Many bridal fabrics are heavily and beautifully beaded. Sewing articles created from beaded fabric can result in magnificent creations, but the actual sewing can be difficult, if not downright frustrating. The easiest way to avoid frustration is to sew the project entirely by hand; however, this may not be feasible time-wise for a very complicated project such as a wedding gown. By carefully preparing the beaded fabric before sewing and investing a lot of time in the seam construction, you can successfully sew on beaded bridal fabric.
Place your fabric pieces on a flat surface and determine where all of the seams will be.
Using a seam ripper, remove all of the beads in the seam areas by inserting the seam ripper under the stitch holding the bead to the fabric and cutting the thread with the cutting area of the seam ripper. Save the beads. If the beads are glued onto the fabric, use a small hammer to smash the beads and pick the bead remnants from the fabric with your fingers.
Pin the seams as instructed with your project pattern.
Set the stitch length on your sewing machine to at least 3.5 stitches per inch and install a very sharp needle (75/11 is a good size and has a very sharp, tapered point) into the machine. Get ready to break a lot of needles. Have multiple packages of sewing machine needles on hand to avoid having to stop in the middle of your project. Use a straight stitch function on your sewing machine.
Very slowly sew the seam on the sewing machine until you have finished sewing your project according to your pattern and pattern instructions.
Turn your project right side out and use the extra beads and the beading needle, to hand bead any spots along the seam that look a little sparse. Thread the needle with a secure knot at the end. Bring the needle up through the backside of the beaded fabric, thread a bead onto the beading needle, and then insert the needle back through the fabric to the underside. Make two or three shallow stitches beneath the bead on the underside of the fabric to lock the bead stitching.
It may be easier to hand sew seams such as darts or collars than attempting to sew them on the sewing machine.
Sew slowly to avoid severe needle breakage. Be sure to remove all of the needle remnants from your fabric before replacing the needle and resuming the sewing of your project.