Hand beading was always intimidating but I finally took the plunge.
Make sure your fabric is thick enough to hold up heavy beading. My Snow White bodice has three layers (including interfacing). Some would recommend using nylon/fishing line type thread but I’ve used regular thread without any problems. If you expect heavy beading, the lighter thread will probably work better.
Seed beads are the best for hand beading. I’ve found that a variety of bead sizes will help your design look more complicated than it is.
For the sleeves, I’ve done this alternating pearl and seed beed pattern. Use your smaller seed beads to frame the larger ones!
The hardest part about beading is figuring out what pattern looks best. My original ideas weren’t always the ones I stuck with. I pulled out and redid my work several times (I’m glad I did). Sitting in front of the tv and beading will make the time go by faster.
Here’s a great tutorial by Angela Clayton. I used her tutorial as a jumping off point. There are a ton of books and YouTube videos to help you get started. Luckily beading is very intuitive and you figure a lot of things on your own while doing it.