Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tiger's Eye Glass Cabochon Beaded Cuff ~ Finished!

I finished my first ever bead embroidered cuff! It feels to good to actually finish something! I'm feeling really good about this project. Often when I make a creation for the first time, I end up with a long mental list of things I'll do differently on my next effort. There are only a couple changes in my mind after making my bracelet.

Next time, I'll dye the material that I sew the beads onto a darker color or a black so that the white does not show through. I intentionally left it white on this bracelet for two reasons. The first and most important thought was that I might have had a hard time seeing what I was doing on a black surface. I wasn't feeling confident enough yet to work on black. Secondly, with white focal beads, I felt like I could get away with a white background.

The other change for my next bracelet will be to make it a little longer so that the cuff isn't too tight a fit. I was relieved that I could fit this project over my cuff when it was done. I failed to allow extra length for thickness and to acommodate the bend in the aluminum.

While I'm at it, let me share an excellent source I found. I was looking for cuffs to use as a base. I had already ordered some brass cuffs from Fire Mountain Gems when I discovered a wonderful Artfire shop. Not only did they have cuffs, but they also had a super deal on Lacy's Stiff Stuff Beading foundation. The name of the shop is You can buy a set of twelve 2" aluminum cuffs for $13 or a six pack of Lacy's Stiff Stuff for $19.99. I might not be the best comparison shopper, but I think these prices are great. They also totally sold me on using aluminum for my cuff bases because it's lighter than brass. Beadwork can have a fair amount of weight to it, so wrapping it over brass would make it even heavier.

Ok, my post is getting a little long, but one more quick thing. I'm excited about the fabric I found for my backing. Most of the articles I've read have people using suede to back their cuffs. I'm not as hot to use leather products so I was looking into Ultrasuede or microsuede as alternatives. When I got to the fabric store, I was really unhappy with how these two fabrics looked. There was even some fraying and I knew at the very least I wanted a fabric that wouldn't fray. I started looking at the felts. Then I found this great fabric. It looks and feels just like felt only its stronger. The ends have no fray at all. Guess what it's made out of? Recycled plastic bottles! How cool is that? I don't spend a lot of time in the fabric store, so maybe everyone already knows about this stuff, but it's new to me and I think it's pretty cool!


Wende said...

I think it's amazing. I love the color choices. Really stunning.

Jenn said...

Wende, Thank you so much! :D

Debsparkles said...

This is a great cuff, Good job!

Cathy Champion said...

I thought I'd let you know that there is a big difference between Ultrasuede and suedecloth. Suedecloth is a woven fabric and, as you found, it frays. Ultrasuede is a synthetic leather; it doesn't fray, comes in multiple colors and in light and medium weights, both of which have reversible sides. There is a home decor weight Ultrasuede that has a right and wrong side. Ultrasuede has a nap, so can be lighter or darker in color depending on how you have the nap running (up or down).
If you use glue on Ultrasuede use a light layer so that it doesn't get stiff. I like to use rubber cement; a light layer on the back of the suede, a light layer on the cuff, let dry for 15 or 20 minutes and then press together.

Do you remember the name of the plastic fabric you like? It sounds interesting...does it come in colors or just white?


Jenn said...

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for sharing. I guess it's pretty obvious that I don't spend much time in fabric shops.

I didn't save the information on my recycled plastic fabric. I believe it was merchandised with the felt. I can tell you that I bought it at a Joann's Fabric shop and I only remember seeing it in black. It worked very well on this project.