So above the rounded neckline of the dress there’s a high ivory collar. It appears to be made of net, gathered for texture and sewn with lines of gold thread.
I actually had a bunch of ivory net in my stash, so I started off by cutting two layers. First, there’s a curved piece to serve as the base, then a top layer that’s cut larger and gathered down. It’s possible that the top layer was also a proportionally-cut curve that’s gathered to fit, but to make the process easier I just cut a big rectangle and relied on varied gathering to shape it into a curve.
I cut a base layer to fit around my actual neck rather than to match the curve of the dress neckline, which as you recall had a bit of a gap due to a previous error. I left plenty of room at the bottom, though, to ensure that I’d be able to stitch it to the dress with no pulling.
For the top layer, I made my piece about twice as long as the base to allow plenty of room for gathers. After pinning a hem in the top edge (so it would be caught by later seams) I ran six parallel lines of gathering stitches (machine-sewn for the tiniest gathers) along the length of the top layer and pulled up the threads until it fit the base. I know it should’ve been five layers, but I miscounted and figured it wouldn’t matter anyway.
To make a clean back closure I stitched the base and top layers together at the short ends, right sides together, then flipped them over and topstitched over the top gathering line to keep the two layers aligned.
Finally, I ran gold thread in and out of the gathered net along the stitching lines, just for decoration.
I hand-stitched the net collar inside the neckline of the bodice and added hooks and eyes to the back to fasten it. Could I have attached it more cleanly by putting it between the outside and the facing? Sure. But I’m willing to bet that the original costume’s collar was detachable to allow for easy cleaning (it was white/ivory, after all), so I’ll just stick with hand-stitching it in place.
The finished collar appears to be higher than the one in the photos, but I like the look and it took practically no time to make, so I’m happy with it. Besides, I can always pull out the stitching for the bottom row or two to make it shorter if I want to.
The brooch is described online as being smoky topaz in color, and while I couldn’t find a perfect replica I was able to find a vintage brooch that was reasonably close on Etsy. Here’s the original:
And here’s the one I found:
It’s a bit more elaborate than the original and appears to be goldtone instead of silver, but it’s the correct size and shape so I’m calling it a win!
Final note: I know that the original dress has a row of red rhinestones around the neckline and curving under the brooch, but I just don’t like them. I think they look tacky. And I’d have to place a second order of rhinestones to get them here in time, which I don’t feel like doing for an embellishment that almost no one else will know was supposed to be there, and which I don’t even like. So I’m not going to bother with it for now– maybe someday if I have occasion to order more rhinestones anyway. We’ll see.
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