Tutorial : Golden Soutache Earrings
Level : Intermediate
Technique : Soutache embroidery
- Stone Cabochon 18x13mm. (beadaholique)
- Soutache braids two colors (lacetrim)
- 8/0 seed beads (Supra Gold Metallic, available at piecesparts and beadaholique)
- 11/0 seed beads (Supra Gold Metallic, available at piecesparts and beadaholique)
- Swarovski pearl 4mm. (Local shop)
- Chinese teardrop pearl 10x7mm. (Local shop)
- Nicole bead backing or Lacy stiff stuff (Nicole backing is available beadwright. Lacy is available at beadaholique)
- Ultrasuade (suadeshop)
- Earring hooks (Local shop)
- E6000 glue (Local shop)
- KO beading thread (beadaholique or Tamara Scott)
- Beading needle (Local shop)
I still confirm that in this community, selling post is still not allowed. Please see all these shops I suggested as a resource guide or references. I'm sure after this tutorial, I will get tons of questions asking me where I got this and that. So there you are! All these shops are international friendly, means they are willing to ship worldwide. I hope you don't forget that I'm in Bangkok. These shops can ship to me with no problem so the rest of the world should be okay too.
About the stone cabochon, I bought them years ago during clearance sale. I think beadaholique sold out the exact stones already. So, any stone would be fine. Actually, any size or any round shape too because you can wrap soutache around the stone with no problem.
About soutache braid, Lacetrim is a shop from Latvia. If you are in UK, try stitchncraft. If you are in US, try looking from ebay or etsy or from Amee McNamara.
I use KO beading thread for this project. You can use your favorite thread. But the color should match your soutache.
Everything I said I got from local shop means I bought them in Bangkok. But you should not have problem since they are very common materials and easy to find except, maybe, teardrop pearl. For Chinese teardrop pearl, well, you can use any drop shape bead with top hole, dagger, flower, heart or any bead you like to make a dangle.
I hope that is all for my materials.
If you ever did bead embroidery, this is very similar. We will wrap soutache braids around the piece. Other concepts are pretty much the same with bead embroidery. First, we will start preparing the stone.
Glue the stone to the backing. Don't cut the backing too close to the stone. Please leave around 1/2 inch from the stone. I prefer to trim the corner of my backing into round shape to avoid the thread getting struck there. Leave the glue to dry about 20 minutes or more.
Wrap the soutache braids around your stone into the design you want so you know how long you will need. Then, cut the soutache briads. I won't give you the exact length since I can't remember and maybe you use the different size of the stone from me. And I prefer a bit extra length for my safety. You will never know if you need to change your design in the middle of your project.
Cut the thread into comfortable length. Tie knot at one end. (If you don't like knot, you can use stop bead.) Sew from the back side close to the top of the stone. Fold the soutache braid in half. Sew to the soutache in that half and also in the middle of the braid.
Sew back into soutache and to the backing. Please keep in mind to sew in the middle of the braid only. This can help to hide the thread. Color of the thread should match the soutache too. But in my case I have to show you clearly and this soutache is the first layer. So it is okay. :P
Sew up from the back to the front close to the stone. Again, sew to the soutache in the middle of the braid. The space of each stitch should be moderate. No need to be too close or too far from each other.
Sew back into the soutache in the middle of the braid and to the backing.
Repeat step 5 and 6 around the stone. Don't use high tension or else your soutache will curl.
At the joining point, Sew two soutaches together to connect them.
Sew back to the top. You can go at the backing or just sew step 5 & 6 on to the soutache. When you reach the starting point, sew from the backing to the first soutache. Pick up another soutache and fold half. Sew to the new soutache in the middle of the braid.
Sew back to the soutache and to the first layer and into the backing. You see this thread is hid quite well in the middle of the braid and with the matching color, people won't notice it unless close up.
Now, you sew the same way. Wrap the soutache around the first layer.
Sew to all four tails to connect them together. Now you trim the excess backing. Depend on your design, sometime you have to trim close to the edge. But with this design, I have to add more beads and another layer anyway, it is okay for me to leave some backing.
From the last step, my thread exited at the corner. Pick up 8/0 seed bead. Wrap two soutaches around the bead.
Sew to the two soutaches. Make sure you got the soutaches to wrap around the bead well. Sew back into two soutaches, 8/0 bead and into the first two layers and to the backing. Pull the thread, again not too tight but quite firmly. Actually, this is the outside soutache, the stitch on the braids should be small and right in the middle of the braid. If your thread is the same color with your soutache, the thread should be almost invisible.
This is the back side. You don't have to worry how messy you made. We will cover everything with ultrasuade anyway.
Sew from the back up into the first two layers, add 8/0 seed bead and sew to the two soutaches.
Repeat adding beads on to one side. I prefer to leave the connecting point last so I sew back to the backing and start adding beads again at the other side.
I tried to balance on both sides but I think I put the wrong spacing at one side. Never mind that! lol Just finished adding beads.
Sew to all four soutaches to connect them together.
This is very similar to step 11. Exit your needle at the corner of your soutache. Pick up 4mm pearl. Wrap the two soutaches around the pearl. Sew to the soutaches.
This is similar to step 12. Sew back to the two soutaches, the pearl, the first two soutaches. See how my thread exits from the photo.
Now use your finger to hold tight the rest of soutaches in place at the back. Make sure the soutaches wrap around your bead beautifully. Sew to the two soutaches around the pearl counter clockwise direction. Please note that this is the curve. The stitch on the outside soutache should be longer than the inside soutache.
This is what I did at the back. Sew the tail of the soutaches to the backing many times with good tension. Leave around 1/2 inch before cutting the tail. Glue at the end of the soutaches to avoid the fray braids.
Do the same the other side. You should get this.
My back. Quite messy. lol
You can add the pearl to cover the gap at the joining point. I add only on the top point but feel free to add both top and bottom point if you want. Sew from the back up close to the stone. Pick up 4mm pearl and sew back to the backing. Sew twice for good tension.
This is optional too. I pick up three 11/0 seed bead and sew them at the top bewteen two curves. I'll hang my ear hooks here. You can use soutaches to make a loop or other beads as you wish.
Again, you can add the dangle as you wish. For me, I add 4mm pearl, 11/0 seed bead, teardrop pearl and three 11/0 seed beads.
Skip the last three beads. Sew back through the teardrop pearl, 11/0 seed bead and 4mm pearl. Sew to the soutaches. You can sew to all the beads again for extra security. End the thread at the backing or you can make knot.
Glue your piece to the ultrasuade. Leave it to dry.
Trim away the ultrasuade. You can just leave it or sew the edge, make a fringe, add more beads. I did whip stitch at the edge. But it is not very neat as you can see. If you want to do whip stitch, I suggest you to use the matching color for outside soutache, ultrasuade and the thread.
Add ear hooks and it is finished!!
I hope it is not too confusing. When it comes to bead embroidery, I'm quite new and also a beginner too. If you want to learn more about soutache embroidery, please check out Bead & Button June 2012. There's a column from Amee McNamra and Jane Cruz. Also, there is a book on soutache embroidery available at Stitch n' Craft UK. This book is translated from Russian. (I don't have that book yet but I'm sure it's intersting!). Also there are many lovely tutorials and kits from Jodi Horgan. I learn soutache embroidery from Jodi's Lady Mary pendant, very detail and easy to follow tutorial. Highly recommended!
A knowledge on basic bead embroidery will also help you a lot. Dimensional Bead Embroidery by Jamie Cloud Eakin is a good reference book on bead embroidery. Hight recommended! Also, The Art of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli and Sherry Serafini is also recommended.
Thank you for following my tutorials. Hope you enjoy this one. Happy beading!