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beading a wedding dress

twinscott | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi everyone, I am making my daughters wedding dress and would like to put some beading on it. Can anyone recommend a book or any tips they may have on beading. It,s a halterneck fitted and flared fishtail with princess seams and empire waistline. The fabric is italian duchesse satin. Would be very grateful for any help.


  1. WandaJ | | #1

    Sorry for you that I can not provide input on the topic of beading; however, I wanted you to know that the design of the wedding dress you have described sounds very pretty.  And, I wish you all the best when working to complete the dress for one of your family's most happy and memorable occasions.

    1. twinscott | | #3

      Wanda thank you so much for your kind wishes. I have been working hard on the dress and my daughter is very happy with it so far. Thats all I wanted to hear. If you would like me to e-mail a picture when it,s finished then I will.

      1. WandaJ | | #5

        Yes, I would be delighted to see a picture of your finished work.  And, a lil' note to tell us how the beading went.

        1. mimi | | #6

          Definately, send us a picture of the finished dress, and tell us how you accomplished the beading:)

          I made my daughters wedding dress last year and it is the one thing I have made that I am the most proud of!  As the experts at G Street Fabric told me when I bought the material, you aren't making a dress you are making an heirloom.


  2. sewchris703 | | #2

    I don't have any book to recommend but I do have experience with beading wedding gowns.  I use Guttermann thread and a slim-eyed needle or a beading needle.  Don't make your stitches too tight; they will pull up the fabric.  Keep them loose and make frequent back stitches through the beads to lock the stitches in place.  If there is lace and/or applique on the gown, you can follow the pattern of it for your beadwork.  In effect, embrodering the gown using beads instead of thread.   For designs on solid satin, check out the gowns in your local bridal shops. 


    1. twinscott | | #4

      Thank you Chris for all your tips. I will take note of them all as this will be my first time beading. I will be looking at other bridal gowns this week-end to check out the beading on them. Thanks again.

      1. Teaf5 | | #7

        If this will be your first time beading, you might want to make a sample to practice the stitches and techniques as well as discover the properties of the fabric of the dress. 

        If you use a good size scrap of fabric for your sample, you can stitch it into a ring pillow or tiny bag or scrapbook cover for the bride.  You can do a portion of the design you're using on the dress and find out the fastest and most efficient approach to beading before you tackle the main event.  Good luck, and please post your results!

        1. twinscott | | #8

          Hello Teaf5, thank you for your help. My daughter is making herself a little bag to practice with the beading and I have started on the back neck straps. I know what you mean by lots of practice to gain the most efficient approach and I,ve now found that if I make the stitch the same width as the bead then they stay in place more instead of wobbling if you know what I mean. They are a tiny Gutermann bead with a shimmer of silver through the middle. We have less than 6weeks till the big day. Will post a photo and let you know how we got on with the beading. Many thanks

  3. suesew | | #9

    When I made my daughter's wedding dress I did what felt like hundreds of hours of silk ribbon embroidery on it. I first did a mock up in a similar fabric until I got the fitting just right (5 tries) and then I did the embroidery on the various pieces before I actually stitched the whole thing together. Then I only had to finish up the seamed areas when the dress was completely made. Just remember to wash your hands a lot!

    1. twinscott | | #11

      Suesew that sounds an absolute marathon that you undertook. You must be very proud of yourself. I don,t think I could tackle something that big. I,m learning all the time on this forum and have just ordered Susan Khalje,s book that Mimi had reccomended to someone. Thanks for you interest.

  4. thimbles1260 | | #10

    Thinking of you today.  How is the beading project coming?  I can't wait to see the finished project.  What a wonderful memory you are creating with  your daughter as you work on her wedding dress together!  I worked as an assistant seamstress in a bridal shop a few years ago, and one of the things that I did was to replace beading on commercial dresses....beading that was removed for alterations and then needed to be replaced.  I used Gutterman thread and a long, thin beading needle.  For most projects I could put 3-4 small beads on a needle and then do a small backstitch when I laid them on the fabric.  Keep things fairly loose so that tugs won't "pop" them off yet tight enough to hold the beads to the fabric if you know what I mean.  I'm sure you have the hang of it by now.  Keep stitching!  Those beads aren't really hatching.  Look now and then at all you have accomplished and try not to look too often at how much is left!  LOL

    1. twinscott | | #12

      Lol my daughter lives in London and wants to be there when we do the beading together. We plan to spend a whole week-end on it. I,m going to try 3-4 beads on the needle . Thanks for that tip. I,m very grateful for any.

      1. thimbles1260 | | #13

        Good luck and keep us posted on the wedding as well as the preperations.

  5. dsrtrt2 | | #14

    I have several books on beading but the one that helped me the most is:

    Bead & Sequin EMBROIDERY STITCHES by Stanley Levy.

    Guild of Master Craftsman Publications

    I got my copy at Joanns in the book section.

    Has great info & illustrations about embroidery beading.

    Good luck!


    1. twinscott | | #15

      Thank you dsrtrt2 for your help. Have just ordered the book on Amazon. Many thanks.

      1. dsrtrt2 | | #16

        You are so welcome.  I hope you can post a picture of the dress here.  I would love to see it.


        1. ChrisJ1 | | #17

          Hi Twinscott,

          Sorry that I have come into this discussion so late in the game. I have made custom bridal gowns for years..and LOVE my work. I especially like the detail work that each entails. One of the things that I think most people forget is that it is the BACK of the gown that the people at the wedding will see the most of! It is usually the front that gets most of the design treatment. I try to encourage my brides to allow me to add some details to the back of the bodess and to the train that will still be seen even after it is "bustled" for the reception.  When I suggested this to my first bride she gave me the green light to do whatever I wanted. I took some leftover pieces of the lace from her gown and made a medallion about  8 or 9 inches wide and about 10 or 11 inches long. I back it with silk from her dress and inserted a SMALL cream petit point that I had done with her new initials in the center and lightly padded the medallion. Once I had placed the hooks on the gown's train to handle the bustling for the reception, I lightly stitched the medallion over the center hook - placing the top of the medallion just over the hook. The bride didn't know what I had planned for her. When she saw it she (of course) started crying. Then I advised her that this medallion was her "memory piece" of her gown. I told her that after the wedding she was to carefully remove the little stitches and have the medallion framed in a shadow box! Then she REALLY started crying. The beauty of it is that it can still be seen on the gown once it was bustled up for her reception and she told EVERYONE about it! It has become one of my trademarks and I do it for each of my brides now. P.S. I also bead the lace before I sew it to the gown.

          Enjoy the wedding and take pride in your beautiful work!


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