Bead Embroidery Bracelet — “Harlequin’s Romance”

"Harlequin's Romance" - Bead Embroidery Bracelet/Cuff

Here’s my first “over the top” bead embroidery bracelet/cuff.  While I don’t normally make jewelry that I can’t wear (i.e. really fancy items), after my class with Sherry Serafini I just had to try.

(BTW, if you ever get a chance to take a class with Sherry, do it — she’s a great teacher and very, very nice.)

Bracelet Ingredients

So what went into this bracelet/cuff?  It started out with five rivolis, in a color called “Summer Blush” (which is an aftermarket color).  I got them already in a sew-on setting, so I didn’t have to go through any gyrations to get them on the bracelet.

I knew I needed some seed beads from sizes 6 through 15, but what colors?  I must admit I am color-challenged when it comes to hues I don’t often use (like the orange/peach of the rivolis).  Out came the color wheel and I soon had a pallet to work with.

As I worked, other ideas for embellishment popped in my mind.  Swarovski pearls and bicones were kind of a given, but then I thought about sequins — now that is something that I never use, so I went digging and found some.

I used the new embroidery backing I had found, plus a heavier Ultrasuede than I normally use.  And I almost made a huge goof when it came to the Ultrasuede.  I cut out my piece and was getting ready to glue it on to the embroidery foundation when I decided to flip it over and see if I liked the other side better (to face out).  Good thing I did, because it was stamped with a lot number!

"Harlequin's Romance" -- Another View

Lessons Learned With “Harlequin’s Romance”

I learned a lot when making this bracelet/cuff (I’m not sure where the division lies, but this is almost 1.75 inches wide).  Some of the lessons include:

Be careful about when you decide to cut the ends!  I cut mine too soon, and so the cuff (I’ve decided it’s a cuff now) ended up a wee bit short.  Easy fix, seeing as I had a tube clasp readily available, but I was really hoping for a hook and eye.

When you run out of a certain color of beads, don’t panic!  Pick another color and carry on.

When using heavier Ultrasuede, make sure to cut it close to the foundation.  I tend to cut my Ultrasuede a little larger than the embroidery foundation, and with a lighter-weight Ultrasuede, this works well — it pulls down over the foundation and makes it look nice.  With the heavier Ultrasuede, that didn’t work as well, so I had to come up with an alternate plan once I had my edging in place.

The best laid plans go astray when doing freeform bead embroidery.  I had to make decisions along the way when my piece was moving in a design direction I hadn’t planned.  I just decided to go with it, rather than sweating it.  (And with freeform, who’s to know anyway?)

Will There be a Tutorial?

I don’t think I will do a tutorial on “Harlequin’s Romance”, but working it gave me some great ideas for a different bracelet/cuff.  I have a plan in the works for a piece of jewelry that can be tailored or full of bling, depending on a few key components.  This one will be narrower (maybe 1 inch wide), but with an option for wider (or even narrower).

So that’s the story of this project!  But stay tuned, as there is more to come.  :)

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