Agosia Arts is about celebrating the natural world, fine craft and conscientious recycling. My main goals with this blog are to : 1) provide a peek behind the scenes at how my work is produced; 2) document my problem solving process; and 3) encourage others to try new things. If you have questions, email me at Thank you for visiting!

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June 10, 2016

Beadwork On A Completed Garment

I've been using this garment as an example for the past few posts because it features a variety of embellishments. This post will cover the basics of beading (a video tutorial is in the works). I use beads on just about every figure I make and this post will cover my two more common techniques. The jacket is completed and beadwork is the last thing I add. Some people might add beads first, but I think this interferes too much with sewing on the machine. 

The garment sections are lined and the lining (in this case, silk) is attached around the perimeter of each section. Any stitches attaching beads will be hidden by the lining, but I have to be careful to not catch the lining. Its kind a dance between fingers and fabric. With each change in position, I have to take care that the lining hangs loose behind the area I'm working.
For beads that are going to cover an area, like the center of these flowers, I will add beads no more than three at a time using a backstitch. I use either waxed upholstery thread (for larger beads) or Nymo (for small seed beads). I knot in the fabric after every other stitch of beadwork. I am not fond of couching because I think it is a perfect way to lose a lot of beads at once.
I like to add picots of beads (small clusters of three beads) along the edge of garments. I use the same thread and stitches mentioned above, but often knot after each picot. On edges, I don't have to worry about stitches showing through to the back because I have for layers of fabric here (this includes the seam allowances).  A common question is how to evenly space the beads. Everyone has a built-in ruler - their thumb! You can attach beads a thumbnail apart (easiest), but if you want a smaller distance, mark it on your thumbnail with a fine marker.

Next time I'll share a book review. Stay tuned...

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