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Conversational Threads

Beading on Fabric

artfulenterprises | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Hello ladies…
Is there anyone out there with a passion for embellishment using beads on their garments? I’m looking for information on which beads, brand or style, will hold up to washing. Many beads used for jewelry making have coatings on them which wash away with water or dry cleaning. I’d like to find the best product to use on garments that are worn frequently and hand or machine washed gently.
Who knows?????


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    This is a problem, even in beading! Colour finishes either wash off, or wear away. Stick to the better makes of glass beads, such as the quality glass beads, they are made of coloured glass. Stay away from the fancy finishes, or the ones with the linings in fancy colours, as they are dyed inside. Japanese Toho or Miuki, and of course, Crystal beads. Generally speaking, the more you pay, the better the quality, so stay away from the craft bags! The brighter colours and pastels tend to give you more problems, as well as the weird colours. Best to stick to the basics. If you want more shine, go for cut beads!
    Just like fabric, you need to pre test your beads! Sample wash a few to see what happens! I learned that the hard way when some supposed gold plated beads turned pink in hot water! Fortunately, I was not too dismayed at the finished product, but the rest of those beads went into my girls craft box! Cannot shrink nylon line to tighten the base if you cannot run it in hot water! Rubbing alcohol will react with a lot of dyes as well, and sometimes will be a quick indicator of potential problems.
    Beaded garments need special handling! They catch and pull easily! You spend a lot of time and effort on the embellishment, as well as the garment construction. HAND WASH! OR DELICATE SHORT CYCLE IN A LINGERIE BAG! Turn garments inside out and try to manipulate as little as possible. Glass holds heat! you need to decrease the amount of heat in your iron if you are going to be pressing around or over the beaded area, and use a good press cloth! This is very important if you are using synthetic materials that are heat sensitive, as you do not want to accidentally melt the fabric! (oops! been there!) You can machine dry on low for a short time, and hang to dry to reduce ironing, but the garment needs to be watched. Anything I missed? Ask away, Hope this was what you were looking for. Cathy

    1. User avater
      artfulenterprises | | #3

      Thanks so much Threadkoe,Just for clarity in my tired mind tonite, "Japanese Toho or Miuki, and of course, Crystal beads", is I gather, the better quality beads?I spoke to a bead house rep today and she recommended Swarovski products because they are lead crystal. So, as you say, best is best!
      I will check out your recommendations. Mostly I prefer "seed" shaped beads because I don't want their application to be too over the top. (Tho I'm not sure why....almost everything else I do is pretty much over the top on general principles!) I'd also like to play with bugle beads...but I'm open to all experiments!I discovered dry cleaning is death on beads since I applied some iridescent beads to a heavy wool poncho that did not survive in their original glory colors. While my garment doesn't look horrible, I will eventually replace the beads to freshen it up.But currently, I'm wanting to place beads on frequently washed garments so will have to think it through carefully. Having been a jeweler for 35 years+ I may end up using actual gem beads if I get too OC. ;o)Sure appreciate you sharing your experience with me!
      Best, Susan

      1. sewchris703 | | #20

        Beads on garments weigh the fabric down so I'd lay flat to dry after hand washing. If you try dry cleaning again, look for a cleaner that does bridal gowns. Get recommendations from bridal shops first. And insist that the cleaning solution is fresh and never used previously.Chris

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #23

          Thanks for the great suggestion sewchris703. And thanks for the wow too...Best wishes,

    2. GailAnn | | #26

      Where would a home seamstress, not wishing to buy in wholesale quantities, turn to look for such lovely beads?  Gail

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #27

        There are lots of online sources that allow you to purchase retail. Some are both retail and wholesale. I am lucky enough to have several good shops in my local area. One near my girlfriend is a special treat as all she sells are premium quality beads, so it makes the 2hr trip a special one. Many quilt shops are also beginning to sell them as well. I have not checked out Michaels for a while but they have had a good selection of fair quality crystal. Even Walmart has had quality beads. If you stick to the better Jewelry beads, you have a better bet! Just stay away from the craft bulk bags! Buy the jewelry quality bags, they do come in bulk as well. The hanks are usually Czechoslovakian beads, and they are good quality seed beads too, but beware of the finishes, and some unevenness in size, although this, in most cases, is not critical, and can be helpful sometimes. I have also had some success finding some of the odd colours I needed at JoAnne Fabrics! Cathy

  2. woodruff | | #2

    A lovely obsession! Threads Magazine had an article some years back about using seed beads to ornament clothes. You might check the online index.

    1. User avater
      artfulenterprises | | #4

      Great suggestion woodruff. I will check it out. I did look in the Gatherings archive with no luck but the index might have more info.
      Thanks a bunch...

      Edited 2/4/2009 1:18 am by artfulenterprises

  3. Ocrafty1 | | #5

    Hi Artful,

    There is an article in Threads #44,p.50, out of print, entitled Tambour Beading, that addresses beads. It recommends using "silver-lined, colored-glass beads because the silver makes the beads sparkle. Beads that are painted on the outside tend to lose their color, and the paint will rub off on your hands during beading....If you are just getting started in beading, I recommend that you use No.2 silver-lined bugle beads."

    In another out of print issue (#51) the construction of the inaugural ball gown that Hilary Clinton wore is discussed, including the beading. Swarovski marguerite crystals, Tosca rocailles, and silver-lined bugals and rocailles were listed as the beads utilized. Clearly, high quality beads are the best choice.

    I've not done much beading on garments, but have done a considerable amount on intricate cross stitching. I primarily use Mill Hill beads; my favorite are the petite glass beads and the antique glass beads. However, I always sew a few on a scrap of the fabric that I am using and hand wash it to see what will happen. I have hand washed each project using Oxy Clean after completion...even when I use metalic and other delicate threads...and have never had a problem with bleeding or loosing metalic. The samples online are very accurate per color. Here are a couple of links to their site... 

    Beads: http://www.millhillbeads.com/products/product_category.php?category=1

    This next site has a printable inventory list of all of their glass bead products...it indicates which beads may need to be treated or other info per use on garments or jewelry, such as spraying with Krylon acrylic crystal clear spray, and which ones may oxidize, or be affected by agitation,detergents, or strong friction. It is a wonderful way to keep track of which beads you have in your stash...and the ones you are dying to get!  http://www.millhillbeads.com/images/bead_inventory.pdf

    I've used this site...Nordic Needle...to order Mill Hill beads, hard to find fabrics, and other unique specialty threads that you just can't find many places. They are wonderful to deal with, shipping is prompt and the quality is fantastic. It is one of my favorites...with really neat threads, beads, and other embellishments that can be used for lots of spectacular sewing projects.


    Hope this helps!  Please post pix when you finish your project!


    1. User avater
      artfulenterprises | | #6

      Thanks so much Ocrafty!I'm pleased to have some tried and true resources!While I'm not exactly "new" to beading, when it came to much of my art to wear garments they were created in a fevered rush of creative juice while besotted with the luxo ribbons and threads I couldn't get enough of. (sorry about that dangling participle!) I'm afraid I didn't give much thought to little glass beads fading since they were used as accents rather than whole motifs. Sigh.So now, in the gathering urge to add some sparkle, I wish to be a bit more selective. When I actually manage to realize my current dreams I'll post a photo. Here's a peek or two at past adventures...

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #7

        I did not want to make my last post any longer than it already was as I can go on forever about beads! So to fill you in a bit more....
        The Toho and Miyuki beads are the premium quality beads. They have a larger hole and an extremely uniform shape. They are considered to be a seed bead, but are also in other shapes, such as drops and hex cuts. They are wonderful to work with. They are pricey, but you get more per oz, because of the larger hole! They use a good quality glass, and tend not to overdye. That being said, you still need to check. Some of the finishes, like the iris or iridescent colours are created by finishes applied to the bead afterwards. These will come off after time. Yet, the finishes on these beads seem to be better and last longer. As the other poster pointed out, silver lining in the beads is ok, beware the Coloured linings! Pewter and silver need to be watched as well. Sterling will not tarnish, but others will, and can mar the fabric. I have a lovely bunch of real silver beads, with a lovely tarnish on them! Beadwork magazine has some good resources, http://www.BeadAndButton.com is another. Lots of eye candy. Just type beads and beading into Google, and you will spend literally days just looking! http://www.firemountaingems.com is an online source for supplies and info, altho I have never shopped there, they advertise everywhere.
        You do lovely ribbonwork! Beads would add sooooo much sparkle to them! I would not hesitate to add them to your work, as the delicate care required of your artwork would be in line with the care of beadwork. Just pretest any potential beads, and you should be ok. Remember there are lovely beaded dresses in the past, and they have lasted a long time! Cathy

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #8

          Thanks for clarifying that TK.... and you are right, the gorgeous dresses from the twenties are a real inspiration...I have a small collection of 20's beaded purses that are quite lovely. Hence, my puzzlement when new beads (with all the advantages of our "superior" technology...hmmm?...faded. Of course, I did send those wool ponchos off to the dry cleaner...I had slip stitched muslin over the ribbon/bead embroidery and instructed them on pain of death not to press... but I suppose even steaming with the intensity of a dry cleaner's steamer would do some damage if their chemicals hadn't already. Fortunately the silk ribbon survived fairly well.I will explore all the beads you've mentioned. I do pick up the occasional issue of BeadandButton and have checked out FireMountainGems in the past (probably looking for something else) but it never hurts to go back & look again! Normally I never miss a gem show in my area, but for one reason or another, I haven't been able to go for quite some time. Perhaps in May when the show returns I'll be able to stock up. oboy. Meantime, I'll drool online!Susan

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #9

            Drycleaning is a bugaboo of mine. I really would rather handwash anything than send it off, as the smell of the chemicals really bothers me. I do send things out to be pressed however! When I make any beaded item, decorative, clothing embellishment or jewelry, I assume that someone is going to either wear it or wash it in the worst way possible! So I run my beads under a stream of hot water to pre test them! Then dunk them in the sink with the soapy dishwash soap. If they survive that, they will survive just about anything, including a dunk in the swimming pool. No matter what, some beads are just gonna fade over time, esp in sunlight. And sometimes, I end up with another wonderful bead instead! I prefer to use natural stones, crystals, and simple coloured glass beads. However, when creativity takes over, caution will be thrown to the wind! Can only do the best to make things with the best quality available, and hope for the best. Cathy

          2. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #11

            Sounds like you've done some fun things with your bead passion....show me some pictures???? Would love to see it! I'm such a mooch for things that sparkle and shine!

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #15

            I had posted an ornament I was working on in an earlier post this year. http://forums.taunton.com/tp-gatherings/messages?msg=8886.6 hope the link works as I have not tried to link to former posts before. Unfortunately, I have no other pics at this time! I tend to make and give my stuff as gifts. Am finishing a dress that will have some machine beading on it, as soon as it is done, I will post it tho. My earlier beaded garments have been well worn out and long gone. Passed on when I outgrew them. I am only now getting back into my sewing and beading big time now the girls have left home. Cathy

          4. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #16

            Whoa! Your Christmas tree must be a real jewel! The ornaments are lovely. I do so enjoy making Christmas ornaments altho I've never done any jeweled beauties. Use to make one new ornament project every year but it's been awhile. The last group I made are handpainted florals on silk and set inside small wood embroidery hoops decorated with ribbon, etc. They glow most satisfactorily set in front of a tree light! The machine beading video would be an excellent technique for creating some really gorgeous ornaments...Thanks for posting that very cool resource. Not to derail this thread on beading on garments, but just for fun, here's a shot of my tree from a few years ago. (hi-res so you can see up close) You can see the painted ornaments as well as a "parachute Santa" (about in the center) made when my son returned from the Army (a paratrooper of course). Almost everything on the tree is handmade (including those pink and blue twisties made from cardboard TP rolls and glitter when I was expecting my first child 43 years ago) Can you tell I'm a Christmas geek? My son still complains that I retired the ornaments of his childhood some years ago in favor of a more glam look in my favorite colors. tsk tsk.
            Sorry to ramble on...your handiwork just set me off...it's all your fault! :o)

          5. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #18

            SPARKLY!!!! Wonderful ornaments! My handmade ornaments run the gamut of handsewn felt, quilted, ceramic and beaded. The tree is going to look rather bare next year tho. As my girls have all left home now, I had to divvy up the ornaments. I had made 4 of each, or however many needed as each one was born. So this year I had to pack them all up and send them off with each girl. :( My mom had given each of them an ornament a year as well, so my tree was a wonderful collection of odds and sods. It is going to be awfully bare. I kept all of the ones they had made as children, couldn't bear to part with them! Mind you, I have an excuse to go wild and make some more! I have a few favorites I am going to remake, and a few unfinished kits that I will finish the rest of now! I just packed away all my ornaments, but maybe I should get them out and take a pic of the beaded ones on the display tree. Hmm, wonder if I can convince Hubby to give me a hand? tee hee Don't hold your breath, but I will try. Cathy

          6. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #22

            What a great idea! That would be wonderful to see all your beaded ornaments on a display tree. I also have a great little assortment of special ornaments made by artisan friends , that I treasure...porcelain doves, tiny little felt teddy bears with articulated arms (about 2 1/2" high..amazing) handfelted and feather angels, copper and brass spirals, etc. Most of my early painted Baker's Clay ornaments are rapidly deteriorating after 40 some years...and I lost the recipe I used which made nice smooth, flat "cookies" to paint on. All I remember was it had a lot of salt in it ... I think. Subsequent recipes made puffy ornaments, which while charming, were not the same!I doled out ornaments when my two kids left home but they've been such gypsies I ended up with most of them back home for "safekeeping". Oh well, I look forward to seeing your little sparklers if you can corral them!Susan

          7. Ceeayche | | #33

            Cathy, you are a marvel!  Every time I see an example of your work I am impressed anew!

          8. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #36

            Thanks much! I am not a very prolific producer when it comes to my stuff, I think I belong to the slow school of production, tee hee. Cathy

          9. Ceeayche | | #40

            slow, fast, it's fabulous and inspiring.

      2. Ocrafty1 | | #10

        Beautiful work!  So pretty.


        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #12

          Thank you Ocrafty1...If you are interested, you can check out some of my past handiwork at http://www.myspace.com/greatfitplus. (I know I'm always curious about what others on the forum are making.)

          1. kbalinski | | #13

            This thread is so timely for me, as I just ordered a book on the topic!  Kenneth King's "Designer Bead Embroidery" was recommended to me by another experienced sewist, and I picked up my used (but Like New) copy online for $10.  I've got a client who would like some bead work on her Mother of the Groom dress, so hopefully this will help me accomplish the task at hand!  Maybe it will help other readers, too.

            Kristine in Michigan

          2. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #14

            I hadn't heard of the book you mention...I'll check it out since I love to add to my sewing/art/craft library. Glad the ladies of the forum could be of help. The combined wisdom here is awe inspiring!

          3. jane4878 | | #24

            I just received Kenneth King's "Cool Couture" and it's amazing. It's really inspirational and the instructions and photos, drawings are very good.  He has a section on embellishment at the end were he explains how to do his passementarie and ratail cording and he briefly touchs on beading.  I'm sure the beading one is just as amazing.  It shows that he is a great teacher--the instructions are superb.


          4. Ocrafty1 | | #17


            Your work is beautiful.  I just checked out your site again and took time to scroll down. I make custom clothing and enjoy doing weddings. Those gowns in your pix are exquisite!!!!

            Are you really 100 yrs. old as your blog states?  I can't imagine having the dexterity to do that amount of detail if I'd ever reach that milestone...or wanting to. I also checked out the link to 'Spiffy Bridal.'  Does she also make the gowns, or is she just a consultant?

            Please continue to post pix here...they are wonderful to see.



          5. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #19

            Hi Ocrafty1,Thank you...I'm glad you enjoyed the gowns. I made them when I was designing for a custom salon in Beverly Hills. The first two are original designs (mine) and the bottom one is a "knockoff" of a Dior gown altho I changed the bodice completely (was a sweetheart prom dress kinda thing (rather awkward looking)...made it a beautiful bare empire surplice style that looked wonderful...sadly don't have any front shots of the gown. It was an especially pretty effect with the cummerbund and bow underlined in a pale blue silk taffeta with white silk organza on top. The medievel looking gown was silk satin with silk brocade inserts in the pleats. In the back, the pleats break open into a wide train.The little strapless number has a bolero length tuxedo jacket with a detachable train jeweled at the fastening. All silk fabrics. No, I'm not 100 years old yet...but some days it feels like it! If you click on my handle up there (artfulenterprises) there's a fairly recent foto in my profile. :o)There are a couple ladies on my "friends" list who make the gowns they offer, but I haven't chatted with Spiffy Bridal in a long time. It looks as tho she's a consultant...but you could write her and ask...

          6. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #61

            Hi Ocrafty...Here are a couple of shots of my finished project, although they are literally "hanging" on a too small dress form which makes them look baggy and crinkly. Best I could do for now tho....maybe I'll get a foto of my sis wearing the ensemble. I really need to invest in another dress form in a size that will fit her dress form cover. Not sure where it would live tho...already have 2 in my sewing studio. Shooting outdoors made the jacket fabric look fuschia, when in fact it is a very rich red. More like the shot of the little handbag. Oh well, here you go.....

          7. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #62

            Great work.  I love that jacket, it should be fun to wear.

          8. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #63

            Very very attractive Outfit! Just love the little touches! Such an elegant and smart Colour choice! I really really got to get going on stuff for myself.......Cathy

          9. Josefly | | #64

            Beautiful. Your sister will feel elegant, with all the nice touches you've sneaked in. The bag is a nice addition, too.

          10. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #65

            Thank you ladies....sure am glad the project is finished and in the mail!

          11. Ocrafty1 | | #66

            Absolutely gorgeous!  Love the purse...the dragonfly is a sweet touch.  I'm sure she'll have lots of fun wearing it!


          12. MaryinColorado | | #67

            The ensemble looks great, even on the too small manequin.  I love the red dragonfly jacket and purse too and am sure your sister will feel special and lovely in her new outfit!  Mary

          13. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #68

            Thanks Mary,
            I'm waiting breathlessly for her to receive it...maybe tomorrow! best to you....

          14. MaryinColorado | | #69

            I just love dragonflys!  It was so wonderful of you to create it for her.  Mary

      3. sewchris703 | | #21

        WOW. Just wow. Chris

      4. Gloriasews | | #25

        Oh, those vests are gorgeous - & the work exquisite.  Thanks so much for sharing!  This was beautiful eye candy on a dreary day here.


        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #29

          Thanks Gloriasews..gloomy winter days are perfect for luxuriating in little indulgences! Glad you found them fun.

      5. GailAnn | | #28

        Those are excellent!

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #30

          Thanks GailAnn...I'm pleased you like them.

      6. User avater
        rodezzy2 | | #31

        Very very beautiful.

      7. Ceeayche | | #32

        Not new to beading indeed. The samples you posted are beautiful and inspiring!!!

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #34

          Thank you CHL....I appreciate your kind words.
          You've also given me an opportunity to tell the readers of this thread that I found (through my daughter's surprise visit after having just been to her fave bead store) some beautiful black charlotte seed beads (they are faceted and opaque). I will use them to "stay stitch" the inside of the hem of a velvet skirt. I'll photograph and post it when finished. Although this bead find was a happy accident, I will pursue all the other great advice offered here and build up my bead stash.
          And just for fun...here are a few photos of my daughter's bead works...she's no slouch either!

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #35

            I can see from your daughter's work that the creative impulse runs heavily through your family! Wonderful work! Those black charlottes will be a wonderful touch to that skirt. I can see the touch of glitter in my mind already! Cathy

          2. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #42

            Thanks Cathy....her work is definitely amazing....very different from my own by a couple of eons! Both my kids are talented artists although my son doesn't do a great deal with his artistic eye these days much to my regret. And you are right....my brother is a great musician, one sister is an art curator, another sister teaches art appreciation to children, my mom was a costumer, dad tied flies that were gorgeous, I had a great grandfather who was a violin maker a great gram who was a poet. But mom shakes her head and says, "I just don't know where you get this from..." ;o) And then we nod and say "Yep, sure is a mystery mama!"I've finished the beading on the hem of the skirt (not as fancy as this long thread might expect) and love the subtle sparkle it adds, so will try to photograph and post it tomorrow.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #44

            I admire your daughter's beautiful creative work!  Does she market them?  They are so unique!  Your family is truly gifted in so many ways!  Wow! 

            I got a kick out of the fly tying comment, my husband and children also are very good at that and always seem surprised that I consider it an artform too.  Especially since they learned it from a left handed person and they are right handed! 

          4. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #45

            She sure does MaryinColorado, and thanks for asking! You can see more of her beautiful work here: http://www.myspace.com/marisayouldenjewelryYou can click on View My Pics (under the primary logo on the left side of the page) to view a gallery of past and present works.Fly tying is an amazing craft! My son airbrushes fishing lures that are gorgeous too. (Also walking canes he calls "fish stix". Mine is purple (unlike any sports fish he goes to battle with), so he had to label it "fish stix for Mom". I hope this little excursion into craftiness doesn't take us too far afield from the original thread! If so, my apologies.... It's hard to contain creative types to one field of interest! It took me years to decide where to focus... I wanted to do everything! Mostly, I did! :o)

          5. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #46

            Those are beautiful! So many artforms cross over, it is hard to stick to just one sometimes. One thing leads to another. I was reading up on Phentex yarns for slippers, only to find out that the old harsh stuff is hoarded by fly-tiers(tyers?)sp for flies! It stands up better in water and repells water better. Who knew? I am gonna put my new stash under lock and key, tee hee. Cathy

          6. Gloriasews | | #49

            I didn't know that about the old Phentex, either.  Who would have thunk, eh?  Thanks for the info.  The only place I've been able to find the old Phentex (for slippers) is Zeller's.


          7. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #47

            Wow, so beautiful and creative. 

          8. Gloriasews | | #48

            Arts & crafts definitely runs in your family!  How fortunate you all are!  The lure & cane are just as beautiful as your daughter's jewelry.


          9. MaryinColorado | | #50


          10. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #51

            Thanks for your kind words of appreciation everyone...it's really fun to share beautiful work with others no matter where you find it!Susan

          11. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #52

            Hi everyone,Well, I can't say my photography was worth a hill of beans on shooting a black skirt but I did manage to get a couple of underwhelming shots of the beaded hemline. This little detail was applied because the back of the skirt is longer than the front of the skirt and needed a little something-something (sump'n, sump'n??) to make it look intentional...which it was. The detail is applied only to the back however. The inside of the hem has a strip of horsehair to give it bounce. I'm debating the wisdom of applying a similar row of beading on the top of the skirt where the flounced bottom section joins the straight skirt. We'll see. My sister could get a whole lot older waiting for me to finish! :o)

          12. MaryinColorado | | #53

            ooooooooh lala!  What a lovely hem!  Will you post a photo of the whole skirt?  I love the beading, it is just the perfect "sump'n sump'n"...subtle but stylin'  Great idea to use the horsehair in the hem!  Thanks for sharing the photo and the great tip!  Mary

          13. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #57

            Will keep another foto shoot in mind to show you the whole skirt, but may not have time and space before I ship it off to my sis. I really don't have a dress form that works too well with her skinny self! But will give it a shot.

          14. Josefly | | #54

            Oh, my. What an exquisite touch. I'm so glad you explained this, because as I read this thread earlier, I wondered why on earth anyone would bother with beads inside the hem. This is lovely. Lucky sister.I love surprises like this. My mother had a knack of adding things like that - like a bit of lace that would only show when sitting down.

            Edited 3/6/2009 10:41 am ET by Josefly

          15. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #55

            Yumm, what a delightful touch! The beads add just the right touch to make the skirt something extra special! I kinda like it just the way it is right now, but I am not the artist! Cathy

          16. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #56

            Thanks Threadkoe...artistry sometimes gets in the way of finishing! I think I'm running out of ambition :o)

          17. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #58

            tee hee hee, I think you have hit my problem on the head! I keep thinking up new ways of adding to something, or doing something different to my projects, and end up not finishing them in frustration! I am going to have to put my mind to just doing my original ideas, AND STICK TO IT! Just too many tangents to follow...
            I think the lovely beading was pretty ambitious as it is. :) Cathy

          18. sewchris703 | | #59

            That's what my girls are for. I always run the new inspirations past them to check if the idea is over the top and too much for the garment.Chris

          19. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #60

            Lucky you! Nice to have a sounding board so close to hand. I miss my girls...Cathy

          20. sewslow67 | | #70

            Well ...ahhhhhh ...gee ....hmmmmmmmmmm ...wow ........this is for your sister?!? 

            What I'm trying to say is ......well ........gee .....could I be your sister???  I'd wait forever for this outfit.  Promise!!!  I'd never even bug you to hurry, either; ...just wait patiently........dreaming of myself in that absolutely, gorgeous, stunning, magnificently beautiful outfit.

          21. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #71

            Heavenly days girl...you're making me blush! Thanks for your enthusiasm...you must be one of those little charmers who stays the same weight year after year! If I start a project, it has to be finished within a week or two or it probably won't fit! :o)
            Best wishes...

          22. sewslow67 | | #72

            Giggle ...yes ...I must admit, my weight is pretty much the same as it has been for the past 50+ years.  But then, my friends tell me it's only because I've had so many surgeries and they've removed most of my "innerds".   And they just might be right! 

            Anyway, kudo's to you for creating such a beautiful outfit and double that for being so generous and loving to share your talent in doing something special for your sister.  Lucky girl, she is!

            Now then, I wonder if you might have seen Kenneth D. King's recently published book called: "Designer Bead Embroidery"?  It's really wonderful and has so many inspirational ideas in it.  I bought it, along with his other new book: "Cool Couture", which I'm enjoying as well.

          23. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #73

            Actually, I'm the lucky one...I have the greatest sis in the world. She's a jewel. I did look up the book online and it looks very interesting...will add it to my reference library after I move. We are relocating to Austin, TX in May. No need to haul more books than I already have! :o) Thanks.....

            Edited 3/21/2009 1:42 pm by artfulenterprises

          24. MaryinColorado | | #74

            thanks for the tip about the book, I will be looking for it soon!  Mary

          25. sewslow67 | | #75

            You are welcome, Mary.  If you enjoy beading on fabric, I think you will enjoy his book.  I've not done a lot of that yet, but am looking forward to learning new techniques and to creating something special.  Enjoy!

          26. MaryinColorado | | #76

            I did a little beading on a wallhanging and have been reading all the great information here.  The book sounds like the perfect "next step" in exlploring the techniques.

          27. Ceeayche | | #41

            Your daughter has inherited your eye and your flair!  wonderful!

          28. Gloriasews | | #43

            Indeed, your daughter is no slouch.  Those are lovely pieces!


      8. PASDENOM | | #37

        Your beautiful pictures bring up a question that I've been wondering about. How do you clean your garments that are embroidered with silk ribbon? I've shied away from doing silk ribbon on clothes because of the washing question.

        1. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #38

          All of the silk garments I've beaded are easy to wash by hand. Most are silk noil, shantung, or dupioni. They require only a cold water soak and very gentle handling (pressed together, not wrung out)to remove water. Any "spots" are addressed with Zout and gently rubbed and rinsed. Most are specialized outer garments such as vests, and don't require frequent washing. I hang them on "fat" hangars to dry so that they don't get a sharp crease.(Like rounded plastic or men's suit hangars. I do occasionally steam a ribbon here or there to remove wrinkles or puff them up a bit. A tiny little craft iron such as those used for making your own bias, etc. would be handy. (They look like a painter's palette knife but are heated. But, perhaps there are others here who have a better method???

          Edited 2/28/2009 11:10 am by artfulenterprises

          1. PASDENOM | | #39

            Thanks. I do have one of those irons and never use it, so there's a reason to start using SRE on my clothes.

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