New project. When I had my bridal shop, I did a lot of alterations on sequin, beaded and pearled gowns. Some of these sequins or beaded gowns were mass produced. Some others were delicately sewn by hand. The zippers are almost impossible to sew by machine. As I worked with this gowns, I could always tell which were mass produced and which were sewn by hand. Sometimes, I would find a blood spot as small as a head on a pin in-between the layers of fabric. I would wonder who’s little hand had worked on this gown and how hard they must work on their repetitive sewing, day in and day out. I always imagined some little hands of some possible child labor in some third world country. I became very aware as to how difficult it is to work with beaded dresses. I worked on them for a couple of decades. I too, would prick my fingers, bleed and break countless needles on my sewing machine. Sometimes, I would break the sewing machine altogether. So, needless to say I have a great appreciation for beaded gowns. I also like to go to thrift stores to see what dresses people depart with. I always head directly to the gowns section. I don’t look at sizes or styles. I look at fabric. When I spot something beautifully beaded, I grab it. I can’t stand to see them there lifeless. They need to breath. They need hope. It’s too much of a waist of human labor. I don’t care how old or outdated they are, they can always be made into something new. I buy them and bring them home. After cleaning them, I store them until I have time to do something with them. Last year, I made an incredible collection of beaded clutch bags. I sold a few and gave the rest for auction to some of my favorite local organizations.