This will be a short post. I began the flapper at the hipline of the dress and worked upwards into the bust and torso, shaping mainly by progressing from one bead brick stitch to brick stitch made up of two (or 3) stacked beads. The change is gradual--going from one regular bead to one larger bead to two small beads to one small, one regular bead to two regular beads, etc.
When I got to the top of the torso and started to add bead ladders laterally for the outstretched arms, I worried that the darks would not match the darks of her partner. Woking in color from a black and white photo has its limitations. I felt that I should stop and finish the bottom of the flapper, move on to her partner and then blend in the darks of both figures at the same time.
I started the dress skirt by throwing a vertical bead ladder down from the low waist. I had wanted to repeat the blue 0n blue stripe that I had used in the swing bodice and the disco vest. However, as I progressed on with the skirt, I felt that the striping was too static and did not reflect the swing of a flapper dress. Sooo--I cut it off and started again with a skirt matching the dress top. Again, throwing a vertical bead ladder to start. However, I went back and marked the photo with curving lines to follow and did some increasing and decreasing on the second row to avoid the straight static striped look. I am much more optimistic with this second skirt.
I often place a bead, check the piece against the photo and remove the bead, selecting another of differing color, shape or size. It is a bigger decision to remove a whole area, BUT if the final effect demands it--DO IT.
Also, never underestimate the help that drawing lines to follow on the photo provides. It really does keep you following the small changes in direction that can easily get out of hand.
Another point: If a particular area of beadwork is found to be too narrow, turn it on its side. See the up and down beads reminiscent of peyote stitch? Just peyote across these to add width.
If the piece is found to be too wide as I decided here in the waist area, cut off the last bead(s) of each row and reinforce the new edge beads with additional thread (change to a smaller needle if necessary). Here I am not worried about little pieces of thread sticking out the side as I will cover them up when I add the background. If this were to be a final edge, I would carefully burn these threads to a lump one at a time with a cigarette lighter so that they would not work out of the beadwork. Joanne