The most striking feature of the dress I copied for the 2016 Costume College Gala is a rhinestone bow on the front neckline. It's what drew me to the dress when I first saw it, and it was one of those dresses always in the back of my mind.
My green silk taffeta is from Renaissance Fabrics, my steel cut beads are from Hanson Stone Vintage, and my rhinestones are from Pretty Things Supplies
I knew when I was making this dress that I wanted to add the beading to the mostly finished dress. I finished the bodice, except for sewing the neckline facing down. This way I was able to sew the neckline beads on and then whip the facing into place. I left off the skirt as well, because I didn't want it in the way. You can see the half finished facing in the above picture. The rhinestones are 5mm surrounded by 2mm.
Because my fabric is so dark--green shot with black--my previous technique of a cell phone flashlight and bowl, wasn't going to work. My fabric was also too dark for the pencil markings to show up. I have a chalk pencil somewhere, but I didn't really want to rub that off with the beading anyway.
To start, I traced my design onto tracing paper. It looks opaque in the picture, but is actually sheer. Tissue paper would work as well. I then pinned the design into place.
To get the design itself, I enlarged the picture of the dress and traced it--very easy!
I then sewed along the lines using white thread and big basting stitches.
I sewed the beads right next to the guiding stitches--this made them easier to pull out once the beading was done.
The completed outline!
I then filled the bow with rhinestones. I used a 6mm in the center and 5mm and 2mm in the rest.
For the tails of the bow, I basted a line, sewed 6mm rhinestones along it, and then sewed the steel beads along the edge.
One of the tails ends past the skirt. I hemmed a piece of fabric in the shape I wanted, added the rhinestones, and sewed it to the dress. I sewed the steel beads after this so they'd cover the join between the extension and the dress.
And that's it! For the beading, at least :)