Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Three leather bracelets

Today I've got three new bracelets to show. I got three different flat leather cords from Endless Leather and challenged myself with trying something new with them. The first piece was also a colour challenge as I opted for colours matching Pantone's Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid.

Let's start with the Radiant Orchid bracelet. For this one I used a soft, stitched nappa cord in the colour Candy and czech 11/0 seeds in the colour Opaque Berry Pearl Matte. The idea was to use one of my favourite stitches, whipping, to attach beads to the leather cord, utilizing the existing seams on each side of the flat cord. By using the seam, you don't need to make any holes in the cord so it's great for those who don't have hole punches, awls or similar tools for making holes in leather.

Below, you can see the cord partially beaded, showing the double seams it had from the beginning. You can also see a pic of the unbeaded cord at Endless Leather's website if you need a better idea of what it looked like before beading it (never thought of doing "before" photos).

I did try a few variations, as you can see above, but settled for a simple whipped stitch for this first bracelet. And while it's simple, I am quite pleased with it as my idea panned out really well. While waiting for the cord to arrive, I worried that the seam might be too tight or the nappa too hard, making it impossible to push the needle and thread under the stitches -- but this cord turned out to be perfect for this technique! If I hadn't run out of cord, I would probably have many many more bracelets just because they're so fun and easy to make.

(If you like the technique, stay tuned: I'll be doing a post showing more in detail how the embroidery is made.)

For my second bracelet, using a flat metallic leather cord, I wanted to use another one of my favourite stitches (in both "thread embroidery" and bead embroidery): the stem stitch.

First I tried it with 11/0s in one colour, but it felt too chunky so instead I went with size 15/0 black seeds and 13/0 copper charlottes. The change of sizes is the reason for the long stitches: the holes in the leather were spaced for the bigger seeds. It's also the reason why I don't have double rows of stem stitch, an idea I thought about for a bracelet I wanted to embroider with vaxed linen cord. On the other hand, making two (mirrored) rows, would've obscured the pretty metallic colour of the cord too much. So I'll save that idea for another bracelet.

Be sure to notice that big magnetic heart clasp. Normally I prefer smaller clasps, but this chubby copper heart was hard to resist.

That leads us to the third and last bracelet, which unlike the others doesn't feature seed beads. For a while the idea was just to use seed beads, but I wasn't happy with the ideas I came up with. So as a last minute resort, I picked up an antiqued silver-plate tea rose, put a matching lavender bead in the centre of it and wrapped it onto the bracelet. (You can see some of the cord on the rose here, but after taking the photos I pushed it down between the petals to make it more invisible.)

I might redo this one -- feel like making a feather stitch bracelet and this could be a good base... With or without the rose, come to think of it: the feather stitch could be used to make leaves each side of the tea rose. Or maybe make beaded daisy stitch leaves? Hrmm... I need to think this over for a while...

Anytway, that's it, my latest three bracelets. Hope you liked them!

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