Detail Inspiration: a touch of beading


Beading is a beautiful way to add a bit of flash and elegance to simple styles–sometimes in unexpected or novel ways. It’s an embellishment technique that is easy to master and can be applied to both finished and in-progress garments alike. Whether you chose a more subdued, matte bead or something with serious sparkle, it can lend both a bit of fanciness and unique flair to many pieces in your wardrobe! (I think it suits autumn and winter garments especially well, which is just around the corner for many of us!)

This lovely, lipstick red 1950s dress caught my eye with it’s whimsical beading at the neckline. This would be a super easy way to add a bit of embellishment to a simple dress like the Peony. Note that the bead sizes are varied, but they are all tied together through color. This is a more subtle way to add beading to a garment without adding too much sparkle.

This beautiful ensemble from the Vionnet Spring/Summer 2012 collection is a fantastic example of mixing beads, rhinestones and studs. The blouse is more densely embellished, but what caught my eye was the way the skirt embellishment is handled. It’s not too distracting, but is still graphic. I love the way the embellishment is echoed on the waistband as well; never forget those little spots that can easily be overlooked (and yet draw the eye visually)!

This 1940s blouse is a dead ringer for one of my favorite Colette Patterns: the Sencha blouse. But I also love the use of long and short bugle beads. A majority of the outline beading is done in the fabric color, making it a bit more of a background embellishment than the bolder lines in the copper tone beads that run through the center. Notice how the beading is also repeated on the sleeves.

Images: 1950s dress, Vionnet ensemble, 1940s blouse.

Casey Cartwright   —  

Comments 6

Sassy T

Are they easy to attach?


I really like how Vionnet mixed sequins, beads, and studs. I think that mixture give the pieces an every day touch – they’re not too dressed up and elegant, you know?


That red dress is gorgeous! I’d been thinking about beads lately and now I’m totally inspired. :)


I love the red Dress! I did some beading awhile back on my formal dress, it was nice – but it took me FOREVER! worth it though on something you will always cheerish.


Thanks for this inspirational post! Next week I am about to take several classes on the tambour embroidery. I am so much attacked to simple silhouettes with statement embellishment! Could not agree with you more on the skirt from Vionnet waistband “bead-touch”.

Elle K.

This is so cute! I love the detailing with the bead work!

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