The beaded front piece of a Naboo Queen
For the triangular, hanging front piece I bought 10 inches (25cm) of 60 inches (150cm) wide sequin fabric.
Since that fabric was pretty flimsy and thin, I flat lined it with a layer of velvet, just to give it more stability.
Then I started using beads and nylon thread to imitate the ‘8’ shaped beading of the original front piece.
Yes, well, the beading is pretty hard to see in this picture (at least on the sequin fabric – you can see the ‘8’ shapes very well on the printout, though).
Here’s another, enhanced picture – the colors are much lighter than in reality; but at least you can see the shapes (which are just pinned, not sewn down yet):
At the point when I took these pictures, I had already used approximately 9,000 (nine thousand!) 2mm beads. Just thought I should mention it. As you can probably see, those 9.000 beads (which I at first ESTIMATED to be enough for the entire front piece!) roughly cover HALF of what has to be beaded.
Here is a picture of the finished beading; though it’s VERY difficult to photograph.
There are now approximately 20,000 black bugle beads, about 300 faceted black iridescent (AB coated) beads (which I randomly used just to add some extra sparkle), and about 300 beads of two types of gold beads (round and faceted – the latter in two sizes) on it. It weights approximately four pounds now.
Just so you can compare, there’s an exhibit picture of the original beaded piece on the left side, and my beaded piece is on the right side. Of course you can click to enlarge it:
As for the top of this front piece, there’s a beaded shape with a stylized ‘Naboo flower’ on it; here’s an exhibit picture of the original piece:
I beaded that on an extra piece of velvet.
To do this, I started by digitizing the rough outline for my embroidery machine; then, with the velvet covered with water-soluble stabilizer (just so the embroidery threads won’t sink into the velvet pile; the stabilizer can be washed out when the entire beading is finished!), I embroidered those outlines on my machine:
Then I took some REAL Edwardian, jet-beaded trim (of which the silk netting backing has practically dissolved over time; so it’s no more usable) from my collection…
….and just started beading. All the black beads are taken from the Edwardian jet-beaded trim; the golden beads (which are actually ‘old gold’) are new:
Finished, with the stabilizer backing washed away. Now I need to hem it and add the shorter fringe to the bottom of it:
I’ve finished the entire front piece by now; and Mother Nature was gentle, because the sun was shining so I could take pictures outside! 😀
Here are the pictures of the finished beaded front piece. Of course the pictures can’t really capture the sparkle that comes from all the beads and the sequin backing. I’m totally in love with this thing – and during the time when I don’t wear it as a dress, it will become a decorative wall hanging piece. I can easily push a rod through the top to make that happen! 😀
|The complete beaded piece.
(Obviously, I pinned it over the top of my Apailana kimono! 😉
|The beaded tassel that’s at the lower end of the beaded piece.
||The top of the beading, with the hanging down fringes .
After finishing the beaded front piece, I can now go on to making the overdress, sleeves and collar.