Beaded Trim

My Talented Friend, Bridget
My Talented Friend, Bridget
My friend, Bridget, is so clever. She is a one-of-a-kind, a IMG_5547skilled Jill of all trades. She's the one you want during the zombie apocalypse. She's a skilled outdoorswoman, a competent motorcyclist, a mean zydeco dancer (see picture at left), a dog whisperer and an unpretentious cook. She's got a hardy laugh and a heart as deep as the Grand Canyon. She's a humanitarian and works as a nurse to earn her keep. She was my college roommate at the University of Minnesota in the 80s, and she's also one of my dearest friends. Recently I spent a few days with Bridget at her VT abode. We entertained ourselves in the day by mountain biking and hiking, and she taught me how to add beaded embellishments to my jacket at night.
Pocket with Beaded Trim
Pocket with Beaded Trim
When I last saw her, I was impressed with what I thought was the Carhartt brand adding a little feminine twist to their rugged, utilitarian clothing line.
Carhartt Jacket Bead-Dazzled
Carhartt Jacket Bead-Dazzled
            I should have known better. It was Bridget's own hand who added the beaded trim to her jacket. Being the consummate DIY-er, I told her she needed to show me how to spiff up my outdoor gear.
Beading Tools
Beading Tools
Here are the tools you need:
  • a beading needle
  • beading thread
  • different colored beads
  • a scissors
  • a small pliers (optional)
  • good lighting
Steps:
  1. Take a fairly long piece of beading thread, about 18 inches. Tie a knot at the end.
  2. On the reverse side of the fabric, bring your needle through, close to the seam where you're planning to add a row of beads.
  3. Select about 6 beads in your desired pattern and put them on your needle. Then, insert the needle into your fabric, along your seam, through to the back.
  4. Next, from underneath, insert your needle behind the 3rd bead, and pull through the fabric. Then, thread the needle through the remaining 3 beads on top, and insert the thread through to the back to reinforce the beads.
  5. Select 6 more beads, and follow steps 3 & 4 until your reach the end.
  6. When you finish your line of beading, take a new length of beading thread, and knot one end. Put it through from the back and then run the thread through all the beads on the line, to further secure your work. Pass through to the back at the end of the line and knot.**
Step 1
Step 1
Step 2
Step 2
Gently use a wrench to pull the needle through the beads
Gently use a pliers to pull the needle through the beads
Halfway There
Halfway There
The Finished Product
The Finished Product
Because of the thickness of my jacket fabric, I occasionally used a small pliers to help me gently pull the thread through the beads. If you look closely, you can also see where I made mistakes in following my bead pattern, but I'm not too worried. I don't think anyone will really notice. Adding the beaded trim on my jacket took about an hour and a half. I enjoy projects like this one, and one I shared earlier with buttons (See Button, Button, Whose got the Button?), for guilt-free binge-watching your favorite Netflix or Amazon Prime shows. IMG_5557 *I chose my bead colors to complement the design on the back of my Pearl Izumi cycling jacket. **If my directions are not clear, leave a comment and I'll try to clarify any confusion.

One thought on “Beaded Trim

  1. Hurray for beading. Great job putting together the blog instructions Jo. Love the shot of you pulling the needle though with a pliers. “No one said it was gonna be easy!”

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