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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
80h00

Inexpensive way to "fake" embroidery and beading - especially for props and costumes
I had to create a "stunt" dress for a no-budget horror film. The real dress, which inspired this project, is a $1,000 wedding dress. In the film, the dress gets destroyed - and we didn't want to actually destroy the expensive dress, so we had to create a replica - cheap!

This is more of a tutorial on how to fake embroidery and beading - it can be used for anything - not necessarily clothing or a wedding gown.

It's fairly inexpensive to do, it just gets pricey for sheer quantity of materials used (such as glue), if you're doing a big project like this one.

I did the fake embroidery/beading on this dress in 4 days - probably about 80 hours worth of work (it was a rough 4 days). This dress had a fairly large train that had to be decorated.

Posted by Bette C. Published See Bette C.'s 2 projects »
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  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 1
    Step 1

    Find your inspiration piece.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 2
    Step 2

    Get a sense of how your inspiration piece hangs (its color, shape, etc.) so you can duplicate it as best as you can.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 3
    Step 3

    Find or build a dress similar in shape.

    I found mine at a thrift store for $10. Unfortunately, the fabric had a design on it, but it would work fine for the stunt dress.

    The dress to be decorated is on the left and the inspiration dress is on the right in this photo.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 4
    Step 4

    Using needle and thread, string your seed beads.

    When you have your strands long enough for what you need, glue them to your garment.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 5
    Step 5

    Study the embroidery and beading on your inspiration piece and begin to sketch, in pencil, your design onto the dress you're decorating.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 6
    Step 6

    Look at the detail of your inspiration piece (how the string is laid out, where the gold embroidery is in relation to the string, where the beads are placed, etc.).

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 7
    Step 7

    Note the additional details of the inspiration piece - the use of jewels and sequins.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 8
    Step 8

    Begin to create your design over your pencil sketch.

    Though, you may want to practice on a scrap of fabric first.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 9
    Step 9

    With clear glue, glue your string down in the shapes you want.

    Work a little at a time, so the glue doesn't dry before you have a chance to shape the string and set it.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 10
    Step 10

    Using the gold glue, follow the lines you created with the string, dropping seed beads in the glue while it is still wet.

    Again, do a little at a time.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 11
    Step 11

    For the smaller points, use a toothpick to help get the effect. Add sequins while the glue is still wet.

    For the flowers, use the iridescent sparkly glue and, once it's dry, add details with your gold pen.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 12
    Step 12

    Using your gold pen, draw tiny stitch lines on the string.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 13
    Step 13

    Carefully work following the pencil design you sketched onto the fabric.

    Pay special attention to the center line of the garment if it has a distinct central design like this one does.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 14
    Step 14

    Because of the importance of the center line of this piece, when you start on the bottom of the skirt, do the center design first - making sure it lines up with the work already done on the bodice.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 15
    Step 15

    Sanity Tip:

    Keeping the centers lined up, work on the bodice and the skirt alternately. (This method helped it look like I was making progress, mainly to myself since this is an absurdly large project to do in 4 days.)

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 16
    Step 16

    Work work work.

    Don't forget to eat.

    Don't forget to sleep.

    (I didn't really do either of those two things, but I think it's a good idea if you can.)

    And take a break to take pictures of what you're doing - even though you're crazy busy.

    Crying is okay, too. It's a big project.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 17
    Step 17

    Think you're done yet?

    Ha! You still have to do the back of the dress.

    Please make sure that the front is entirely dry before you turn it over to work on the back.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 18
    Step 18

    Cry, because you still have that big train to do.

    But guess what!

    When you're done with that, you still have the bolero to do. Ugh.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 19
    Step 19

    I don't have any good before or during picture of the bolero/shirt, since I was really down to the wire when I got to this step.

    The bolero for the inspiration piece was lacy with gold in the fabric.

    For the "stunt" bolero, I found a lacy shirt (vintage - very sorry about that - it saved my life not having to make one) for $2 at a yard sale. Using a gold pen, I carefully and lightly colored parts of the design gold to replicate the gold lace on the original.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 20
    Step 20

    I found a picture of the bolero that inspired the top of this stunt dress.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a "before" picture of the shirt I altered. I was in a mad rush to get it done in time for the shoot.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 21
    Step 21

    Since the bell sleeves of the "stunt" bolero were not as full as the one we modeled it after, we made sure the sleeves of the stunt outfit got torn right away in the action of the film.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 22
    Step 22

    Congratulations!

    You've worked very hard and now have a pretty dress that can double for the expensive one!

    Only one thing left to do...

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 23
    Step 23

    Watch your creation get destroyed for the sake of making a movie.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 24
    Step 24

    More and more staining and tears.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 25
    Step 25

    Was it worth it?

    Who knows.

  • How to make a gown. "Fake" Wedding Dress - Step 26
    Step 26

    However, no one who has watched the film has noticed when we switched from the expensive dress to the stunt dress (happens twice in the film), so at least it was effective.

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Comments

Anike P.
Anike P. · Portland, Oregon, US · 1 project
Wonderful!
Reply
mmm_mac_and_cheese
mmm_mac_and_cheese · St Johns, Florida, US · 19 projects
i love the dress
Reply
Bette C.
Bette C. · 2 projects
Thank you for all the wonderful compliments.

The director just released the first "official" trailer for the film. I hope you enjoy it!

I don't think you can see this dress in the trailer, but you can see other costumes that I've made for it, including the black and white ballgown.

http://youtu.be/3AgMdGQMHP4
Reply

CO + K User

Mad props!
Reply
CarlzAmez
CarlzAmez · Seaham, New South Wales, AU · 1 project
looks amazing! Happy
i wanna see the movie too!!
Reply
LaLiLuLiny
LaLiLuLiny · Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, DE · 20 projects
looks so beautiful!
it s nearly too good for destroying it.
Reply
Samantha R.
Samantha R. · Kuna, Idaho, US
LOL #16


You did an amazing job!
Reply
Humuhu
Humuhu · Dhaka, Dhaka Division, BD · 29 projects
I want to see the movie. ._.
Reply
Dani T.
Dani T. · Portsmouth, North Carolina, US
wow
Reply
Pinocchio
Pinocchio · U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, US · 30 projects
What is the name of the movie? I want to see if I can tell when they were switched. Its too bad that your dress got mutilated Happy it was so pretty Happy
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