Finished frontispiece of the bodice. I quilted details into the fluer to both define it and to make it lay more flat against the chest. I'm going to bone the bodice as well. Even though it doesn't call for it, there's a lot of weight being supported here. I'm making self bias piping to outline the pieces which helps to keep the edges crisp and defined. The color is actually a deep, rich sapphire blue, but the duchesse reflects the light.
Everything else has been put on hold - sorry dear Annette! - as the deadline for the first costume reveal is the 3rd. Fast approaching deadlines! I've also felt like warmed over you-know-what the past few days and that has slowed down my work.
This is the back of the frontispiece showing the cuts where batting was stuffed and then stitched closed using trapunto, the quilting stitches, and the grid work where I laid on the plated gold twist bugle beads. Each of the individual knot is where I stitched a 3 cut Czech Charlotte size 13/0 bead. I chose a pale blue lined with copper Charlotte which will pick up the blue velvet contrast and accent the gold beads.
There's at least thirteen hours of hand work here. Lots of ripping out to keep lines and proportions equal or it would have read like op art on stage. I showed this to Cindy and she was thrilled with it. I'm pretty pleased myself.
Recommendations: Always back this kind of work. Keep your slits narrow and small on the back of trapunto work and baste them closed with a medium loose stitch to keep the front from puckering and curving. Non-quilted trapunto does better in small areas. If your design is large, quilt it or anchor it with beads.
I worked this without a frame, but would recomment one if you have issues with keeping your work flat.
Use a waxed polyester or nylon thread for your beadwork. The sharper edges of the bugles won't cut the waxed surface as quickly without the microscopic thread fibers frizzed out to catch the raw glass.
Judiciously pad areas that are to be solidly covered with beads so that the surface is almost rigid. It supports the beads better.
If you really want the beads to stand up to vigorous wear such as a beaded belt or bra for a belly dancer or stripper costume, dab a bit of fabric cement on the back on each knot. There will be a lining to hide your work and add longevity to the piece.