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Topic: How do you sew a beaded applique?  (Read 5565 times)
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« on: February 09, 2009 09:11:26 PM »

I'm making some beaded & sequined appliques.  The fabric will not show.  I know I want to back them with felt and/or fabric stiffener to give them some body, but do I add the felt to the fabric before or after beading?  What fabric do you recommend I use?  Something stiff that will stand up to the beads, or something drapy that will not show wrinkles when I sew it onto the backing?  Or should I just bead directly onto felt so I don't need to worry about hems? 

What would you do? 

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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2009 09:00:28 PM »

well, i found this topic by searching on craftster, and i have to tell you, i'm wondering the EXACT SAME THING!! i have some really beautiful vintage sequin and bead appliques, and was wondering how to go about making them. i will give you my opinions *and these are not fact based, since i have as much knowledge about this topic as the original thread author*. BUT this is what i can gather about my vintage applique pieces.

the were made on some sort of mesh/netting, like an organza or fine tulle. and the beading is stitched right onto it! the only place that you can see the stitching on the other side is where there are some clear/pearlescent sequins. once the beading was finished, the applique was cut out of the base fabric, with no seam allowance, and no attemtps were made to finish the edges. it doesn't look like this applique has EVER been used, so i'm not sure if the unfinished edges and no backing material were part of the plan, or these appliques were simply unfinished. if you were planning in appliqueing it by hand onto fabric, you cut it out with an 1/8 in seam allowance *or however much you wanted* and then hand applique it using the needle-turn method, which i've done before and it isn't nearly as hard as you would imagine, i tought myself out of book!

i should mention that in some places there are beads coming off, or places where the thread has broken. BUT this piece is really old, maybe 20's, and my MIL got it in a big box of craft things at an estate sale, so there is no telling what kind of life it had, how people took care of it, what conditions it has ever been stored in *obviously, tossed loose in a box is not a great preservation technique* how much there is no backing, no felt or interfacing *which are suggestions i've come across on various other places around the web*. it also should be mentioned that some of the stitches are really long, where the original maker had sewed down as many as 7 beads in a single stitch *making it much easier for threads to catch and tear, and beads to flow*

if you didn't want to leave it without a backing, i also heard the idea of using a strong fabric glue to coat the entire back, but i can't attest to its success or failure. maybe you could practice a few techniques and see which ones work better, which you like, which wears better, etc.

i really want to try making some, so if i make any progress *or dire failure, i guess* i'll mention that! Wink

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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009 01:50:54 AM »

 I used to do a lot of Bridal, and have worked with those things a lot. Gluing them with a watered down solution of tacky glue, and a paintbrush should work . If you want to secure the beads, just don't run too many stitches. Also, you can try drawing the designs, spaced out a little on a larger piece of silk organza. It would be good to stretch it in an embroidery hoop, so they come out flat. Tie off beads regularly. We made some by beading lace flowers. those were pretty, and did not have to be filled in solid. I like using a small flat tray with a pad I made of velvet on one side., wool on the other. (That's what I had) It lets you pick up the beads without them moving around. You can pick them up easier with the needle. I don't think felt backing will do anything but make them real thick later, But it's ok if that's what you want. We used to use a speck of glue with a toothpick to stop beads running on bridal gowns, when we'd make them out of beaded lace. That was my boss's idea. and it worked!

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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2009 05:13:10 PM »

Just thought i'd mention it... This is where the white marking pens, pencils, and white tracing paper comes in. Everything else will leave your work dirty. If you must, you can try dissapearing ink, the kindthet rinses out, but you'll have to get your work wet. So have you gotten anywhere with this yet? I hope you post some pics soon... K  oh, geez, thinking about this... I really miss my boxes of goodies that are in storage... One year I spent $100.oo just on a variety stash of white beads. not to mention the other stuff! If I ever get close to getting married, I'm going to  be doing some of my own beading.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009 05:17:13 PM by KLKing - Reason: after-thought... » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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