleased with Simonetta's classical silhouette, and with her bolero and its front bow-tie (to match the bow on the skirt) which added a touch of feminine 1950's charm.