It really took my breath away. I wanted to see the actual dress, but, alas, I don’t have the leisure to go trotting off to the Bottega Veneta store on a whim. My first concern is that there’s a lot of fullness released from the smocking, and I can’t tell where that fullness is going at the shoulders. But if you look closer, there’s something strange going on at the armholes, where there’s some sort of gathering. Then I found this Vogue pattern 8353, which is a very similar dress, but with pleats at the waist instead of smocking:
The pattern deals with the fullness by placing pleats at the shoulders. I might do pleats, but I might use shirring, which is I think what the Bottega Veneta dress has. And what were they thinking putting a wing collar on that pattern?!? Of course, that has to go.
I find hand sewing to be very relaxing (good thing). I’ve actually finished smocking the front, as well, but no photos of that yet. I bought 3.5 yds of fabric, but I think I may need an extra yard. Bummer. I’m hoping to be done with the dress by Easter. I think the model is wearing a corset, because she’s totally wasp-waisted. Maybe after I finish the dress, I’ll try it on with a corset just to see how it looks.
Next day now. It looks like I’ll have enough fabric, and maybe even be able to wear it for Easter! I had to piece together the facing (which won’t show) and the skirt will not be as full as the original. I’d like a fuller skirt, but I’m on a roll and don’t want to lose steam waiting for more fabric. I cut out the smocked pieces today, then of course had to sew them together right away to see how they fit on my form. They seem OK. I based the pieces on the Vogue pattern mentioned above. This is what they looked like:
And here they are sewn together:
Then the skirt (with pockets), facings, buttons, etc. I gathered the shoulders at the shoulder seam near the armhole. It looks sort of similar to the photo that I based this whole project on. When I was hemming, I was glad that I did not make the skirt any fuller. One thing that is clear once I’ve finished is that you really need that sash at the waist to give the dress some definition. The smocking is not enough to hold it in at the waist. Here is a photo of the finished product:
Unfortunately, it’s supposed to be cold this weekend, so I probably won’t wear it for Easter. But I’m sure there’s some other holiday coming up for it.