Sunday, 31 July 2011

Bead work

In my last post, I spoke of the difficulty of finding suitable electric-blue thread for dressmaking.  Thankfully I finally found the funds and the time to have a proper search, and once reunited with my trusty Viscount was able to make a tunic dress out of electric blue silk.  I'm hoping to wear it when the boyfriend gets back from holiday, so as to prove that I appreciate him going to to the trouble of buying the material.

Also to show appreciation of a present (Christmas I think, from parents this time) I incorporated some beadwork into the neckline of this dress.  It was such a simple design that it needed jazzing up, and beads (or sequins) make an excellent eye-catching detail when you're not confident of your embroidery.

First identify the area or edge which you wish to cover.  Measure the area or length with a measuring tape, and use this knowledge to identify either 1) how many beads you will need or 2) how far apart you should space the ones you have.  I had a good selection of large multicoloured, small white and small multicoloured beads, so I could make an interesting pattern.

It's a good idea to lay down different sizes or colours of beads in succession, so that if one set are badly misplaced you can unpick them without disturbing the others.  I laid the larger beads first.  Tie in the thread on the wrong side of the garment and pass the needle through to the front.  Thread a bead down the thread (you may need a very narrow needle for small beads).  Pass the needle back through near to the first hole, and pull tight.  Make two small stitches on the wrong side, just underneath the bead, crossing over each other.  This will firmly attach the bead.  Now pass the needle through in the next place along.

Laying down a row of widely spaced large coloured beads, with groups of three coloured-white-coloured small ones in between, made a lovely beach-pebble effect which really goes with the tropic blue material.  You can buy packets of beads in single or mixed colours, and I can recommend using the mixed colours all together in your pieces - they're grouped for a reason.  If you find that some beads don't fit over your narrowest needle, don't chuck them but put them apart from the others in a different pot so that you don't have the same trouble next time.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Difficult Things

More of a lifestyle post today.  I've been having trouble keeping up with the cpd23 Things course after starting work (yay jobness!), despite Thing 4 being Twitter, RSS feeds and something called 'Pushnote.'  All of these are tools to collect and recommend webpages to other people, and part of my job now is using Twitter to gently shove our merchandise at people through twitting relevant news items or trivia.  Despite the ease with which I've got into this, I've not set up my own account.  I tend to use the Facebook share option to spread things I find, as it allows me to target rather than spam 'followers.'

Thing 5 is 'Reflective Practise.'  The organisers recommend that participants consider what they've already done in the scheme, and how it has worked for them, in a slightly structured and calm way.  Not having kept my post count up, I've had plenty of time to do this.  So far, the most impactful 'Thing' has been brand-building, leading me to slightly merge my online presences.  But I've let blogging lapse- both here, and in the sense of looking at other people's.  I've not been converted to Twitter, despite using it every day.  Are me and the Internet just not cut out for each other?

We'll see how the other Things go down.  But for now, I'm finding it hard to find time to do Simple Things, let alone Professionally Developing things.  Where, for example, will I find the electric blue thread I need to make a tunic/dress with the electric blue Thai silk boyfriend bought me?  Do I need more bobbin reels?  Do I have the money? So much in #John Lewis, so little time...