Sewing bugle beads onto fabric can add elegance and style to any sweater, dress, scarf or other article of clothing. While simple to accomplish, it will take time and a certain amount of creative imagination to design a bugle beaded dress.

Things You'll Need


Choose a dress you wish to embellish. To start, pick an older dress that you still like the shape of, but that you wish to “jazz” up a bit. Lay the dress out on a table and closely look at it. Does it have a pattern already in place that you can enhance? Is it a plain color that will lend itself to anything you place on it?

Plan your design. Unless you are following a pattern already in the fabric of your dress, you may want to stick to a simple pattern of swirls and straight lines. Lay out your design on the fabric so that it flows with the cut and drape of the dress you are using. You want to make sure your design enhances the style of your dress. Use the fabric marking pencil to transfer your design onto the dress itself.

Purchase your beads. Bugle beads are long beads that can be either straight or twisted. Like regular seed beads, they come in different sizes and lengths. When shopping for your beads, take a portion of the design pattern with you, so that you can combine lengths of the same color if you need to enhance the design. Bugle beads come either silver lined or not, in matte or opaque finish and in a wide range of color choices.

Begin to sew your beads onto the fabric. You will be using basic embroidery stitches to create your design. For most you will use a straight back stitch. For the first bead, bring the needle through the fabric from underneath (A). Thread a bead onto the string and bring the needle back down through the fabric (B). Bring your needle back up through the fabric, ahead of the bead you just put into place (C). Thread a bead on the needle and string and bring it back through the fabric at the end of the first bead (D). Repeat as needed for the backstitch (up at E, down at F, etc). Continue creating your pattern using fern stitches, cross stitches, chain stitches, long stitches or another type of stitch until complete.


Tips

  • Practice the stitches on a scrap piece of fabric before beginning to embellish the dress.

References and Resources

Firemountain Beads and Gems