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Advice for wedding dress beading?

KharminJ | Posted in General Discussion on

Good Saturday, all!

I have an opportunity to add some embellishments to an otherwise completed wedding dress, and really need some input from you pros out there ~

1) Good grief! Where should I even start with pricing? I don’t know what she has in mind to pay, either…
What I do know right now is that she wants some “scattered pearls and sequins” on the skirt. The straps and empire waist are beaded, but the chiffon skirt is naked … And she doesn’t have the beads on hand – need to be located and purchased retail, locally.
2) The wedding is either next weekend (9-5) or the weekend after (9-14).
Presumably that adds a “rush” factor – how much?
3) Never done this before – I’m thinking to knot each set (sequin and bead/pearl) separately, unless they’re *very* close together. Any other suggestions?
4) Clean hands, clean workspace – any other “gotchas” to watch out for, besides the standard Bridezilla warnings – thick skin, deposit and cash?

Thanks hugely, in advance!
Bright Blessings to all ~

KharminJ

Oh – located in the suburbs of Chicago, if that makes a difference…

Replies

  1. sparklewench | | #1

    wow...not alot of time, for sure!

     

    You will want to get as small a bead or sequin as you can, because chiffon has little body, which is why it is so lovely and fluid.  TOO much weight, and it will pucker.  I am not sure I would want to do any beading on it.  Personally, I think it is a big risk.  Also, once the beads are on it, if it does pucker then you run the risk of holes in the fabric and damage.  Is it silk chiffon?  Poly?

     

    I would suggest maybe beading the underlayer.....what fabric is it?  Satin? Taffeta?  I would say exnay to the sequins and just use pearls or small austrian crystals as the sequins will really tend to grab the overlay.....

     

    I have done bridal for over 25 years, so I have alot of experience in beading.  Best wishes!

    1. sparklewench | | #2

      also, I forgot, make sure you use lingerie weight thread, it is finer, use a fine thread wax to prevent tangling and knotting, and use lengths only about 18 to 20 inches MAX.  Get the long beading needles as well as threaders....and also should you stick yourself, alot of times, saliva will get out the pinprick.

  2. cookymom | | #3

    Remember to vac the work area and then put down a clean sheet on the floor.  You may need two sheets so that fabric covers the floor under your machine and the dress.  I'd do the same thing if I was hand sewing.

    Carol

  3. jjgg | | #4

    I'm only going to respond to your first question.

    >>>>1) Good grief! Where should I even start with pricing? I don't know what she has in mind to pay, either...<<<<

    What she has in mind to pay should have nothing to do with the first part of your question. What is your hourly wage? $25.00/hr? well then that's what she pays. If she doesn't want to pay that much, then that is her choice and she can either take it to someone else, or not have it done.

    Add in the rush factor of needing it next week - double the cost - after all you have to put down other work or not take in other work in order to rush her job through. She should pay for the loss of your other business and for the lack on her part of having this done in a timely manner.

    Her emergency is not yours......

    1. KharminJ | | #5

      Thank you, jjgg, for reminding me of that wisdom - I've seen the bumper sticker a thousand times: "Poor planning on your part does not automatically make it an emergency for me".I wrote to her the other day, saying that circumstances (hers and mine) did not allow time for a proper job, and that I was sure she would be a beautiful bride, especially without the extra "thing to fret about this week". No response yet (not that I'm expecting one this week). *Thanks also to you other helpful friends-I-haven't-met-yet. Your tips will come in handy for *something or other* I'm sure!I've read around here some more since I started this thread, and
      I wasn't sure if I really wanted to dive into actual "wedding dress" work. Now I'm sure I don't! "Bridal accessories", I'm willing to talk about, the dress itself - nope!Thanks again, and Happy Stitching, y'all!Kharmin

      1. jjgg | | #6

        Kharmin,
        You're welcome. If there is anything else we can help you with just give a shout.

      2. Josefly | | #7

        I'm so relieved for you that you turned that beading project down. In trying to scatter "a few" beads on the hem of a tulle wedding veil, I found it to be more difficult and frustrating than I thought at first, and MUCH more time-consuming. For one thing, the invisible thread I was using was quite difficult to tie off into a knot that would hold, and once I figured out how to do that, and after sewing beads halfway around one layer of a "practice" veil, I could see that individually sewing those tiny beads on and knotting each one individually was going to take many, many hours. I thought about using glue instead, but the bride solved the problem by agreeing that the tiny beads she had chosen were barely noticeable on the veil when spaced the way she wanted them to be, and the effort to apply them wasn't worthwhile, no matter how it was done. I think it would have been much easier to apply a continuous line of beads along the hem than to sew each bead on individually 3 inches apart. So when I read about how you were thinking of tackling that job on the skirt of a bridal gown, I trembled.

        1. KharminJ | | #8

          Thanks for the "Don't do it! Please!" energy.

          I'm actually rather proud of myself - it's so hard to turn away work!

          I am getting better at looking further down the road than just the potential income, but money is a touchy point right now, so it tends to color my outlook...

          The moral support here is thrilling - thanks again, all!

          Kharmin

        2. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #9

          FYI when scattering a few beads on something like a wedding veil, it is common practice to glue the beads on with white glue rather than sew them on. It is an article that is not usually going to be washed, and the glue dries clear. The glue wraps around the netting and attaches it quite securely. To attach the beads, put some PVA, or good quality white glue in a small container, and using the tip of a toothpick, pick up a small dab of glue. Use the dab of glue to pick up the single bead, then place the bead where you want it by gently rubbing the bead off onto the netting where the threads cross. This way, you only put a tiny bit of glue on to hold the bead on that dries very quickly. You can re-position the bead to hide the hole if you choose at this point. If you look at ready made dresses, you will also notice that many dresses are done this way. Cathy

          1. Josefly | | #10

            I'm glad you added that advice for using glue. Others, perhaps more adept than I, will probably have good results. I actually did try that method of applying the beads to the practice veil. But I used Fabri-Tac glue, and probably should've thinned it somehow. I found it very difficult to just get a small amount of glue on the tiny seed beads, even using the pin to dip them as you suggest; then the bead didn't want to come off the pin onto the tulle in just the right place. My arthritic fingers don't bend the way they used to, so that was a problem. Anyway, if I ever need to do that again, I'll be sure to give myself plenty of time, and practice a lot first. I also discovered that if sewing the beads on, polyester invisible thread works much better than the nylon invisible. It's easier to tighten into a knot that won't untie itself. Still very tedious.

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #11

            The sewing machine method on the Bernina site would probably have worked better for you then. With a bit of practice, it would be like sewing on tiny buttons. Cathy

          3. Josefly | | #12

            Thanks for mentioning that site. Boy does it make me wish for a new machine!I did a search, though, and all that came up was a method for applying strands of beads, etc., using a piping foot with a serger. Would the technique you mentioned have been described in one of the blogs?

          4. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #13

            Oh dear, I forgot they revamped their site! The method I did describe under another thread here tho. Free Motion Machine Beading was the video under the Bernina site. http://forums.taunton.com/tp-gatherings/messages?msg=8822.15 Try this link back to the instructions I posted. Cathy PS I am not to great at posting links, so I hope it works

          5. Josefly | | #15

            Your link worked just fine. Thanks for finding it for me. I'll remember that technique. I didn't think my machine needles would fit through the holes of the tiny beads I used, but I just tried, and size 60/8, 70/9, and 70/10 needles all fit through easily.Also, I'm slapping my forehead over the glue technique. I thought the bead was lifted by a pin or needle, then dipped into the glue, then placed onto the fabric. But it seems you mean to get a tiny drop of glue onto a toothpick, then use that to pick up the bead?I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me. Thanks once again for the clear info you present.

          6. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #16

            Exactly, use the glue to pick up the bead, and that glue is just about the exact amount to glue the bead down. Cathy

          7. Josefly | | #17

            Finally got it! Thanks, I try it that way.

          8. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #14

            You actually need to use a thick glue rather than a thin one. It has to be slightly tacky in order to hold to the fabric. It looks really messy when you first put the bead on, but when the glue dries, it is clear, and shrinks to hold the bead on, so is not seen. The bead of glue picks up the bead, not the pin or toothpick. Wax paper under the netting also helps, by making a firmer surface to brush the toothpick against the netting. Toothpicks pick up a little more glue than pins do and work better, even more than pin heads, and the more glue that builds up on the toothpick, the better. Cathy

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