February 24, 2013

Beading on A Little Black Dress

This otherwise basic little black dress gets most of its personality from the wonderful trim at the front neckline.  

Gathered fabric strips outline some subtle beading with iridescent blue beads - bugles, seed beads, and sphericals - and tiny rhinestones.  

A couple of rhinestones were missing, and quite a few of the spherical beads.  Also, the gathered bands were detached in many places.  

Re-attaching the gathered bands was easy.  Finding just the right spherical beads was impossible.  So, we decided to remove some of the beads from the shoulder/corner areas and move them down into the empty spots.  You can see in this photo where I took beads off of the left end of the bottom row.  I also ended up taking off some beads from the end of the top row and re-placing them so that the row now goes up the center of the corner area.  

Here is the neckline after the bead work was completed.  I restitched through all the spherical beads actually, because the thread was quite fragile throughout.

The final step was replacing the missing rhinestones.  I found some little Swarovski crystals in the same size.  They are the two in this photo that appear a bit pinker.

And here is the finished project.  I think that the subtlety of the combination of the iridescent blue beads on the shiny black satin is quite elegant.

Dress and photo courtesy of Basya Berkman Vintage Fashions.

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