My Fair Lady Ballgown, Part VIII: Stitched Sequins


After I attached the beaded fringe on the neckline and sleeves of the dress, I did some hand-stitching of sequins. I had not originally realized that this would be involved, but closer examination of the sleeve decoration showed that the straight lines (and by extension, the straight line segments at the neckline and hem of the dress) were not baguette sequins or beads, but were actually alternating lines of sequins and what looked like stylized vines with sequin leaves. See?


So I bought a bunch of clear 4mm sequins to go with my silver 4mm sequins, and got to work. Again, to assist in accurate placement I ran basting stitches of white thread to mark the lines. Then I used ivory embroidery thread to stitch down lines of silver sequins and to make the central vines for the clear sequins. I used a basic running stitch– since the net is see-through, the stitching looks like a solid line. I then used regular white sewing thread (finer but still visible to match the original) to stitch clear sequins along the edges of the vines.

I will say that this process took absolutely FOREVER. Or at least it seemed to. Placing the line segments correctly (especially on the skirt) took forever. Embroidering the silver sequins took forever. Stitching the clear sequins was so tedious that it felt like I’d never finish– there are so darned many of them to sew on (about 75 segments, averaging about 20-25 sequins per segment), and they’re clear, so you can hardly even see them when you’re done! (sigh) It seemed like a real waste of time while I was doing it, but at least the finished effect was nice– subtly shimmery.


Once I’d embroidered and sequined the line segments, I used a combination of 6mm and 4mm sequins to embellish the edges of the neckline and sleeves (alternating one large and two vertical small), stitching them on with invisible thread this time so it wouldn’t show. Rather than using clear or silver sequins (too clear and too shiny, respectively), I ended up using an in-between color called “moonshine” from Cartwright’s Sequins. They’re kind of silvery but still more transparent than the regular silver sequins, and they’re perfect for what I had in mind. (Cartwright’s is great, by the way– fantastic selection and when I emailed with an issue I was having they were quick to respond. Highly recommended!)


I was originally going to use the larger sequins to outline the scalloped decoration on the center skirt panel as well, but decided that the movie stills showed the trim to be white rather than silver. So instead I used more of the narrow flower trim, which I cut down to a little more than half-width (see below) before stitching down.



I’m really happy with the progress of the dress right now– the pictures don’t really do it justice, but it shimmers and sparkles quite nicely. With the addition of the sequins it’s finally starting to look like the original! So exciting!


4 thoughts on “My Fair Lady Ballgown, Part VIII: Stitched Sequins

  1. Pingback: My Fair Lady Ballgown, Part XII: Sequins Redux | It's All Frosting...

  2. Pingback: My Fair Lady Ballgown, Part X: Final Photos! | It's All Frosting...

  3. Pingback: Lady Macbeth Beetlewing Gown, Part IX: Sleeves | It's All Frosting...

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