How to do Soutache Bead Embroidery: Part 1 How to Make a Shaping Stitch

SKU VID-0466
Designer: Julie Bean
In part 1 of this 7 installment series on how to do soutache bead embroidery, you will learn how to line up your stacked soutache cords and create shaping stitches to hold them together. You will also learn how to add a bead to your soutache cords. This video series takes you from start to finish on creating a pair of soutache bead embroidered earrings.
Audio Transcript
Note: This audio transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate.
Hi, this is Julie with and today I'm going to teach you how to do Soutache bead embroidery and I'm actually going to teach this to you in a series of videos because there's quite a few different techniques involved here and want to break it into more manageable sections but here we have this earring and I'm going to show you how to make it from start to finish in terms of the tools they're going to need you're main tool is going to be a pair of scissors you're going to use this for all the actual Soutache work and a beading needle. I like as thin of an needle as possible so this is a size twelve you can do it with a larger needle but I do like a narrow needle myself when you start adding your findings like dangles and your earring hook you're going to need a pair of flush cutters a wire looping plier or a round nose. Whatever you choose. I like the wire looping and a chain nose plier so those you're going to need at the end of the project now for your supplies you're going to need some nymo thread I have it here to match my color scheme. It's really important actually that your thread does match Soutache because you might end up seeing little bits of it in your design and I've started by cutting a length of thirty six inches so one yard tying a little knot at the end, trimming the thread close to the knot and placing it on a needle for this particular project you're going to need three colors of Soutache I suggest that you carefully select your colors because that really is going to have quite an impact on your design and the more vibrant and cohesive of a color scheme I think the better the design ends up looking with all the swirls involved I've got three different colors and if you're not familiar with Soutache I'm going to show you something let's see if it shows up with this color it does fray at the ends so you have to be aware of that you've got this channel down the middle. You've got this core and that's going to be what your stitching into. You're not going into for most part you're not going to be stitching on the top part stitching in this core and the Soutache is gonna be on end it's not going to be flat like this it's going to be up like this this is something to keep in mind there's a lot of colors of Soutache, even metallics which is fun to work into the design and what you're going to be forming the Soutache around are these great round beads I picked six millimeter round beads and four millimeter beads you do not have to keep with those sizes. For this project that's what I choose you can use whatever size you'd like do the edging we have some 11/0 seed beads. These are Tohos and then the backing is Ultra Suede again I picked a color that coordinated we've some little accent seeds beads and those are 8/0 Toho and for the findings we have an earring hook you have some jump rings. These are closed jump rings. You want to use closed jump rings. You're going to be actually stitching the jump ring into the Soutache which is what we're gonna do and I've got a couple head pins so to begin go ahead cut your thread, put it onto your needle and tie that knot now we need to cut six inches of each color of our Soutache we're going to be using all three colors together six inches make a cut you can get a lot different projects out these three cards of Soutache six inches cut and the final one we are ready to go the way I've lined these up is I chose to do lightest color in the middle surrounded by the two darker ones soon again we're not going to lay these flat, lay them on their side and see you see that middle lighter color between the two darker ones making sure that their ends line up go ahead it's a little tricky making this stand upright and it helps if I actually sandwich and bunch them like this. Pinch a little bit on the top not that they flatten out just to make sure that they're all even bring my ruler back, I wanna know where the three-inch point is not quite there yet that looks to be three inches right there make our first stitch take your needle this is the interior color go through the interior color right along that channel right where the threads come together to form a V go all the way through all three the Soutache ribbons and come out in the middle of the channel on the outer one I find that the first couple stitches are actually the most difficult in this entire process just because these are all wobbly not being held together very well at this point go through our entire stack of cords and work our way to our left now we're gonna make her first shaping stitch go about a quarter of an inch over to the left in the middle of that cord, just place my needle all the way through my stack go all the way down go over about one-sixteenth of an inch like so going through the middle push your needle through before you pull it through make sure you have it where you want it sometimes you have to pull your needle back out and repush it through just to make sure it's right up and through again now move down make sure that these are lined up another quarter of an inch and I'm estimating here all the way through so the shaping stitch on the interior is one sixteenth and on the exterior is a quarter of and inch I'm going to add the first bead. Without beads Soutache doesn't have anything to form around take one of my six millimeter beads slide it down to the bottom so now we're gonna wanna make it so that the Soutache folds around the bead do that take your needle and placing it about where our knot is which was the center of the Soutache ribbons go all the way through coax the ribbon fold around I have a gap. I'm not too happy about that this is something you're going to have to do until you get the hang of it or even when you get a hang of it take out that stitch note where I had it, I had it just a little to the left of my knot and I don't want that gap in there. I rather fix that now then to have to deal with that later easy as just taking the needle off thread rethreading it and now I'm going to go ahead place this a little bit further away from my knot again on the left hand side towards the bead go all the way through. Let's see if that looks better do not be afraid to take out your stitches if your unhappy with how something looks especially when you're first learning I'm much happier with that now I feel I can go onto the next step which is going to be to create three more shaping stitches to the right hand side of where my bead is or the right hand side of what was the center of my soutache to begin with go over a quarter of an inch in the middle of the ribbon again all the way through all three and pull I'm not pulling terribly tight. I'm not trying to make the ribbon kink up or distort in anyway. I'm just keeping the stack together Pinch it a little on top just to make sure that all my cords are nice and even you call these braids, you can call these cords or ribbons I've heard them being referred as a bunch of different ways the most common term I hear is braid you need to do one more. I did one down. One up do one more down approximately a quarter of an inch where my thread exits and now those are sticking together nice and even so now I need to secure the end around the bead I'm going to do the same thing I did before where I'm going to want to curve it like so to do that by taking the needle going up through my bead through all my braids and pulling the needle through pinch it to see how that looks there's a little bit of a gap right here at this stage I'm okay with that because I'm going to go ahead and pinch my soutache together in the next step which is going to get rid of that gap our needle is out here at the top that's not where I want it. I want it to be exiting at the bottom again so I'm just going to make a stitch right through my braids right through my bead come out the other side it's not terribly secure at this point and that's what we're going to do in the next video and I think that is a good place to stop for this first video, we've gone ahead and we've learned how to do a shaping stitch and how to insert a bead and in the next video I'm going to show you how to do a two-sided join be able to bring this closer together. Make that nice and snug as you can see here and then we'll work on adding the other swirls as well. Go to to purchase beading supplies and to get design ideas!

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