It's time to add the antique lace to the reproduction gown I've been working on. I have removed it with much trepidation. The silk thread that the lace was attached with is very embedded in the lace. I snipped each stitch and carefully peeled away the lace from the original gown. It survived! A gentle press of the edges was all I gave it, fearing damage.
As I did this, a small amount of tulle was revealed. It was tucked under the lace. I concluded the tulle was part of the original dress and supported the lace, or added another design detail.
Now I had to make some decisions. Do I include the tulle or not? I decided it would help support the antique lace, so prepared ruffles of tulle and applied them where I felt they had originally been. It was easy to tell on the sleeves, not so much on the neckline.
Take a closer look at the 17 hand worked buttonholes. They took hours and hours!! The silk embroidered buttons are also original. I will not be pushing them through the buttonholes. I leave that to the curators who mount the garment at the museum. They will need little silk covers to protect them as they pass through the buttonholes. So many considerations! This is what takes the time on a garment like this.