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Necklace with soutache braid trim - part one

Last week, I showed you some of my practice exercises that I went through in order to be able to work more smoothly with soutache braid.  I won't say that I've arrived, but I'm more comfortable with it than I was a few weeks ago.  That said, I have to admit that I didn't really enjoy working with soutache that much and most likely won't be making a lot more pieces with it.  But we'll see!

I decided to keep my new necklace very simple in construction, since the motifs are a bit complicated.  Each one of the seven uses a different bead weaving stitch in a bead embroidery form.  You might recognize these as the pieces that I made for the Bead Journal Project last year, which led to my e-book, Bored By Back Stitch.

So here's how I put the necklace together:

After I decided how the beaded motifs would be arranged, I began to work on how to wrap and soutache braids.  I found markers to be very helpful in plotting out the path of the braids.

I cut pieces of soutache that were much longer than I thought I'd need, and used some Fray Check on the ends.

As I discussed last week, it is easiest to stitch one layer of soutache on first and then follow it with the others.  My beaded pieces are all finished with edging brick stitch (instructions available in first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story, free), so I anchored the thread and worked from the bottom middle of the central motif and the middle of the braid, up to the top, using pins to mark my place.

Stitch on the additional layers, making sure that the grain of the braids all runs in the same direction.

Here's what it looks like from the front.

Add a bead at the top and wrap with one layer of braid first, following up with the other layers.

I wrapped and stitched my way up one side first, using my paper plan to make sure that I attached each new motif in the right place.

In a few weeks, part two!  Sorry, but next week I need to interrupt to show you the new piece I'm working on for the Bead Journal Project, February 2014.

Soutache braid experiments
Part one
Part two
Part three

Copyright 2014 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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I love the finished look which soutache gives to your bezels, Cyndi. Three weeks ago, I'd never heard of soutache. Now I'm in love with it.