Sunday, May 08, 2011

Beading Tutorial: The Sandwich

Here is one of the easiest beading techniques you can do to decorate your own costumes with only a few hours work and a few bucks. A little sparkle can go a long way. Adding Sandwich trim to the bottom of a skirt is the quickest way to take it from looking homemade to looking professionally made.**

You will need:
  • Thread
  • Beading needles
  • Scissors
  • Sequins
  • Rocaille beads, seed beads, or bugle beads
  • Tray/lid 
  • Thimble (for pushing needle through thick layers of fabric, optional)

To make the Sandwich:

I prefer to use faceted sequins that have a bowl-like shape to them and reflect more light. This is not necessary but their shape gives the Sandwich its name. First, thread and knot your needle. Pull it through your material where you would like to place the Sandwich. Thread one sequin, facet side up like the bun of a sandwich. Fill your bun with 3 beads and top with another sequin facing down. The beads will be between the two sequin "buns" like the meat and cheese of a sandwich.

Slide the Sandwich down against the material. Spread the Sandwich flat and insert the needle under the loose sequin bun.

Bring the needle back up from the back side of the material at your desired spacing. You are ready to make your next Sandwich.

Notice the Sandwich on the left is not spread apart as far as the other two. The further apart you spread your Sandwiches the more chance you have that the tread will show.

That's it! Not you can use this technique for all kinds of costuming purposes. Sandwiches are great for straps, skirt, bra, and belt trims, and covering large areas with lots of sequins. Lay your Sandwiches end to end or stacked on top of each other to make different patterns. Change up the bead types filling your Sandwich to get a different textured appearance. Here are some examples of Sandwiches.

A fuchsia professional made bra covered in Sandwiches (notice these sequins are not faceted but flat disks) and a gold Sandwich trimmed skirt I made.

Skirt trimmed with bugle bead Sandwiches.

Necklace straps filled with Sandwiches

A row of Sandwiches with two gold seed beads on a professional made costume bra.

Have fun and good luck!


**NOTE: The information on thread and supplies was moved to its own post located here.


RetroKali said...

o.k. I am the cray commentor today....question, do you bead after the fabric is sewn on the bra or before? Hey, I'm a beginner, just feeling my way through this.

RetroKali said...

I meant "crazy" commentor...sigh.

Naima said...

@RetroKali you will cover with fabric, bead through all layers, then finish with a lining. Be careful if you machine sew any parts like straps or armbands. You want all machine sewing done before bead work. You can see here where I was construction a bra and covering with fabric before any bead work is done.