First step was to make a rough pattern basses on what I wanted the finial bodice section to look like. I also prepared a long strip of fabric that would latter become the neck ruff for this shirt. The base of the shirt went together relatively quickly. I eyeballed a lot of stuff and ended up needing to hem a few things after attaching the sleeves. Also realized my fabric was too light and that I needed to make shoulder pads for this garment in order for it to keep its shape under the weight of hundreds of glass beads.
I then added on the ruff by hand which took the better part of a day. Followed by the embroidery and minor bead work on the sleeves. After all of that I did a second fitting of the piece to further tweak it including shortening the sleeves further before adding lace. I also at this point began the process of beading the shoulder pieces that would be attached. I also measured and strung the rows of pearls that were going to be used to close the front of the bodice. Around this point (November 3rd) I had to pause the beading and wait for my second order to come in before I could finish the shoulders.
In the mean time I tacked in the shoulder pads so they would help the garment hold its shape. I also added the lace to the sleeves as well as some extra embellishments. I also added stings of pearls to close the front at this point. After I received my second order of beads I went back to work finishing the shoulder pieces. Each one took probably a full day of bead work, both weighing exactly 88grams each and had over 1000 glass beads each. Once they were completed they were sewn onto the bodice by hand, finishing the most complex part of this garment.
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The Guillotine Dress
“The Guillotine Dress” Mixed Media (Cotton muslin, acrylic paint, glass and plastic beads, fake blood, synthetic bone, embroidery thread, synthetic lace, synthetic twill, and silk), 2022, Z. Fondanarosa