Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

tuesdaytipsandtricks-520x210Last week I showed you how to keep a soutache design symmetrical. This week I’m finishing my Lily Pin from Amee K. Sweet-McNamara’s Soutache & Bead Embroidery: Three Basic Shapes Booklet by adding a backing. You can use today’s tips to make your soutache projects nice and tidy!

Don’t worry about the reverse side of your soutache project while you’re working. All of your thread knots and cord ends will be covered by a backing when you’re finally finished.Soutache projects have messy backsStack the cord ends on one side together and use a few stitches to tack them into a bundle. Tacking your ends makes it easier to back your piece and keeps everything tidy. Once the ends were tacked I trimmed the cord close to my tacking stitches and immediately sealed the cut ends with Hypo Tube Cement. Soutache unravels at the slightest loss of tension, so seal the ends quickly! Let the adhesive dry thoroughly before going on to the next steps.Bundle your cord tails togetherTrim and seal the ends of your cordYou can use any beading foundation to back a soutache project.  I used Black Beading Foundation for this project because it matched my beads. I put my project face down on the foundation and traced around the outer edges of with tailor’s chalk. To make sure I kept the backing facing the right direction, I wrote an “X” on the side facing out. Don’t worry about messy marks – tailor’s chalk is easy to brush off of foundation when you’re finished!Use chalk to trace the shapeYou can use glue to attach your backing if you have flat surfaces, like cabochons, or just sew it on if you used beads like I did! I avoid using glue with beaded soutache projects because it can seep between the beads and become visible on the front of your work. Instead I used tiny whip stitches to secure my backing to the outer edges of my project.Whip stitch on the backingOnce the backing was secure, I added a bar pin to turn it into a brooch. If you need tips on attaching a bar pin, check out my previous Tips and Tricks post!Fancy finished soutache brooch

Happy Tuesday! – Gretchen




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