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Need sugg. for special fabric

user-362644 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi Everyone,

   I’m new to the gathering board and I need some help.  I am planning on making a formal dress for a military ball and I have some fabulous fabric, but I am afraid to start sewing with it.  It is a  black organza with a vine design and beaded flowers.  The problem is the miniscule beads are glued on and pop off when cut or (I assume) sewn over.  I just bought a Bernina Activa 135 and I don’t want to ruin it with these little beads.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Thanks so much, Elizabeth


  1. stitchmd | | #1

    It's labor intensive, but you need to pop those beads off the fabric before you sew over them, or even cut into them. Use a small pliers for jewelry making to break them off carefully without ripping the fabric. Do it in the seam line and even the seam allowance. You don't want those little bumps and bulk inside your seams. You also don't want them right up against the well of the seam where they will cause puckering. Lay out your pattern so you can identify where your cut away portions will be and cut out some small samples from that waste fabric to practice with the pliers, scissors and sewing machine.

  2. SewTruTerry | | #2

    Also if you are concerned enough about the beads getting into your machine put on the straight stitch plate or cover the zig zag hole with a piece of tape so that there is no chance that they will get down in there.  Also since you are working with an organza that will help with the puckers as well.  Make sure that you use the right needle as well.

    1. mainestitcher | | #3

      Have you made a muslin of your dress, yet, or at least the bodice? Then you can use your muslin for a pattern marking the stitching and seamlines. To speed things along a little bit, You can lay the seam allowance on an unwielding surface and smash the beads with a hammer. Wasn't there a Threads article on sewing beaded fabric?

      1. SisterT | | #4

        If the index is correct, it was issue 104 (Dec 2002/Jan 2003).  I am glad this issue came up.  I have some fabric that has beads stitched on, and I have been wondering how I am going to use it without losing an eye to a flying needle or flying bead!


        1. SewTruTerry | | #5

          When you are going to sew with the material that beads sewn onto it take a tip from bridal sewing and save all of the beads that come off after you cut the threads and then sew them back on over the seam line to hide the seam somewhat.  It will take lots of patience and a good needle and thread but it can be done.  Just remember don't use thread that is longer than about 18 inches as the darn thing can get to be a real bear if it tangles up on you. And always knot it after several beads have been put on and continue along as this will save you such a headache.  Good luck.

          1. SisterT | | #6

            Thank you!  I didn't think that far into the project and I appreciate the tip!

            Sr. Tracey

          2. CTI | | #7

            "And always knot it after several beads have been put on and continue along as this will save you such a headache"

            That is such a good tip! I have a pair of pants with a beaded waistband that wouldn't have fallen apart (falling beads make a racket on tile bathrooms) had it been made with such care. I had put off trying to fix it because I really didn't have a clue, but now I do, thanks Terry! 

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