The lace I chose to make the dress back is the same lace for the blouse. This blouse portion is put together in the same way as any blouse. I think the designers intention, and I do not know, this is conjecture, is the blouse or top of the under-dress is slipped on and buttoned up the front. Then the next set, the over skirt will be slipped on and button and tie in the back. I cannot even begin to imagine the weight of this dress. My concerns for the top was to keep the design in scale and to make sure the patterns were matching. I failed in one area, but am not going to mention it as I don't think anyone will ever notice. I didn't even notice until I started the beading. Yes, I had enough of the number 24 beads to bead this top and added Aurora Borealis stones to the center designs as well. (Though none of this is seen in the picture as I did it later.)
This description from the Philadelphia Art Museum display stated: The dress, created to complement the "fairy princess" beauty of the actress, features a bell-shaped skirt of ivory peau de soie supported by petticoats, and a high-necked bodice of Brussels lace, which was re-embroidered to render the seams invisible and then accented with seed pearls. Continuing the theme of pearl-embellished lace are the bride’s prayer book, shoes, headpiece, and circular silk net veil—designed so that Miss Kelly’s face could be seen.
More to come. Kathi