Weave-Along 3: Finishing The Beaded Purse

Frantically weaving to get this done.  Just wove the last three black rows but want to chat a bit before I begin the final finishing and photos.  How exciting.  I will actually be able to give this as a gift.  I am jealous of whoever will receive it!  Okay, I do have one of my own.  So I am not completely jealous.  But you know how you like to have two of something you love and I love this case!

I found the final Greek keys a little tricky to weave.  It’s so easy to pick up too many of one bead and mess up the pattern.  I have a great tool that I use when I discover I’ve strung up one too many of a color and it’s in the middle of the strung beads and I don’t want to unstring and restring them.  Yup, it’s called my two front teeth.  Why I can’t just have a pair of pliers near by to do the same thing.  Why do I always revert to my teeth?  And every time I do that I risk breaking the thread.  Haven’t broken the thread on this piece yet so I continue with this silly risky behavior.  How many beads did I have to break?  Today, three.  That’s quite a lot.  But once I got through the final finicky small Greek keys I was pretty much good to go.  Hey, I didn’t mess up the final three black rows at all!!!

Now to finish it.

The last row and cutting off loom

Before you remove piece from the loom SEW THROUGH THE LAST ROW OF BEADS.  If you don’t, the piece will start to fall apart because the beads are held in by the crossing of the warp threads.

Loosen the tension on the loom.  Cut off leaving as much warp thread as possible (you need at least four inches to make an overhand knot . . . but more is always a better).  Don’t let the piece crash on the table.  A bead could break.

Next, tie off the ends.  This is how to go about that.  Put some kind of weight on your piece.  I use my heavy brass beater, but anything from a stack of books to a brick (and yes I have one of those in my studio too!) will do.

Take a pair of warp ends and tie the beginning of a square knot (the knot you use to tie your shoes).  This is illustrated by the figure 1 in the above diagram.  Just do that first one.  Do not do figure 2 and 3.

This will get the beginning of the knot firmly against the edge of the tapestry.  Do not pull so hard that you distort the piece.  Just keep the edge line of the tapestry straight.

Now find yourself a thick needle or a thin knitting needle . . . anything that’s pretty thin and sturdy. You will use this to help place the overhand knot close to the square knot.  Let me first show you an image of an overhand knot:

You are simply treating the pairs like one thread and tying it around itself.  Okay, so what’s up with the needle?  Well, when you tie this knot it’s not particular about where it lands and chances are it will not land very close to the edge of your tapestry.  So, if you stick a needle in that hole before you knot is secure and push it toward the edge of the tapestry you will be able to control exactly where that knot will land.  Once it’s flush with the edge of the tapestry, remove the needle and tighten the knot.  You can use this trick for so many things.

Tie off end warp pairs first

Then tie all the rest.

Trim your warp ends but not that short.  I left about an inch and a half.  

Make a hem at each end of weaving.  You will fold over two rows.  Either glue or use an invisible hem stitch to keep the hems in place. 

Line the inside of the purse with the silk, with the wrong side of the silk face down and the right side facing you.  You will have to fold over all the edges of the silk.  It is helpful to pin the silk to the bead weaving.  Stitch around the edges of the silk/bead weaving with small, invisible stitches.  The only place these stitches will show is on the flap of the purse.

Neatly pin down the silk lining.

There is a reason I don’t sew for a living!

All sewn up and ready to become a case.

Fold the purse so that the body of it is 3 and a 1/2 inches long.  Starting at the bottom of one end, sew through one of the two bottom rows of beads to start a thread.  Have the thread emerge from the last bead in one of the rows.  String three beads (in the instructions we said to string five beads after the initial three. . . you can either continue to string three or string five depending on how deep you want your case to be) and enter the corresponding row’s last bead.  Sew through the bead in the row above, again coming out of the row’s last bead.  String three beads this time.  Sew through corresponding rows last bead.  Continue to travel up the piece with this stitch.  Repeat on other side of the purse. This gives a lovely edge to your purse as well as a bit of depth.

Folded up and ready to stitch together.

The two black rows should be the bottom edge of the piece.

Starting to stitch with beads the bottom edge.

Keep doing this!

This is as far as I got.  I am supposed to go to Boston in three minutes and I have not packed yet.  Yes, I left this until the last minute.  I did not think it would take all day, but it has!  I am going to take this with me and finish it tonight.  It’s Saturday, by the way, and Elena will post this for me Sunday morning.  When I come back Sunday afternoon I will have my purse finished and will provide some more photographs.  Otherwise, I will not get out of here for another hour or so.

I am leaving that last bit because we ended up not publishing this yesterday.  I did go on my visit and then, to my surprise, ended up driving to Albany, NY the next day to meet my son at the bus station.  At least I didn’t have to drive all the way to Ithaca, which is seven and a half hours from here. 

But while I was in Boston I did finish my purse and because I was relaxed and enjoying the company I had a blast doing it.  While trying to rush out the door and get it done, I wasn’t having so much fun.

So these are my final pictures:

I used the gold iris beads to do the sides of the flap.

Picture of side of purse where I’ve used beads to sew it up.

That’s it folks.  I am done!  And it was fun.  Please post your pictures!



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