[QA:Q] I made the pattern Follow the leader, and the description says to sew it to a metal cuff. How do I do this?
[QA:A] The Patterns section of our website offers readers two extra projects each month; one for subscribers and one for registered users on our site. Patterns are popular for making bracelets, and most bracelets of any stitch can be finished in the following ways.
For Follow the leader, you would work the loomed pattern and finish the ends. To stitch it to a metal cuff, cut a piece of Ultrasuede to the same size as the beadwork. I usually whip-stitch one long edge and one end of the beadwork to the Ultrasuede, then slip the cuff in the middle of the two. Then I stitch along the other long edge, and finally the remaining end. This can take a bit of practice, so if you like, you can use double-sided tape to hold the beadwork to the top of the metal cuff, then glue the Ultrasuede to the inside of the cuff with E6000 adhesive. Leave a little extra Ultrasuede around the edges and trim around it after the glue dries.
In Follow the leader, designer Ellen Friedenberg embellished the edges of the cuff by working short fringe on every other edge bead. To do this, exit an edge bead, and pick up an accent bead and a seed bead. Skip the seed bead, sew back through the accent bead and the edge bead you started from, and sew through the beadwork to exit the second bead from where you started. Repeat along both edges. This is a great way to finish a strip of beadwork — whether it's loomwork, peyote stitch, herringbone, or square stitch.
Another finishing option: If you are making Pennie Espiritu's Victorian wave bracelet, you need to decrease the peyote at the ends to make a gentle transition to the clasp. First, work the pattern in even-count peyote stitch. When you reach the end of the pattern, work another row as before, but at the ends of the row, make an odd-count turn, exiting the last bead added. Work one stitch less than the previous row, and make an odd-count turn at the end of the row, exiting the last bead added. Continue decreasing until you have one bead left to add. On one end, exit that last bead added, and pick up enough seed beads to accommodate the loop of one half of the clasp. Sew through the end bead again, retrace the thread path, and end the thread. Repeat on the other end of the bracelet.
Tea Benduhn's adorable Giraffe pattern has button-and-loop closures, which work for any width of beadwork. The wider the beadwork, the more buttons and loops you can use. On one end of the band, determine where you want your buttons to be attached, and secure them to the beadwork with several thread paths. On the other end, make loops of seed beads to accommodate the buttons. This is also the technique Julia Gerlach used on her Spring blossoms pattern, as did Stacy Werkheiser for her cuter-than-cute Otter on my wrist pattern. Both bracelets sport peyote loops instead of just a single loop of beads. Of course you can always stitch a slider-bar clasp to the ends of a bracelet by making seed bead loops around the loops of the clasp.
Remember that whichever clasp you choose, it is best to retrace the thread paths as many times as you can to ensure a good join. Bracelets can take quite a beating, and you don't want your hard work to get lost. A good tip is to finish your main beadwork, end the threads, then add a new thread to attach the clasp. This way, if the clasp needs to be repaired or changed for any reason, you can just cut those threads, knowing your whole bracelet won't fall apart.
Does anyone else have a clever way to finish our patterns? Here is a short list of projects from Bead&Button that have interesting endings.
Warp Speed from February 2005
Layered loomwork from April 2003
Rainbow weave Online free project February 1, 2010