Beaded (Beta)

I decided a while ago that I wanted to try my hand at beadwork on a garment. Simple enough, but I hadn’t done it before. I’ll want a decent eye and hand for this when I get into more formal wear, and when someday I have the opportunity to work on bridal gowns.

For starters, a small, straightforward project was the way to start. So, my Mom’s newest blouse is beaded along the collar. This shirt is an original pattern I created especially for her. We tore apart a tank top that fit her nicely, traced it onto pattern paper, and lengthened it a bit. I’ve made her several tank tops from this pattern. The blouse I made here was from the same pattern, altered so the neck is a V rather than a scoop, and with sleeves added.

So I’d have a guide for the beadwork, I drew a design on the finished shirt, just under the collar. I used washable markers in a similar color (after testing on a scrap of the fabric to be sure it really does wash out; sometimes they don’t). Then I hand stitched the beads roughly along the lines I’d drawn.

I think the final result really works (despite the fact that, sadly, I failed to achieve symmetry in my bead design). My Mom wants more shirts that she can wear in a professional setting, but without a suit jacket (for several reasons – brighter colors flatter her better, jackets are stiff and uncomfotable, etc.). The beading gives the shirt a sort of “finished” look, in my opinion, and stands alone better than the shirt would without it. Mom agrees, and cheerfully took the shirt home with her today.


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August 2008
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