My approach to stoning is low-tech. I use no-hotfix stones, which means no glue has been preapplied to the little rocks. I pour the stones onto plates or into shallow bowls, one per type of stone. My dress is on my duct tape dress form, which I like to use for two reasons. For one, the dress form gives me a fairly stable backing to push against as I am placing the stones. For two, it means the fabric is already stretched as it will be when I wear the dress. I worry about gluing stones onto unstretched fabric and then having them pop off when the dress is worn.
The glue I am using for this project is Chrisanne's jewel glue, which I find rather thin and slow to dry. My approach is therefore to place several small dots of glue and let them get tacky. . .
. . . and then place each stone on a glue dot with a pair of tweezers.
A friendly tip--I advise anyone out there doing this to find a pattern of laying down glue dots such that you aren't resting your hand on the recently glued section to access the next part.
The pins you see in some of my photos were to give me visual guidelines for my stoning. I did not want to be too precise since the goal was to have stones scattered across the dress, but I had pins at the top hemline to help me space out specific sizes of stones as I added the straight line there, and the ones at the bottom were to indicate how far down on the dress I wanted the higher density of stones to reach.
That's it for the back of the dress. The front central section needs similar treatment, and then the rose outlines on the side fronts and backs need to have missing stones replaced and extra details added. Then this dress will be ready for competition!