Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Showgirl Outfit

Ongoing work on a red beaded show girl outfit for a photo shoot is taking me forever, to the point I really wish I hadn’t started it.

It's been over a course of two months now of sewing beads and sequins on.

The bra alone would have taken a solid two weeks of working on it if I hadnt got so bored with it,it was the under cup where I have added a string of bugle/tube beads to the center of each sequin that covered the area, that was nearly the undoing of it all and me chucking it in the recycle crate and calling it quits on the whole outfit.

In hined sight should have been a strand every other sequin,it would have looked the same and not weighed so much in the end .

It's easier to take a red bra and thong of the same colour and shade to use as a base to work on, than to have to make them from scratch as it saves a whole lot of time.
The added pieces for the neck, arm and sash pieces are strips of red satin fabric cut and sewn to shape with added hooks, eyes and snaps for fit.

· Red bra
· Red thong
· popper snaps
· hooks and eyes
· Red cotton thread
· Thin long needle
· Small embroidery scissors
· Big bag of red sequins
· 150grams of red glass tube beads
· 100grams of small round red glass
· 2meters x 1cm red ribbon (for adding fringing to)
· 1m red satin fabric

Adding sequins with beads: It is quite simple as threading one on and adding a small bead in the centre to hold it in place. Add a couple of 1000 more and you have a part of an outfit.

Making beaded fringe: Easier if you can find what you that matches your intended outfit in a shop, but if you have to make beaded fringe from scratch an item? It is some what easier to do if you sew strings of beads on to the edge of a piece of ribbon and then sew it to the item.

First cut the length of ribbon you need to fringe the item and leave a bit extra to fold in to make a smart edge. Then mark the length with a ruler and put small dots with a light coloured marker pen along the edge of one side of the ribbon, these are to be the points where you are to add the strands of beads, so you know in the end the beaded strands will finish evenly (or you can adjust to fit before you start).

Neck piece : Cut a length of fabric twice the width you want, plus seam allowance so that half can be beaded and the other half can be folded over to cover the stitching at the end for a neat finish. And the length the circumference of your neck plus at least 3cm as an over lap for the fastener.
The fringing is added straight to the sequined band after it has been beaded, so its easier to use the spacing of the sequins as markers for the fringing strand positions. Working (minus the 3cm overlap on one side) from the centre out to each side. Start with adding a string of beads your desired longest length by adding the beads and using the last as the end stop bead and sewing back up through the string and sewing it off at the top. Adding a string of beads each side to the centre one, in this case half a sequin spaced apart and detract one or two beads as you work outward, so they decrease in length till you get half way before the end of the neck piece so the strand will finish at the shoulder line.

With the Bra: if you cut around the internal edge, ¾ of the way around the lining fabric before you start beading and tack it back out of the way while you sequin and bead the other side.You can then sew the lining back in place when you have finished.This creates a smooth lining and looks smarter if it is being taken off as part of an act and is also smoother for comfort of fit.

The Beading of the T string: is a bit more tricky and is easier to bead if you stretch it over an embroidery hoop, as you might need to allow for the beading to be stretched on the fabric when worn. Two hooks and eyes or skirt fasteners at the sides help with this also and with taking it off, if worn over a G string for a performance or act.

Tassles: can be easily beaded in the same way as above.Either straight on to the tassle or onto a strip of fabric and wound, sewn into place around the top part of the tassle.

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London, United Kingdom
Lover of most things vintage and retro

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