One of Rachel’s early requests was that her gown sparkle. She wasn’t sure whether she wanted beads or sequins or rhinestones or some combination (and wasn’t confident about which would look elegant and which would lean too far towards tacky) but she was sure that she wanted the gown to glitter stylishly somehow.

Once I had delved in to working with the beautiful Dupioni and satin fabrics for her gown, I was able to work on a few sample swatches of beadwork, trying different patterns both with matching and contrasting beads, mixing in some clear iridescent sequins, adding a bit of embroidery. Rachel gave me her input on the smaller sections and armed with her approval, I went to work on the bodice of her gown.

So that the back side of the embroidery was hidden between the lining and the main fabric, I needed to reach between these layers from the bottom of the bodice. And since I wanted to avoid removing the skirt from the bodice once they were sewn together, I needed add the beading before attaching the bodice to the skirt. So the first photos I sent Rachel of her *actual* gown in progress were close ups of the bodice beading to get her input.

After I beaded the bodice, I left it up on a dress form for a couple of days so I could look at it from different angles, in different lighting, out of the corner of my eye while walking past. Often, doing this allows me to notice things that I might miss in the midst of sewing, and lets me identify changes I want to make. This time, the longer I looked at the bodice the happier I was with it. It sparkled as I walked past. It looked great in full light and dim light. And the more times I saw it, the more I was sure it reflected  something of Rachel’s personality as well.

With that step finished, it was time to sew the many layers of skirt!


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November 2010
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