In working with these older dresses, I have found that they don't make dresses like they used to! A lot less structure, a lot less finishing. In remaking this dress, I first had to remove the sleeves and the lace ruffles on the bodice. I added a structured lining:
I took the skirt in to create a more a-lined look, taking the gathers out of the back and replacing them with pleats. The lace was all replaced, and the beading began. Several days and many hours later, the bodice was beaded, front and back. Here is a veiw of the front, partially beaded:
And here is the back veiw:
After finishing, with adding buttons at the back, and straps (a last minute addition; they came over the shoulder and made a 'V' at the back.), and a traditional bustle, she finally picked it up a couple weeks ago. And - I simply cannot believe these are the only pictures I got! Mom and bride promised me pictures later, of both mom in the dress in the 70's, and the current bride in the same dress. I will not only post them here, but I will also be framing them and putting them in my sewing studio!