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 these 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 wondered who’s little hand had worked on the gown and how hard they work on their repetitive sewing, day in and day out. I imagined some little hands of 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 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 I don’t care how old or outdated they are, they can always be made into something new.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 it. Last year, I made an incredible collection of beaded clutch bags. I sold a few and donated the rest for auction to some of my favorite local organizations. This week, I brought out a beautiful black beaded dress. It is a mix of both machine beaded as well as some hand sewing. The fabric is 100% silk. I cut it all apart into the same Butterick B5209 dress. This will be the last time I will be using this pattern for now. This is where I take all the experience of the past three dresses and go for the gold. This gown is looking remarkable. I have tried it on and it fits beautifully. The skirt is from Vogue V8470. The skirt is extremely flared and circular. I made it tea length. I will post the process as I go along. As a warning, please do not try to sew sequin gowns on sewing machines. You will break them. I sew them on my industrial sewing machine. However, I have learned to lift and hold the needle up just enough to clear the beads. Even so, I have already broken countless needles on this project. Is it worth? You bet! I do it for restoration of the hard labor that goes into beauty.