It is interesting to me how we can go along doing something a particular way for a long long time and then try something new that is a great improvement. So great an improvement that we wonder why we never had the thought before. . . such it is with beads and sew-on purse frames.
I have been teaching quite a bit lately and sometimes I make suggestions for the participants to try things that I have been meaning to try myself but have not yet had the opportunity.
In a recent workshop at Auburn Needleworks in Auburn, California I suggested that the ladies who were finishing bags that required frames use beads to attach the frames (much as is done with the W Bag and 6-8-10) . . . but use beads on both inside and outside. Here’s what I mean: instead of the not so attractive running stitch on the inside of a purse frame . . .
It’s much lovelier to use beads as the anchors for stitching a bag to its frame. In this case, the inside of the same design as above (Ella’s Going Out Bag), but this time with size 8 seed beads used to anchor stitches on the inside instead of a running stitch.
The resulting look is so lovey and dazzling, I think I will adopt this in most cases and suggest as a default methodology. Take a look at how fantastic the inside of “6” is when beads are used as anchors on both inside and outside of the frame:
No need to cover up stitches or stitch pricks with a lining.
If you intend to line your bag, this same method can be used when sewing in the lining. I recommend that the sewing into the frame and sewing in of the lining are done as a single step. In other words, complete the lining before you sew the bag to the frame, baste the lining to bag body for a perfect fit, then sew bag and lining to the frame in one step.
I LOVE this idea! But then I’ve always been partial to beads. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks again for an awesome tip!
I am having a tough time putting my work into the frame. Since the frame only has holes on the outside edge, how do it stitch through it? Any hints on gluing the work into the frame. This looks daunting!!!
Yes, it does look a bit daunting, but once you get to the actual work, it is more than manageable, even straight forward. I am working right now on a video that shows this process as it is happening. In the meantime, I will make a step by step answer to your question here in the Noni Q&A because I am certain you are not the only person with feelings of trepidation.
But before the Noni Q&A blog post is ready, let me quickly say that in order to sew through the sew-holes in the frame, you need to angle the sewing needle to go that front part of the frame. With a slender needle, this is quite easy.
As for gluing, I use the point of a toothpick, double-pointed needle, or tapestry needle to poke the fabric into the frame (glue is in the frame on the non-hole side).
The picture/step by picture/step blog posting will help you see how all these different steps fit together and are not daunting when you take 1 step at a time.