a beaded Frocktober Amnesty

I can’t believe it took me this long to make a garment suitable for the Frocktober challenge from EIGHT months ago. I started a different dress specifically for this challenge back in October: a shirtdress sewn up in some seasonally appropriate Cotton + Steel fabric. But I found myself hating the fabric I’d bought for the underskirt, & before I could muster up the will to soldier on, I got my cancer diagnosis & spiraled into six months of being stuck in bed. Under normal circumstances, I surely would have whipped up a dress at some point in eight months!

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Anyway! This is a very modified version of the Miz Mozelle dress from Jamie Christina (who happens to be a sponsor of the upcoming Indie Pattern Month!). The biggest change is that I sewed it in a woven (also a Cotton + Steel print) rather than a knit. I also eliminated the sleeves, collar, & keyhole, swapped the straightforward elastic waist for a shirred panel, & added side-slant pockets.

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To make the conversion from knit to woven, I just cut a size or two larger, though even that is not entirely necessary, as the pattern has positive ease. Based on the things I hated about previous iterations I’ve made, I added a whopping FOUR INCHES to the front bodice as a cheater FBA. That was probably a bit excessive, but it does prevent the waistline from riding all the way up my ribcage every time I move my arms.

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But the really special thing about this dress is the BEADING! Seriously, cutting & sewing the dress itself took like two hours, including making & applying self-fabric bias to finish the neckline & armscyes. The beading took maybe 25 hours? I worked on it off & on for an entire month after the dress was finished. Every bead is sewn on by hand, & they are tiny. There are around 4000 total. I was still needing to spend a lot of time in bed when I made this dress, so hand-beading was a good project for the moment. The result is relatively subtle, I think. I like the disparity between the labor-intensive embellishment & the overall casual ease of the dress. I wore it to volunteer at my daughter’s preschool & the only issue I had was one little girl in the class being drawn to the glitz & constantly trying to pick the beads off the dress. Thankfully, I sewed them on securely enough to thwart her best efforts.

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For more details & other garments, you can visit my blog!

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11 thoughts on “a beaded Frocktober Amnesty

  1. Wow, what a lot of work with that beading- looks terrific!
    No doubt a meditative activity for your recovery if you weren’t up to sitting at the sewing machine!

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    • Thank you! Another bonus of the beading: it was something I could do while hanging out with my daughter. My partner even got some photos of me beading while she sat on my lap! She doesn’t like me to use my machine when she’s around because it’s “too loud”.

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  2. Pingback: a beaded Frocktober Amnesty — The Monthly Stitch – The39stepstobeingfabulous 💞💞💞💞

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