Thursday, October 13, 2022

Baubles, Bangles, & Beads

And now for the fun part!

At the same estate sale where I found McCalls 4425, there was a craft room filled with all sorts of items, including most of the sequins seen here, which also followed me home.

I made a dress this year and added a smattering of sequins to the dress, and encrusted a bow with sequins and beads.  I loved the way it turned out.  When it came to this project, my first thought was that the hip drape would look fabulous covered in sequins.  The fact that I found most of the sequins at the same place where I happened upon the dress pattern felt like kismet!

Of course, there were a few issue with making that change to the pattern.  First, I had to figure out how the pattern was drafted and if it was going to be necessary to alter the construction to allow for the addition of embellishments.  I knew that I would have to steer clear of seam allowances until those seams were stitched for the sake of all of the sequins involved.  But it looked as though it was possible!  So I started with random placements, and then kept going until most of the drape was covered.

The drape is finished with a facing on two edges and then folded in half, and pleated to give it shape.

And here is where it gets a bit tricky.  

Obviously, it is much easier to apply embellishments to a flat surface.  But this drape has pleats which are then stitched in place directly on the dress front.  Of course, there are a fair amount of layers involved at this point, and I didn't really want to hand stitch all of those layers to the dress front, both for my sanity and for the stability of the stitches themselves.

That meant that I had to stop adding sequins at a certain point, the only question was where exactly was that point.

The sarong and the drape, which are a single piece, are added to the front of the dress and stitched to a clipped corner at the start of the pleated area of the drape.

Any additional sequins added after this stage would have to be added to what is essentially half of an entire dress.

This was certainly more awkward than a flat piece of fabric, but it wasn't as bad as I had expected.

And now I finally had an end in sight, since I had to cover that line of stitching where the drape is stitched to the dress front, but no further.

The only real change that I made to the construction of the dress was to add a few stitches from the inside of the folded drape to the dress front to tether those two pieces together.  I suspect that the added weight of the sequins and beads was the cause of that portion falling forward slightly.  But it was well worth the few extra stitches for the finished result!