The dress was fairly straightforwards, but the headpiece required some innovation.
First I went to the fabric warehouse and searched among their bins of appliques for the appropriate lace. I had done my research ahead of time, and discovered that this type of lace is called Venetian lace. I definitely needed to buy appliques, as a by-the-yard design would not have the size or repetition required for this project. I got lucky and found a a handful of these appliques, more than I needed in fact. I ended up purchasing four of them which was exactly the right amount.
I then used some left over fabric from the dress to create the base of the headpiece.
And more, to bulk it up.
I then cut and arranged one of the appliques on the top layer, tacking them down with hand stitches.
I had already scoured the glue aisle at Joann's to find fabric stiffener. Using an old paintbrush, I applied it to the lace.
To keep the lace falling in the right direction without worrying about it sticking to a surface, I hung it up from a mini clothesline over my workspace.
One that layer had dried, I got to work on the second one.
Again using hand stitching, I built up the headpiece. The safety pins in the corners were used in the next step, to form the piece into the cone for the ponytail to emerge while the next layer of stiffener dried. I found it took 2-3 layers of stiffener on each section to get it the right firmness.
I used a headform covered with a plastic bag to get the correct shape for the cap.
Once removed - voila! It stands on its own!
I used a hook and eye on the top and bottom of the cone to close it.
My customer loved it. There are a few tweaks I would make if I ever make another one, but overall it turned out quite well, and was a fantastic learning experience.
Now, ready to see the completed ensemble?