Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flip, Flop, Fly on Artful Thursday

Beading is so much fun - the sparkle of the little beads as they fly all over the place!

I thought this week I would make some little decorated bags for my herbal concoctions - a pretty beaded one for pot pourri or bath herbs and an embroidered one for my Fines Herbes bouquets garni.

I found a linen rayon blend in my cupboard that had a soft, crinkly look and the colour was perfect - light grayish with a fine tan stripe. Perfection in fabric. I figured out how big I wanted the bag to be and then decided on the construction - I want them to be easy to open and reach into so I decided on a top that would open right up. (There is a diagram at the end of this post which you can enlarge by clicking on it)

Once the fabric was cut, I basted a piece of muslin underneath the design area; this will add stability for the bead work, but I also like it under embroidery as well - hides all those travelling threads very well.

Using a wash out marker, I drew lines for the bead placement.

When I am beading, I prefer to knot each bead but when I am doing a design that calls for a long run of beads, I prefer to load them all on the needle and lay them at the same time.

Once they are stitched in place I couch them for added stability by coming up from below on one side of the beads, lay the thread between two beads and take the needle back down to the wrong side. I usually couch between every second bead, and if you are careful to come up and go down as close to the drawn line as possible, the stitches are invisible.

Here is a photo of the embroidered version. I drew a wavy line up the centre of the design area, again with a wash out marker. The stem is backstitched with two strands of embroidery floss, the flowers are french knots, three strands of floss and three wraps around the needle. I did two dark knots at the base of each flower and then one knot with a lighter colour at the top. The leaves are two strands of green, one light and one dark and are done in a simple straight stitch.
To each side I did a simple herringbone with french knots in between the "arms" of the stitch.

Now for the details: I cut my fabric 4.5" wide 18" long. If you click on the above photo, you will see how I divided the fabric for the design area and sewing the front and back flaps. Once all the flap folds are pressed and edge-stitched you need to fold each flap down to the wrong side and stitch it in place just above the design area. Stitch another line about 3/4" above this to create a channel for the ribbon or cord.

Finally, fold the entire piece in half, wrong sides together and sew the side seams - I did an overcast stitch on mine as well, especially at the point where the side becomes the flap (where you made the 1/4" cut). Turn right side out, thread two cords through and you're done!


Tina said...

wow - so amazing.

Anonymous said...

Like your beaded ideas Jill....gave me some ideas for some pot pourri bags I usually make around xmas that I give to people. Once again you have inspired your bog...thank you
Margaret M

Anonymous said...

That should be Blog by the way...again it is late at nite when I do these things
Marg m

paperbird said...

very nice project- your beading is lovely.