You may never sew a beaded silk dress in your life. But if you ever do, you’ll be down on your knees thanking us for this blog post! Beaded fabric, silk or otherwise, can be a pain-in-the-behind to sew with. Here are some pictures, tips, and pop culture song references to get you through such a project!
As you sew along on this fabric, the glass beads will inevitably break your needle, no matter how hard you try to miss them. When we first started sewing a garment from this fabric, we thought the solution would be to cut the beads off the dress. Unfortunately, that also meant cutting threads that held other beads and sequins on the fabric, leaving bare spots. What to do? What to do?
Hammer time! I can’t exactly remember how we got to this solution- I’m sure it was all mom’s idea– but here it is!
Trace your pattern onto your fabric and then place painter’s tape along the edges of the pattern piece. Painter’s tape is low tack, so it should not damage your fabric. (I’m using a small sample of the beaded silk here, because it can cost $100/yard)
Then, hammer along the painter’s tape to break the bulky, glass beads.
Pull the painter’s tape up, and voila! all the little pieces of glass are nicely contained and ready to be thrown away. Hint: You may need to repeat this process a couple of times- it depends on how heavily beaded your fabric is.
Your seam lines are clear of debris and hazardous decoration. Best of all, the threads holding the sequins down are still intact, so you don’t lose any more sparkle than you have to!
Believe you me, we were pretty excited when we figured this out! It erased our fears and motivated us to use the fabric more often. Here are some photos of projects we’ve done with beaded silk…they were both for me 🙂