Thursday, February 5, 2015

Beading on the Edge

The holidays were long. Long, long, long.
Now that they are over, hopefully I'll make some progress again!

First bit of progress: veil beading!
I've had this veil hanging around waiting to be beaded for some time now, and I finally sat down and did it.

I think what was stopping me was that I wanted to do something different (I have a veil that a friend beaded with pearls), and I haven't been able to afford gemstone beads lately.

Veils come in many shapes and sizes: mostly round, square, rectangular, or oval. I prefer oval veils, because they drape nicely, and can cover your hair even if it's pretty long. I also prefer lightweight silk veils, because they don't fall off as easily, as long as you have something holding them in place.
Linen or cotton veils will drag down off the back of your head, so you have to pin the heck out of them, and/or have a lot of foundation in place underneath (braided hair, wimple, and/or chin bands). I do wear linen ones, but in a pinch, I'd rather have silk.

You can get silk for veils at Dharma Trading Company, a dye-supply store. I have gotten yardage in the past, because then you can make it whatever shape/size you want (and you can make a silk shift, and/or silk painted banners), but they also have dancing veils, silk scarves, and silk handkerchiefs that are already hemmed.

I took a class a few years ago from the same friend who beaded my other veil, and I've been wanting to try her techniques ever since.
As my reference, I used this picture (seen in two installments):
from Renaissance Dress in Italy by Jacqueline Herald
I had some leftover teardrop-drilled freshwater pearls from another project, which, while irregular, worked fine for the three-bead design. I put them together with gold-tone metal beads.

I measured the veil, counted my pearls, and figured out how far apart I needed to place each set of beads to make it all the way around.

Since I didn't have enough pearls to make the beading dense enough, I added a gold-tone bead with a white pearlescent seed bead on the top in between the three-bead clusters.

We know that people had glass beads since ancient antiquity, and metal ones, too. I know they probably didn't have pearlizing techniques, but I went with it because I wanted to get the project done.
Some time I'll go back and re-do the beading with something totally different, anyway.

I had already hemmed the veil with silk thread, so I sewed the beads into the hem, in order to hide the stitches and the knots. Using a beading needle and thin thread, I hid my knot in the hem, and then began with a three bead cluster. Metal-bead, pearl, metal-bead, place the needle back in the same area that it came out of, measure how far to the next cluster, push the needle through to that spot, pull thread tight.
The next cluster was a metal bead with a seed bead on top: metal bead, seed bead, go back through the metal bead, back into the fabric in the same place, measure, pull needle through.
The needle only came out of the hem when I was putting beads on.

Despite measuring, I still came up a little short at the end, and had to modify the measurements to make it look decent. I tried to make sure that spot was not near the front of the veil, so that it wouldn't be as noticeable.
Throughout the sewing, I made sure to pull the thread tight, but then pull the hem back out, so that there were no bumpy bits and the tension was good. You don't want the thread looping so that you have dangly beads where you don't want them. With wearing, that will sometimes happen anyway. You certainly don't want to start out that way.

The finished product:

In other news, I'm currently working on handouts for my last two classes, Longsword Dancing, and Mongolian Food. I am planning to teach them at the College of Three Ravens in a couple of weeks. We'll be dancing Longsword with yard sticks, because I'm cheap. It'll be so much fun!

Mongolian Felting will be happening in the spring, hopefully in April, if it's dry enough. Otherwise I may have to fake it indoors just to meet my deadline.

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