Thursday, March 21, 2013

Flower Necklace Finished

I stumbled across a beading book in the library not long ago called Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects.  My nine year old daughter has gotten into jewelry making and I sometimes look at these books to see if she would be interested.  So far, she has not been interested in any of the books that I have shown her.  She goes her own way, which is probably best anyway.  However, I fell in love with many of the projects in the book.  I thought I would never get into beading, and probably still really will never do more than a couple of projects, but I fell in love with one of the necklaces and decided I had to have it.  It is called the Sea Urchin necklace, although I find the results look more like flowers than sea urchins.  It uses Czech dagger beads, which are not easy to come by, as I soon found out.  I went to the local bead store and they said they rarely carried them.  I then turned to the internet and finally found them at York Novelty Imports in New York City.  They mainly import Czech glass beads, and what lovely beads they are.

Anyway, I made the flowers and tried to make the necklace as outlined in the book, but found the weight of the flowers too heavy for the cord that was suggested.  The cord suggested was black braid,which I didn't like with the beautiful green beads.  Instead, I went to the fabric store and bought some velvet ribbon and thick cording.  I covered the cord in the ribbon, and mounted the flowers onto the ribbon.

To fasten the necklace, I made a loop and used a button that I had in my stash.

I bought some blue dagger beads also.  I am trying to decide whether or not to make a blue version of this necklace or try something different.  But, I am pleased with this result of my first foray into beading.  It is not something I will do much of, but it is nice to be able to make something so unique for yourself, and out of beads that come from my husband's father's country.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Trenchcoat: Finished except for lining!

I finally finished the main part of my trench coat yesterday.  It has been a bit of a long slog, and a couple of times I almost gave up.  But, I persevered and I am pleased with the result.  I have a few little details to finish, but I will show those in a minute.  Just so you can see, here is what I started with, the original trench coat, a large shapeless coat with raglan sleeves.

Here is the front of the almost finished coat.  It is a 3/4 length coat now, with a more fitted bodice, but with enough ease for me to wear a sweater underneath.

I did not have enough fabric from the old coat for the complete redo, so I used some fabric from a pair of my father's old wool pants.  I took all the good wool pants and jackets from my parents' house when we cleaned out after they passed away.  I have it all stashed back.  I put piping in the princess seams front and back as a border between the different fabrics, and I also put fancy braid behind the collars and pockets. 

I had three buttons which were handmade that I used.  I have had these in my stash for years and I am glad I found the place for them.  

I embroidered the lapels on the jacket using Mokuba embroidery ribbon.  Unfortunately, I ran out of ribbon, so I am trying to find more so I can finish the coat.  I have the back collar to finish and the cuffs.  There is very little fabric left from the original coat.  I am really pleased with the result.

Today I hope to finish the jacket lining.