Beaded Dress with Fitted Bodice and Cap Sleeves Sewing Tutorial
There’s just something about the holidays that makes you want to sparkle. The twinkling lights, shimmery snow, and the bubbling drinks – it’s no wonder we want the clothes to match!
This beaded and embroidered fabric is the perfect answer to all of your sparkle prayers. Gorgeous beads and shiny rhinestones adorn a delicate mesh that makes for the most special clothing, no matter the silhouette. This dress was inspired by a royal holiday tea. Can’t you see Princess Kate wearing it?
When working with beaded fabrics, the biggest thing to keep in mind is patience. Once the pattern pieces are cut, it’s important to remove the beads and rhinestones from the edges of the fabric that will be sewn together at the seams in order to sew it together with a sewing machine. If you wish to avoid this step, you will need to commit to hand sewing the seams. To make this dress simpler, it does not have a lining under the bodice of the dress. It is shown here with a plain tank top underneath instead.
Though this dress would be perfect for the holidays, it would also be perfect for a spring wedding or a Derby party! Whatever you wear it to, it will be sure to be a show stopper. Check out the sewing tutorial below.
Time: 6-8 hours
Take your beaded mesh lace and cut a rectangle that is 2X the length of your waist and 26” wide with the scalloped edge at the bottom of the long side. Repeat this step on your beige matte satin. These pieces will be used for the SKIRT. Next, create a sloper, or a bodice pattern for yourself using a YouTube tutorial like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WVOhnq1cro. Use your sloper pattern to cut out two BACK pieces and one FRONT piece. Also cut out two pieces for the SLEEVEs as shown in the instructions.
Take your FRONT and BACK pieces and sew in the darts as they are marked on your sloper pattern. Note that for the darts you will have to remove all of the rhinestones and beads that are along the seam lines to allow for the sewing machine to move through the fabric. Use your fingers to pry them off or small scissors to cut the beads. This will be done for all seams.
Place the BACK pieces on top of your FRONT piece with the beaded sides of the fabric touching and the shoulder seams lined up. Sew along the tops of the shoulders and the sides of the bodice. At this point, try on the bodice and adjust as needed.
To make the skirt, sew a long seam with wide stitches through the top of the beaded fabric and the top of the satin fabric (separately). Do not tie the ends off on either side. Pull on the lose threads to scrunch the fabric up into a ruffle so that it is the length of your waist plus 1”.
Place the beaded SKIRT on top of the bodice with the beaded sides of the fabric touching and the ruched part of the SKIRT aligned with the bottom hem of the bodice. Sew the two pieces together along the original seam for the ruching. Then place the satin SKIRT inside of the bodice with the ruched part lined up with the bottom of the bodice. Again, sew along the original seam for the ruching to connect the SKIRT to the bodice.
To add in the zipper, iron it out as instructed on the zipper packaging, unzip it, and pin the front sides of the zipper to the edges of the BACK pieces. Sew along the zipper teeth on both sides to secure it. Zip the zipper up and turn the dress inside out. Line up the skirt pieces on the back below the zipper and sew them together.
Hem the bottom of the matte satin lining by folding the bottom edge of the satin up twice and sew along the edge to secure.
If desired, create the cap sleeves by taking the SLEEVE pieces and sewing a straight stitch along the top, short edge, not knotting it at the ends. Pull the ends to create ruching.