Sharon-my-sewing-mentor asked me yesterday if I was going to bead the bodice of the dress. I hadn’t thought about that! but a quick look at the Alencon lace on the dress suggested that beading lightly with real pearls probably would be a nice embellishment.
Here’s a photo of the dress fabric, with the Alencon lace and some freshwater pearls:
(Do click for the larger version – the small photo doesn’t show the details clearly. Also, the pearls are a bit pinker in the photo than they are in real life – they are nearly the same shade as the fabric and lace.)
I also included a couple of gold and pale yellow pearlized glass beads, because I had them on hand, but I think they are too strongly colored for the dress. The dress is all about subtle quality, and the gold would stand out too much. But I like the pearls very much.
However, if I were using pearls, I would probably want perfectly round ones – the irregularities of the freshwater rice pearls are a bit distracting. A quick Web search suggests that I can get small Akoya (high-quality, saltwater) pearls for not too expensive a price – $33/16″ strand for the best quality pearls direct from the Chinese farms that produce them – so I might buy a strand or two of them and experiment with beading, once we get to that stage. I don’t think I would want to use many of them – maybe 3-4 per motif, tops – but a few would make a nice embellishment, I think.
I’m going over to visit with a friend on Thursday to see her bead collection, bringing the fabric/lace along. If it looks like it might be an appropriate embellishment, I’ll order some pearls.