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Designing Party Dresses with Beads, Appliques, and Bows

Submitted by : By TE Online on February 3, 2009 11:56 AM
Party DressBeautiful wardrobe is what everyone desires. Although there are countless ready to wear apparel, clothing & garments yet embellishing one's own clothes can be a fun filled activity. When self designed clothes are worn, they give an incredible charm to one's personality. If you are prepared to get that perfect glow on your face, just read on to know how you can decorate your clothes with ever popular trims like beads, appliqué's, and bows.

Sewing Beads on Clothes
Beaded Dress Beads have become popular beyond imagination for embellishing not only the clothes but also for making jewelwery, fashion accessories and decorating home A casual and plain dress can be turned into a stunning party wear just by adding beads to it. Sewing beads is also a very simple task for that matter.
  • Select a pattern which you can readily find in books or on net. You can even make your own pattern with the help of a little imagination. Visualize beads of different sizes, shapes and colors set in straight, curvy or zig zag pattern, how the lines can be set- close to each other or apart from each other, whether a small pattern like that of a small flower, rectangle or circle will look good among the lines, or there's no need of lines and only small patterns scattered all over the dress will look good. These and similar other questions will help you in selecting your pattern.
  • Draw the selected pattern on tissue paper. Use colored pencils to indicate a change in bead color in the pattern. Attach the tissue paper to the fabric with a few temporary large stitches which can be removed later.
  • Now place the fabric along with the attached pattern on an embroidery loom. Take care not to tear the tissue paper. Ensure that the pattern paper and the fabric are not loose but smoothly fixed to the loom.
  • Choose threads that match the fabric. Thread your needle making the thread about two feet long. Knot the thread at the end and insert the needle into the back of the fabric, anchoring the thread. Pull the length of thread through the fabric.
  • Now start beading. Slide a bead into the needle, push it down the thread to the fabric and then push the needle back through the fabric. Again bring the thread on to the top of the fabric by anchoring through needle and sew another bead according to the pattern.
  • Knot the thread in back after every few stitches to keep the beads in place and continue until the pattern is complete.

Making Appliques
applique-party-dress.jpg Appliqué, if simply defined can be called a decorative patch. While patches are for repairing clothes, appliqué's are for decorating them. Appliqué's are commonly used for quilts but the elegant appliqué's have, of late, come to be used for embellishing dresses. Appliqué's look great on a dress. Many of them are often put together to make an interesting pattern. Sometimes different fabrics are selected for individual patches in order to add texture, contrast and style.
  • Select an image that you want on your garment. This can be anything- a flower, tree, star, fish- anything. Complex patterns will take comparatively longer time than the simple ones.
  • Draw the image on a thick piece of paper.
  • Trace out the image on the smooth side of some fuseable web.
  • Take the fabric intended for making the appliqué. Choose the fabric very carefully as it will be applied on your garment.
  • Place the fabric right-side-down, and the fuseable web paper on top of that, smooth side up.
  • sewing-applique.jpg
  • Set iron on silk setting and iron both the pieces together about 5 seconds on each spot. Follow the specific instructions, if any, on the fuseable web package. Don't use steam while ironing.
  • After fusing the fabric together with the web, cut out the image.
  • Peel the paper off the fabric, and lay down the image on the garment at the intended point.
  • Iron the fabric to the garment until it is all fused together, and is all easy to sew.
  • Attach the appliqué to the garment by sewing through zigzag stitch.

Making a Fabric Bow
bow.jpg Bows also represent fashion in a much pretty way. You can even consider designing your party dress with bows. Fabric bows can be made in any size or width, and with any type of fabric from heavy velvet to light chiffon.
  • Determine the size of the bow you want to make for your dress. Cut a strip of the fabric you have selected. Calculate the length of the fabric you need for the bow by adding together the length of each tail, plus twice the width of the bow. If you intend to make a bow with more than one loop on each side, add extra length to the fabric. The fabric should be twice as wide as the bow piece width. Cut extra width and length for seam allowances. Also, cut a small piece approximately two inches long and the same width as the other fabric.
  • Fold the fabric lengthwise so the right sides are facing each other. Then, fold the fabric in half the other direction, matching the ends carefully. Mark off an angle at the bottom of the fabric ends with the help of a ruler. Cut this triangle off the fabric. This allows a neat, pointed end to the bow tails. Fold the small piece of fabric lengthwise as well.
  • Take a thread that matches the dominant color of the fabric and slide it into machine needle. Sew carefully up the pointed end and down three-quarters of the length of the fabric. Then, skip sewing for approximately one inch. Resume sewing with the machine on the other side of the gap and continue until you reach the end of the other point. Remove the fabric strip from the sewing machine and cut off the extra threads. Sew up the side of the short piece of fabric to form a basic tube.
  • party-dress-bow.jpg
  • Clip the corners of the pointed ends of the sewn fabric carefully. It will make the points sharp and well-defined in the bow. Turn the short piece of fabric and the fabric tube right side out through the small hole left in the long side of the fabric. Hand stitch the open piece of the large fabric ribbon closed neatly.
  • Lay the piece of fabric out flat on a table with the sewn seam facing downward. You might want to lay it near a ruler to make sure the measurements of each side of the finished bow match. Fold in both ends of the fabric strip until they cross in the center. This will make the loop sides of the bow.
  • Gather the centers of the three sections of fabric together and wrap the small piece of fabric tube around them. Keep the stitched seam hidden by squashing the tube with the seam in the middle of one side. At the back, fold under one of the raw edges and use it to cover the other raw edge. Use a needle and thread to stitch these ends together. You may also use a hot glue gun instead.
  • Sew the bow at the intended point on the garment.

If you don't want to sew a bow, you can even tie a fabric in a variety of bow forms with the garment. They look equally stunning!

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