Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210Today’s tips will show you how to get the best results when adding a bar pin to a fabric-backed cabochon or component. My amazing co-worker Rebecca recently gifted me with a bead bezeled cabochon that I can’t wait to wear, so let’s get started!

Use a bar pin to make a broochChoose where to stitch the bar pin to your project. I placed my pin high and centered so that the brooch will hang straight down when I wear it. Draw the outline of the pin on your backing for a quick way to check the positioning as you sew. Make sure your bar pin is facing the right way before you start stitching, with the opening of the clasp facing down towards the bottom of your piece. Open the pin and leave it open as you work so you have easier access to the holes in the bar. Just be careful not to poke yourself!

Place your pin on the backingYou can use either sewing or beading thread to attach your bar pin. I used One-G beading thread for this project. Thread your needle, knot one end of the thread, and anchor it underneath the bar pin to hide the knot. Take your needle through the first hole in the bar pin and into the backing shallowly so you don’t scrape your cabochon, wrapping the thread around the outer edge of the hole with each stitch.

Make shallow stitchesI like to make 3-4 stitches around each hole in the bar, working my way clockwise around the bar pin. Move to the next hole by taking one stitch under the backing. Moving to the next hole on top of the backing creates easily snagged loops of thread. There are a lot of moving pieces on a bar pin, so be careful not to get tangled as you work!

Use three to four stitches per holeWhen you’ve stitched around each hole of the bar pin, tie off your thread and make one last stitch to hide the tail before trimming the thread. Keeping your stitches the same size and placed closely together at each hole makes your finished piece as nice on the back as it is on the front!

Detail of stitched bar pinAnd you’ll have a ready-to-wear brooch before you know it!

Cabochon brooch
Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen




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