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Organza beaded “feather” edge

Aug 09, 2010
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This beaded fabric ruffle is an adaptation of a trim I use in my soufflé sweater pieces. It gives a lighthearted edge to otherwise serious clothing, or can be used in layers to make a lush evening top or skirt. For this example, we used a strip of organza, 10″ long and 45″ wide. This will ultimately yield a finished length of 18″ of trim, or a 3.5:1 ratio. Use this ratio to gauge how much organza you need to cut, for the edge you want to finish. With the rotary cutter, or hot knife (for man-made fibers), cut a curve off the end of the strip. Then, cut out double-ended shapes, as shown. You don’t have to be a perfectionist here-these can be regular, or irregular. The only consideration, is to have them end about 1/2″-3/4″ in from the edges of the strip. Once you’ve cut out the shapes from your strip, fold the strip in half, aligning the edges, as shown. Machine sew these edges together, about ¼” in from the edge. This is the yellow stitching. Using a ruffler foot, and a straight stitch length of 2.5mm, gather the edge. As much as possible, try to make…

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  1. MemeGeorgia September 21st

    Love it, love it. Has all sorts of ideas soaring. Thanks so much.

  2. mami50 September 1st

    Kenneth, thank you for your technique!, I lack words to thank you for all your advice, you're wonderful!

  3. User avater Complexnatural August 25th

    Amazing!! Love it.

  4. User avater KennethDKing August 16th

    Regarding the question of beads falling: When you pull the end of the organza feathers through the bed twice, that keeps them on pretty well with friction. (I've never lost any.) But if you want a little "insurance", you can do a tiny dot of Fray-check on the hole once the bead is on, and that will set it.

    As for cleaning, a gentle hand wash for the garment is recommended.

    And, as for why I didn't show a finished garment--I'm limited to 20 photos for the post. Also, the readers of Threads are of such a high caliber, that I know they all will see a new technique and immediately get going with their imaginations and use the technique in amazing ways!

  5. User avater etchedinthread August 16th

    Kenneth, You are AWESOME!

  6. User avater maddykool August 15th

    very nyc............y dnt i got such ideas !!!!!!!!

  7. User avater KimsIdleHands August 13th

    When cleaning, don't the beads come off? There doesn't seem to be anything to keep them on the trim.
    It would have to be a real special garment to do this, like maybe a gown for a cruise!

  8. MaryGee August 12th

    Great substitution for fringe on these currently popular scallop layered tops :) THX for the ideas

  9. User avater katmc August 12th

    What a wildly creative trim! Kenneth, I've watched you on tv for years and admire your sewing ability as well as your creativity. Thanks for giving this to us.

  10. Lady_Jaydee August 11th

    So...How come you didn't post a picture of the completed garment with this fancy embellishment? I have NO idea of how it will look on the completed garment or even if I LIKE it or not! I looks like a darn lot of trouble to create something that sticks up, does NOT look soft or comfortable and you have to worry about beads falling off. Show me the completed piece, otherwise why would I ever even want to try it??? It looks stiff and bunchy to me and the tweedy fabric shown does NOT go with a fancy gauzy trim. Creative? Possibly. Pretty? NO!

    /j/

  11. User avater KennethDKing August 11th

    Hello!

    Thanks for the kind words!

    Regarding the question of finishing and cutting, this organza is polyester, so I use a hot stencil cutter (the one quilters use for stencils) to cut the organza. That way there is no fraying--the edges are sealed. So, you can dry clean or wash ith no problem.

    In answer to the question: Do I stay awake nights? In short, yes.....

  12. User avater adagiolane August 11th

    Hi Ken,
    Lovely! Question: Is the blue organza cut on on the crosswise grain (hence the 45" in this case) or is it cut on the bias?
    If cut crosswise, what cleaning instructions do you recommend to avoid fraying?
    Thanks!
    -Mary
    http://www.marygwyneth.com

  13. MerrySunshine August 10th

    This is a beautiful embellishment; however, a photo of the finished garment would have been helpful too.

  14. User avater clothingeng August 10th

    Loving this technique...my wheels are turning!
    Thanks ~cheryl

  15. platexas August 10th

    Thank you Kenneth for another beautiful, designer technique. You are great! You so willingly share your knowlege, skill, and artistry.

  16. User avater triangles August 10th

    You have two of the most creative hands I have ever seen when it comes to manipulating fabric. Truly remarkable, Linda in MD

  17. User avater Realyrosey August 10th

    Totally ingenious! Thank you for this. I might give this a try with chiffon for daintier applications. Hope it will work OK with the finer weight. Rosey

  18. mcarr719 August 10th

    Kenneth -- beautiful embellishment -- do you stay awake all night dreaming up these techniques??

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