I have been working on the Charlotte dress all week long, and I am seeing beads in my sleep at this point! I have put in right around 42 hours of work, and have finally finished the front of the skirt. Next, the hem!
The white leaves are pieces of taffeta that I've treated with fray check. Those are stitched on first with a simple whip stitch.
After a bit of experimenting, I found the quickest way to complete the beading - bottom edge of the arch first, then the large pearl and its tendrils, then the arch itself, then the little swoop with the tentacles, the leaf at the bottom, and finally the three fronds on top.
It still doesn't go super fast. Each little lobster (you can't tell me
they don't look like little crustaceans!) takes between 2.5 and 4 hours
depending on how quickly I'm working that day. The little rosettes that
go down the center take another hour to complete in each section. I set
myself the goal of completing one pair of lobsters every day, so that's
at least 6 or 7 hours of beading every day! I even managed to finish four lobsters on Wednesday!
So far, I have used over 5,000 pearls, and I'm not even a quarter finished with this dress. o.o
I'm happy to say that I have finished the front of the skirt right on schedule, and am now moving on to the hemline design. I'm going to have to add in one more panel of fabric to the skirt because it's just not full enough for me, which means even more beading. Eep! But, I'm really excited with how the front design turned out!