As someone who does a lot of fiber arts, as well as jewelry making, working with our new soutache cord has been a great way to combine my crafting skills. Today’s tips will help you get your soutache projects off to a good start!
Soutache cord starts to fray as soon as you cut it. I use a dab of E6000 adhesive to seal both ends of my cord each time I cut it. Not only will sealing your ends make your project easier to finish when it’s time to back your piece, but it will also keep you from losing cord due to fraying!
If you’re stacking multiple pieces of soutache together, make sure the cords are all facing the same direction. Soutache cords facing opposite directions won’t bend on the same curve and will pucker as you stitch them together. You can orient your cords by looking at their weave and making sure the weave of all of your cords are pointing in the same direction.
In sewing, the term “stitch in the ditch” is used to indicate you need to place your stitches in a seam to hide them. Soutache cord has a center channel that, like a seam, is also perfect for hiding your stitches. Since you’ll “stitch in the ditch” of the cord, be sure to choose a thread that matches the outermost layer of cord on your piece!
Keeping an even tension as you stitch through the soutache is very important. If your stitches are too tight they’ll make the cord pucker. If your stitches are too loose your finished piece won’t hold its shape. I made a few practice pieces to get my tension right before starting on my actual project.
Finally, save your fingers by using a thimble! Pushing and pulling your needle through multiple beads and layers of soutache is hard on your fingers. (I think I gained at least one new callus this week!) A sewing thimble is great to have on hand for this type of project.
Check out our Soutache Techniques for more tips or Soutache & Bead Embroidery:Three Basic Shapes Booklet by Amee K. Sweet-McNamara to get started making your own soutache projects!
Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen