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Tutorial 39. Embellishing the Dress with Rhinestones.

Tutorial 39. Embellishing the Dress with Rhinestones.

In this tutorial, I will decorate the front of the dress with rhinestones.

Since the bodice is covered in lace, I will use large sew-on rhinestones in metal settings for the main highlights. They will stand out better against that background.   

The rhinestone itself is held in the setting by prongs. There are two sew-on holes from either side of the mount.

I will sew these rhinestones on with a long thin beading needle. It is a special purpose 8-9cm long flexible needle. It is very hard to sew such rhinestones on with a plain sewing needle.

I start from the largest rhinestones: I arrange them on the dress and secure them with tiny drops of Gütermann glue. I want to make sure the rhinestones will not shift when I start sewing them on. This is particularly important when you want to create a neat geometric pattern.

I want to form a kind of a necklace with my rhinestones.

I will use SS 20 Swarovski crystals and SS 16 Preciosa crystals as bridges between the main large rhinestones in metal settings. They produce crystals of very good quality at Preciosa. I will form strings of crystals between the large metal setting rhinestones.

You must choose rhinestones of very high quality when you plan to use relatively few of them because the overall geometry may easily get destroyed even by a single lost rhinestone. Quality requirements are not as strict when you want to create a scattered pattern.

I have glued the large rhinestones in place and now I can start sewing them on.

There is nothing difficult about it. 

I bring the beading needle up near the hole in the mount of the rhinestone and pull it all the way through the mount taking it out from the opposite hole.

Then I bring the needle down in the fabric, bring it back up near the same first hole, and then through the same holes in the mount of the rhinestone.  To make it easier, you can only catch the top layer of the fabric without piercing it through.

After 3-4 stitches, I do the same with the other pair of holes in the mount. 

The rhinestone is sewn on. I make a bar-tack and move to the next one without tearing the thread.

I have sewn on all rhinestones. The dress is smaller than the dress-form so I simply pinned it to the surface. I need to have a proper view of the geometry of the pattern, and this would be hard without the dress-form.

Now I take some SS 16 and SS 20 crystals and E6000 glue. You could also use Moment or Gütermann glue.

The best tool for applying glue on the dress is a 10ml medical syringe without a rubber stopper on the plunger. Moment and Gütermann glues are more liquid. I recommend putting a thick medical needle with a bevelled end on the syringe for applying them.

I use a diamond mosaic tool for picking up rhinestones and gluing them in place. It comes with a block of glue and basically resembles a hollow pen refill only with no ball inside. You can buy it at any online DIY store.  After applying a little glue on the tip of the pen, you can easily pick up a rhinestone and put it where desired.

Time to be creative! 

I will start from the V-cut. I apply strings of glue on the fabric and add rhinestones: first the SS 20 and then the SS 16.

I feel like making the teardrop at the bottom of the composition larger by framing it with SS 16 crystals.

The teardrop looks a lot nicer to me now.

I form bridges of SS 20 crystals between the metal setting rhinestones.

The front is now fully embellished. The rhinestones sparkle and shine in a very beautiful way. Now I need to put all this beauty aside and let it set properly. And then I can turn it around and decorate the back of the dress.

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