So I've recently finished my first cuff, but had a hard time getting the beadwork right to the edge of my cuff. How do I get around this? Is is better to make my cuff base a little bit bigger than the cuff form? Also, how do you know how close to the edge of these beads to trim so that your edging covers the base entirely? I have a few spots where I didn't trim close enough to the beadwork so the Lacy's is showing through. I think I might just cheat and glue a few beads onto those spots.
Your help and recommendations would be much appreciated!~Briggs
I myself started recently to make embroidered cuffs and I know what you mean. When I am to the point of surrounding the cuff I use brick stitch and go through the bead again so it stands up. After finishing (I use a very long thread) i work the thread through all the beads and tighten them. So far I've been able to make the lacy's invisable. Hope it will work for you.
Sorry for my english, but I'm dutch and that makes it real difficult to explain though i understand perfectly what you mean.
Thanks for your response! I used brick stitch, but I don't think I trimmed close enough to the edge in all instances... I guess it'll take me a few tries to get it perfect! I'm also considering trying to dye the stuff in the future to help hide an little missed spots! I just have to adhere a rivoli to my bracelet focal and then I'll post pictures... maybe I'll post pictures to show you the problems I'm having!
I make bead embroidery cuffs all the time, in fact is seems to be about the only thing I do anymore!
Luckily, I don't care for bracelets that clunk around or bangles... LOL. So I forego the brass blank and just sew up the edges and put a closure on it and call it good. They're soft that way and lay nice and flat and snug against the wrist. I think you also have some more design options when they aren't around a blank, more shape choices etc...
But, one tip might be to CAREFULLY measure your sewing surface to be roughly 1/4 - 1/8th larger than the blank and be sure you don't bead all the way to the edges. When you complete the beadwork, lay it down on your backing material and carefully cut the two together so you can ensure they're the same size. Once you do that, you can sew it shut around the blank. I use a couching stitch to edge my work..
Also, if the beadwork isn't going right to the end of the cuff, there are two things that come to mind... one is to not worry about it! :) The other is to sew an "edge" on it which is what I do for most of my embroidered bracelet... it helps me color inside the lines so to speak. If you look at the picture below, you can see where this bracelet has an "outline" All mine do, most because I'm neurotic LOL. I decided to post this picture because you can clearly see the blue beaded outline around the entire outside. I do that with all my embroidery work. if I don't want it to be very noticable, I'll use a clear or pale size 15 rocaille seed bead to do the outlining :)
And if you decide in teh future not to worry about the beads not going to the edges, my suggestion would be to do your embroidery on to Ultrasuede rather than Lacy's Stiff stuff... that way you can match the predominate color and what shows through is a pretty faux leather and it looks intentional and lovely. I've stopped using interfacing and Lacy's Stiff Stuff completely, opting to always sew directly to ultrasuede and back in ultrasuede too :)
I was going to take a photo of the bracelet I'm working on right now because you can clearly see how I've outlined the shape first in beads and see how it's half filled in... But of COURSE, I forgot my camera at work charging at my desk.. hoping it's there when I get back in the office on Monday! Ack!
I coudn't stand not knowning where my camera was so I whipped into my office after I dropped DBF off at his work. LOL.
Here's an embroidery bracelet in progress... this one you can clearly see the outline in the progression of the piece:
At this stage, the beadwork looks a little lumpy(?) but once it's glued to the backing and worn a couple of times the entire piece will relax and the beads will lay nice and even and straight around the edges and throughout. They also look a little more uneven when they're layed out flat... they take a much nicer shape when they're clasped around the wrist. :)
Thanks Nicole! I like the outline idea... a lot actually! I may have to try that next time! I think I might try using Ultrasuede too instead of Lacy's, which I found difficult to work with. I just thought I'd give Lacy's a try since that was most suggested for these types of bracelets!
I will post a picture of my finished piece when I get home later today and get a chance to photograph it!
I think the best way to attach the backing is with a little E6000 glue and a couching stitch. Use enough E6000 to hold the piece in place while you edge the work. I usually tend to over-glue, but I haven't ruined a piece yet so I'm not sure you can really use too much. I also recommend getting it as close to the edges as possible. Your needle will generally pass through E6000 if you get too close.
Couching Stitch Instructions:
It's simple, but labor intensive, It also takes some practice to get your stitches even and evenly spaced but don't give up, you'll get the hang of it. Couching is always the highest learning curve of bead embroidery, but once you get it down pat, you'll love the effect!
Just like Nicole suggested I embroider directly on the ultrasuede. The two reasons I do that is I decided I didn't like the little threads from the lacy stiff stuff and I also like the look of having the colored ultrasuede show through. But a tip is to ensure that the ultrasuede does not loose it's shape with all the work being done on it, I glue the lacy stiff stuff to the back of the piece of ultrasuede I am working on and embroder thru both layers. I glue it in each of the four corner and under the center where the cab goes that way you are not sewing thru a glued piece. And like Nicole I stopped using the blanks because I have small wrist and they don't fit right. So when finished I glue and then edge stitch another piece of ultrasuede to the back. Another tip is when I did attach them to blank cuff, just before I would do the edge stitching on the very edges of the material you can go back in and embroider a few more beads in the spots that are not covered. I have attached cuffs that I embrodered directly on the ultrasuede and my first one that I did on a blank and I did go back and add some have to add some beads on the edges to cover the dyed lacy stiff stuff.
I found plenty of colors of ultrasuede at www.fieldsfabrics.com you can buy as little as 1/8 of a yard which is 45 inches.
I, too, make bracelets usually using a beaded embroidery piece I have worked and I have found that using very stiff interfacing works better than Lacy's Stiff Stuff. Much more economical too! I often choose a pretty fabric to cover the interfacing before I begin beading. I cut a generously sized piece and lay it over my beading foundation (the interfacing) and slip stitch it into place on the wrong side, which will not show. Use a fabric that is not too thick or thin and that won't fray and drive you nuts while you work with it.. Avoid satin and slick fabrics that slide and catch runs easily. I do use ultrasuede but not always. Pay special attention to the corners and pull the fabric snugly and stitch. I have found that easy does it for this technique.
As I bead, I pay close attention to what the fabric is doing and make adjustments to have a smooth and secure foundation to bead upon. Also, before I begin beading I usually draw the general design on the foundation and then I cut around the shape and then stitch the fabric on as described above. Don't be afraid to change your mind while beading. If I do, I snip the slip stitches on the back and re-cut the design to the new dimensions I need. Then I slip stitch it back into place. And I have learned from the harsh teacher of experience, that if a part of the beadwork doesn't seem right, then I stop and get it right. If I don't do this, then it will haunt me all through the work and I may ruin a piece trying to fix it at the end. So if you see a boo-boo, catch it early. You'll be really glad you did.
I come from the mindset of only using glue if I have to. If I can sew it in place, I do. Glues that should be reliable, aren't always so I rely on my needle when I can. Cabochons have to be glued in place to begin but can be sewn into the design with a nice firm edging going "round it, caging it. And then, if the glue fails, no biggie.
One last tip...if my foundation shows through and it looks bad, a fabric pen matching the color of my work will do fine. I always set the ink with a heat tool or a hot blow dryer and this will discourage the color bleeding on anything else. You can also use these pens to color bead thread on beaded pieces to match the colors around it but I confess, I don't like to use it on thread. Doesn't look like I want it to but it's worth trying for yourself. I have purchased a water proofing spray that is applied to fabric, beadwork etc but have not used it yet. I'll try it on a fabric remnant following manufacturer's instructions and I'll let you all know how it works.
A huge thank you for these instructions. I had been struggling with this stitch...using multiple sources... and your 6 easy steps finally let me "get" it. Thanks Thanks Thanks.....
what size/kind of needle do you use for these types of projects? Obviously has to be sturdy enough to go thru the fabrics, but small enough to go thru the beads. Great info!!
and I am totally envious of all of your beautiful creations!!! They are all STUNNING!!!
Hi Nicole, you do beautiful work! I'm dying to try bead embroidery,but just haven't been inspired, til now! I love your style!