LINING: My first attempt at lining failed. I had purchased some lovely and cheap silk chiffon off of ebay. The restoration concept was to line the dress completely and rebead through both layers to stabilize the dress and transfer the weight of the beading off of the fragile outer silk. Good in theory no so good in practice. 1) The black silk caused the "sheerness" of the dress to disappear because it made everything dark You could hardly see the beads. This was resolved by using a light umber chiffon which unfortunately is not silk instead. I did not have time to mail order more fabric and take a leap of faith that it would be right when I got it. The second pic below shows the dress with the lighter goldish fabric below it. 2) I thought I could just rebead a little bit and that would be good enough. Nope....much more extensive beading is required. So I'm using my trusty #20 needle (love it!) and silk thread and slowly losing my eyesight. Not having good ergonomics is also a problem so I can only bead in short intervals before my body is exhausted. I need a much taller table and now have a lot more empathy for third world beaders.
Umber fabric linking in photo below
Where to get extra beads?
The hem!! I got this juicy tidbit from a blog called "Nan Sews the Dress," an amazing restoration of another amazing 1920s gown. I also am getting beads because I am somewhat reworking the beading pattern to balance out the dress as I repair it. Since in the end I will not have enough beading to restore the dress perfectly, I'm doing what I need to do to get a lovely outcome. Here is the hem stash:
Here are stitching pictures:
REALLY IMPORTANT BITS:
1) Pin the area you are working on together and smooth flat. You may get some poof from the original fabric being grossly out of shape but if you don't pin you will end up with big poofs you will need to undo (trust me...learned the hard way).
2) Make sure you keep all the little bits of thread and fuzzy off the sandwiched part of your materials. Learn from me that having to work a teeny tiny bit of black thread out of an area you have stitched shut is a huge time waster.
FIXING MISSING PATTERNS -- EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS PROBABLY IN YOUR KITCHEN AND JUNK DRAWER!:
I'm probably not the first person to come to the following conclusion but I found that by using the following I was able to easily replicate missing beading patterns --
clear zip top sandwich bags
white paper (napkin)
black sharpie marker
I'll go over how then you can follow the pics below: Lay a sandwich bag over the area you want to trace. I find working in small areas is better, all you need is another sandwich bag when you move on (and you could technically reuse the bags for lunch). Use your sharpie to trace the over the good beading area (even if it is on another part of the dress). Now that you have your pattern you can use your sharpie and copy the pattern on the other side of the bag from the first side (just lay it down flipped over and trace what you have already done). Figure out which side you will use for your pattern, then on the opposite side tape a white piece of paper, napkin tissue etc. This will help in visibility. Then slip the whole thing under the lining and original dress. Use pins to secure it and then carefully recreate your pattern without sewing into the plastic. I found that the needle just kind of slipped over the plastic as long as I wasn't using brute force. Not once did I sew into the bag. Here are photos: