Alix and beading
- Dear Shawna:
If you are beading through it (meaning the thread goes through the
backingand beading happens once the backing is on) fusible is a down right
Yes, I sew right through, and I know all about beading through fabric
and fleece; I did an entire panel coat in beads and sequins; ten per cent
sequins and nintey per cent rocaille beads done in a rococo pattern. It was
a lark compared to the yellow lace costume, with the angel sleeves, which
had to be encrusted with sequins, following the pattern of the lace, which
was a circle of eight large dots, with an inncer circle of eight smaller
dots, with a large dot in the middle, and diamonds made of small dots
between the rows of circles. The colours were red, green, golds, whites,
and orange, and I sewed most of them in patterns; no two in a row the same.
I was using flats stripped off the string, six, eight and ten mm cupped, ten
mm stars, sun discs, paylettes, and rocaille beads to hold everything in
place. That was a major pain in various portions of the anatomy...mainly
skipthe beading all together. Beading is flat out heavy. And it must be
reinforced or it falls off usually.
The panel coat weighs about what a woman's woolen winter coat used to
weigh when I was a kid, somewhere between five and seven pounds; I store it
in a footlocker with other encrusted costumes.
As for skipping the beading, this isn't an option. You can ask anyone,
who has ever seen my costuming, and the only costumes that I've done that
are not beaded, are glittered, and this costume won't work with just
glitter; not for what I have in mind.
Oh, and I've never had any trouble with beads falling off. My first
experiments with making beaded appliques was done by beading and sequining
cotton sewn to felt. The design went well; so well in fact that Allen
wanted it. I sewed it to a caftan for him. He was two at the time, and
liked to take his large yellow Duplo bricks and rub the edge over the
applique; pretending that he was grating cheese. At five, I took the
applique off, and attached it to the front of his presentation costume:
"The King of Elves". In that time, only one bead every came off.
My usually method is to use an underlining of duck cloth or well worn
denim(i.e. recycled jeans).
Not an option since it would show through the fabric; I need something
light in colour and inexpensive in price.
. I suggest you do your beading on an appliqué base first, cut that out,
apply to garment, then edge with a
I've done appliques; even thought a course on making them at CC7. I
wrote a two part article on the process for the Costumer's Quarterly. I
appliqued the entire gown with snow flakes for my "Snow Queen" at CC13, and
did not like the result. (Worst costume I ever did; jinxed from the word
go.) This costume would not work with appliques and you wouldn't want to
try. Six inches wide from neck to toes, twelve inches to three or four from
knees to back of the skirt, encrusted with sequins, beads, string breads,
everything sewn with embroidery thread; beads used to hold the sequins in
place, and everything double sewn.
I think it will be glitter for the sleeves and the rest of the gown, and
glitter for the coat since that's being done in organza and I don't want to
weigh it down. Gloves will be glittered as well.