Friday, June 3, 2011

Vintage Beaded Applique Patterns, 4th of July Fascinators

Recently I mentioned that I received a small length of black beaded trim from my mother. I turned some of it into earrings, and I'm using the rest in my leather bracelet project. Now that I'm all out of it I wish I had more of it.

Black is one of those classic neutrals that can be used in a variety of designs, and black beaded elements lend hand made objects texture and a shabby chic appeal.

Since the trim is gone, I decided to re-create the trim myself. This lead me to research and create a few more patterns based on images of other vintage beaded trim.

Antique designs were beaded using tulle as the backing. Decent replacements today include thin suede, micro-suede, felt or interfacing depending on what you want to use your beaded elements for. I'm going to bead my ovals on black felt to match the black beads, since I want to copy the original trim pieces I was using as closely as possible.

I created the patterns by photographing the original pieces. I put the JPEGs in Photoshop, where I created a blank layer above the image. Then I drew over each bead with a square or rectangle, representing the original seed beads or bugle beads used. Working in this manner is not terribly accurate as some beads tend to blend into others with in the JPG image. Where I encountered this obstacle I used the overall scale of the beads as my guide in determining placement. Where bead count may not be accurate, the manner in which the elements are made (by beading upon felt or some other substrate) is rather forgiving and does not require an exact count.

UPDATE: My Photoshop guru told me I might have had better luck if I had increased the contrast on the image, or played with Photoshop's Levels function. Both of these options change the light/dark values of the image, which may make individual beads easier to see. My guru also recommends scanning the beads at a high resolution (around 300 dpi) which will make the overall image larger so it will be easier to see each bead.

Now on to preparations for celebrating the 4th of July!

When my sister Sharon, comes to visit in July we are getting together to have a Fascinator Party. This was inspired by all the fabulous and outrageous hair pieces, brooches, and hats worn for the celebration of Kate Middleton and Prince William's Wedding.

My mother has already begun practicing and creating her own pieces. Here is a sneak peek at one she already made. I love what she has done so far!

I can't wait till Sharon gets home for out party! It will be so much fun! I'll be sure to take lots of photos of the party for my blog!

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