A New Class

Looking for the perfect gift?

wrap bracelet on hand

For only $15 take our online Craftartedu class, the Crystal and Bead Wrap Bracelet with Claudia Anne Chase.

“In this beginner level CraftArtEdu class, learn how to weave beads on a loom to create a colorful wrap around bracelet. Follow Claudia Anne Chase’s detailed instruction on how to warp the loom, weave the bracelet and finish the bracelet. You will want to make dozens once you learn how.”

This class goes over all the details on how to weave this beautiful bracelet. Once you learn how, you can make tons of different unique bracelets. It’s a quick and easy project, and is a great introduction on how to weave beads on a Mirrix Loom. You’ll learn how to warp, weave with different sized beads and crystals and finish this great piece.

four bracelets



You can purchase the kit here. You can make at least two bracelets from this kit.

crystal bead and wrap bracelet



Bead Loom, Kit & Class Package

What’s the perfect gift to give any craft-addict? A Mirrix Loom, Kit and Class package gives any  bead lover everything they need to get started weaving including a class that will lead students through everything they need to weave a beautiful beaded bracelet with the kit provided.

loom, class, kit package

The package comes with a 5″ Mini Mirrix Loom, a stunning Desert Beaded Braclet Kit and and the online class.

The class will be offered in January (6th to the 27th), February (3rd to the 24th) and March (3rd to the 24th) of 2013 and will function much-like one of our famous weave-alongs, but private. We will also archive these classes in case someone can’t participate at these times. Once a class date range is chosen, paricipants will get an email once a week for four weeks walking them step-by-step through the set-up, warping and weaving processes. Instructors will be available to answer questions via email throughout the class.

This kit includes:
-One 5″ Mini Mirrix Loom 
-One Desert Braclet Kit
-One private online class with Mirrix’s Claudia Chase and Elena Zuyok (a sign-up link will be sent with your package)

You can learn more and purchase the package here.

Weave along #8- Part Seven Finishing Techniques

And, so, the Soumak Pouch Weave Along draws to a close with a very long video on finishing techniques.

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Here are the chapters in the final installment:
1- Steam, Press and block the finished weaving
2- Overcast the straight edge of the inside front of the pouch
3- Making the point for the tip of the pouch
4- How to do the chain stitch embroidery
5- Cut out a lining
6- How to stitch the lining to the pouch invisibly
7- Stitch the side seams
8- Sew on the snaps
9- Stitching the edging cords to the pouch – in the video, I show how to add things like large beads at the ends and center of the cord, as well as the swivel clip hook. I also show how to stitch size 8 seed beads to the edging to embellish it.  You don’t have to add these extra flourishes, but I thought that it made sense to show you how to do it so you ~could~ do it, if you want to.
It’s the embellishments that make the pouch the truly individual statement of your creativity!
And, here’s the video:

Happy Weaving!
I hope that you have had fun weaving your Soumak pouch!
And, cheerio, this is my last post on ‘A Word From Elena’
:o) Noreen

Soumak Pouch Weave Along #8 Part Two: Design Notes

I am sure that everyone who is participating in the Soumak Pouch Weave Along wants to create a finished piece that is completely unique.
So, that’s why I am sharing a few design notes.

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In Part One of the Weave Along LINK   I posted my design for the Soumak Pouch.
How did I come up with this design, and how can you make it be a reflection of your personality?
I started the design process by thinking of the rug that was in my grandmother’s dining room when I was a little girl:

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I spent many a happy hour on that carpet, when I was a child, playing with my cousins.
The flowers became a deeply ingrained part of my ‘pattern language’.
So, when I was designing the pouch, it was natural to look at the flowers in the carpet and see if there was a starting point there.
Indeed there was, and I sketched and played with variations on carpet flowers:

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I  traced out lots of copies of the prototype pattern.
I find that tracing the pattern by hand is better for me than scanning and printing the pattern.
When my hand and eyes are quietly engaged in tracing the design, then connections are made that are really helpful in making creative leaps.
I choose aquarelles (watercolor pencils) that matched my weft colors.
Then, I colored lots and lots of variations on the theme, playing with combinations of colors and trying to push myself to use the weft colors in ways that I might not have considered.
I also would make little sidebar colorways when I was uncertain about a specific motif in the pattern.
And, then, when I was happy, I started weaving.
As I wove the prototype pouches, I discovered a few things:  OOPS! The weaving contracts when it’s released from the loom, so it NEEDS a header and footer beyond the pattern!
Also, I felt that making the pattern more geometrical would make it more weaver-friendly, so I re-designed the pattern to make it conform more closely to the warp strands:

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I felt constrained to stick to using only the colors of yarn that were in the various kits and packages supplied by the yarn companies.
I didn’t mix and match, BUT… you can feel totally free to use yarn from your stash to personalize your pouch.
The only exception to the ‘no stash’ rule that I was following was that, for the black and white checkered pouch, I did pull white wool from my stash (well, my daughter in law’s stash to be perfectly honest… bless her for her donation to the cause ❤ and 😀 )

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In this photo, you’ll see that I traced the pattern onto graph paper (4 squares to the inch or 2.5 cm).
(The photo of the pouch at the beginning of this post was woven with the Mirrix Soumak Pouch Kit yarns and this colorway.)
Graph paper is the top of the list of my favorite design tools…. it’s a weaver’s very good friend indeed!
Playing with graph paper allows you to try out all manner of interesting things.
So, in a nutshell, what are the key points of designing a unique project?
1-  Look for a starting point in something that you love or are inspired by.
2-  Be willing to make mistakes and to start over
3-  Trace, don’t print the extra copies of the design.
4-  Use colors in ways that you might not usually consider when you are experimenting with your coloring pages.
BUT… if you have signature colors, then, of course, feel free to use them.
5-  Make multiple color combination sidebars if you are uncertain about a part of the design.
6-  Use graph paper to work out colorways and patterns.
7- The ways that you choose to embellish your pouch will make your pouch TOTALLY unique, as the finishing and embellishment techniques are incredibly expressive 🙂

Here’s the Design Notes Video:

 Happy weaving! :o) Noreen

Two more pouches for the Soumak Pouch Weave Along

I’ve been shooting videos for the weave along  that begins on September 2nd.
As I was shooting, I was weaving along on a couple of pouches.

Here they are:

A Stripey one, with some beads and other embellishments:

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and the back:

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I wove it with Lion Brand Bonbon yarn- cotton for the body of the pouch and metallic for the embellishment.

The size 8 beads along the sides are from Mirrix and the bone beads at the lower edge were in my stash.

The medallion on the back of the pouch is one that I snitched from a box of stuff that my daughter in law was going to give away. 
(She gave it away, but to ~me~ instead of giving it to ‘anonymous’ –  I can be shameless when it comes to pretty goodies! )

My daughter in law grinned at me when she saw the finished pouch, and said:
 ‘This one is yours, isn’t it, Mum?’
‘Yes! but how did you guess?’
She just laughed.
  I guess it’s because I adore these colors and use them all the time!

I was concerned about this pouch:

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Why?  Well, because both my daughter and my daughter in law declared that they loved it and would love to have SantaMamma leave it in their Christmas stocking.

I didn’t want to make two pouches that were exactly alike, so I had to have a big old think about it.

And, I came up with the perfect answer!!!!!

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TADAH!!!!   I wove it up in the same colorway, but using the drop dead luscious wool yarn from the Mirrix kit   [LINK to purchase]
(and, please note,: I don’t profit by raving about the delicious and gorgeous yarns I am using for these pouches, but I am just tickled pink with them, and VERY happy to say: WHEEEEEEEEEEE about them and to say: Yup… thumbs up, order and love ’em, too)   :o)

Here’s the back of the woolie pouch:

www.kreinik.com supplied me with the gorgeous embroidery thread and edging cord for this pouch.
Here are the links for them:
The edging is 3/8 ” trim:  # 170 Natural Pewter    

The embroidery thread is: Ombre: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=622&cat=0&page=1  1000 – Solid Silver
I love the combination of the soft loftiness of the wool with the sparkle of the metallic embroidery floss. The embroidery thread is soft and lovely to work with. Some metallics can be barky and sharky. This is soft and nooshy.


Happy dance!
and   ~whew~

My daughter in law (who happens to be an incredibly gifted and talented handspinner, so she is naturally inclined to be more drawn to wool),  likes the woolie pouch –

HURRAH! SantaMamma is so relieved! 

My girls will have their lovely pouches in their Christmas stockings, and they are ‘sister pouches’…. similar, but each unique!  
Alright… time for me to get back to editing video…..  :o)

Oooh Claudia made gorgeous kits for the Soumak Pouches

Oooh, Claudia has made gorgeous kits for the Soumak Pouches!

Oh my word!
Claudia has outdone herself in making the kits for the Soumak pouches for the Weave Along in September:

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Aren’t the  colors and textures gorgeous?
I just went and picked up the text from this page: LINK

If you’re a weave-along 8 participant get $10.oo off this kit with discount code:   weavealong8
This package goes with our Weave-Along 8 hosted by Noreen Crone-Findlay.

Learn more about the weave-along and sign-up here today.

Kit Includes:
-30 yards of 10 each of ten colors of  wool/mohair yarn
-12 x 6 piece of silk for lining
-A semi precious stone for a clasp
-100 gram tube of Navajo Wool Warp
*Please note, this kit does not come with fiber for the edging or a kumihimo kit to make one.
The kit can be purchased separately.
You will have 4 options for making the edging cord for the pouches: 
1- A beaded peyote stitch tubular cord.  If you want to make your cord with beads, be sure to add beads to your shopping list.  Either #8 or #11 work fine, depending on what your favorite size is. I used the #11.
You can order them from Claudia when you order the kumihimo kit and the pouch kit. 
By the way, you will be able to weave more than one pouch from the kit.
2- A kumihimo cord. You can order it from the link above.
3– A spool knitted cord.  LINK for the ordering information.
4- A twisted cord. I’ll be showing you how to make a twisted cord with a spool and a crochet hook.
I am rubbing my hands together in delight, as I am having a wonderful time working on a ton of videos to make the Weave Along really fun and super user friendly.
There is a mountain of information, so I am breaking it all down into bites that make sense and are easy to refer to when questions come up.
Happy Weaving!

Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Pouch- 2- Looms, tools, equipment

Mirrix Loom Weave Along # 8 -Soumak Pouch- 2- Looms, tools, equipment

This is the second ‘Prelude Post’ for the Mirrix Loom Weave Along for the Soumak Pouch.
The pouches are perfect for both business cards:

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or for cellphones:
My cellphone is one of the smaller, lower tech ones  [4inches tall, 2 inches wide, 5/8 inch thick] if yours is larger, then you will want to upsize your pouch, if your pouch is going to be a cellphone pouch.

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Alright… now onto the gathering up of tools and equipment:
First of all, you need a loom:

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Most of the photos and videos for the weave along will feature my 8 inch Lani Mirrix loom. (Although I have ordered a Mini and a Little Guy, so hopefully, they will arrive soon, so I can use them in the photos and videos, too.)
The pouch can also be woven on any of the larger Mirrix looms as well- if you are using one of the smaller Mirrix looms, then warp up one pouch at a time. If you are using one of the larger looms, then you can warp and weave 2 pouches at the same time.
Even if you don’t have a Mirrix loom, please feel welcome to join in the Weave Along.
As long as you have a loom that you can get good tight tension on it, then you will be able to weave the pouches.

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You will also need: A steam iron, a pressing cloth, a good source of light, pencil crayons or watercolors or some other way of coloring your preliminary pattern colorways, 2 clothespins, scissors, needle and thread for finishing, snap fastener and a swivel clip, you’ll also need paper for tracing out your patterns and trying out different color schemes.

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Knitting needles and crochet hooks are very helpful, and  a loop turning tool is  handy (I bought mine at my local fabric store),  a piece of cardboard that is 10 inches tall by 3 inches wide (25 cm tall by 7.5 cm wide),  a weaving stick, small paper clamps, a fork or beater, a hole punch, at least a yard of firm yarn or cord, clear tape (packing tape works well); a black fine tip permanent marker

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You’ll need rods for the top and lower edge of the weaving: 6 inch (15 cm) tent pegs or 6 inch (15 cm) lengths of steel or brass rods 1/8 inch in diameter (I bought a 36 inch long one at the hardware store and cut it to 6 inch lengths with a hacksaw);  velcro straps (I bought mine from Lee Valley:  Link‘S’ HOOKS: 25  “S” hooks, either 7/8 inch or 1 inch- opened or closed :[ I had a huge ‘AHA’ when I bought closed ‘S’ hooks…. having one end closed is just GREAT… so if you buy closed ‘S’ hooks, open one end with pliers.  If you buy open ‘S’ hooks, squeeze one of the ends closed. Having the closed end keeps the ‘S’ hooks on the rod.  🙂 ] ; 1/4 inch Washers: 54 in total; 1 or 2 pairs of pliers for adjusting the ‘S’ hooks; ruler and tape measure.

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Some of these things have shown up in other photos, so I won’t list them again, but the other things are:  A small bowl for holding pins, needles, clamps etc;  a bag or box to store and transport the project (that’s Tottie Tomato’s knitting bag); chopsticks are very handy for several things  besides your Pad Thai 🙂

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You will need at least 5 or 6 blunt tapestry or craft or darning needles. It’s handy to have a needlebook or tin, or cardboard tube or eyeglass case to store them in.

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To line the pouch: Fabric (I upcycled one of my son’s abandoned t shirts for the lining of the first 4 bags), scissors, pins, needle and thread, snap fastener: I used the 15 mm size.

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To make the edging cord: A kumihimo kit (the cd is a stand in as I haven’t received mine yet) available from Mirrix: LINK
OR a spool knitter: Lion Brand: LINK
or Harrisville:  LINK

CHECKLIST at a glance:

– Loom

– steam iron
– pressing cloth
-a good source of light
– pencil crayons or watercolors or some other way of coloring your preliminary pattern colorways
– paper for tracing out your patterns and trying out different color schemes
– 2 clothespins
-needle and thread for finishing
-snap fastener 15 mm size

-swivel snap hook (optional)
-knitting needles & crochet hooks
-Optional:  a loop turning tool is  handy
-a piece of cardboard that is 10 inches tall by 3 inches wide (25 cm tall by 7.5 cm wide)
–  a weaving stick
– small paper clamps
-a fork or beater
-a hole punch
-at least a yard of firm yarn or cord
-clear tape (packing tape works well)
-a black fine tip permanent marker
Rods for the top and lower edge of the weaving: 6 inch (15 cm) tent pegs or 6 inch (15 cm) lengths of steel or brass rods 1/8 inch in diameter
-velcro straps   Link
‘S’ HOOKS: 25  “S” hooks, either 7/8 inch or 1 inch- opened or closed 
–  1/4 inch Washers: 54 in total
-1 or 2 pairs of pliers for adjusting the ‘S’ hooks
-ruler and tape measure
– small bowl for holding pins, needles, clamps etc
– a bag or box to store and transport the project
chopstick (optional)

– At least 5 or 6 blunt tapestry or craft or darning needles and a needlebook or tin, or cardboard tube or eyeglass case to store them in.
-Lining fabric
– Straight pins

-kumihimo kit  OR a spool knitter
-any other embellishments, beads, buttons, charms or found objects that you wish to use.
Happy Weaving!
🙂 Noreen

Mirrix Loom Weave Along #8- Soumak Pouch-1-Warp and Weft

Mirrix Loom Weave Along  # 8 –

Soumak Pouch- 1- Warp and Weft

In September, I will be leading a Weave Along, using Mirrix Looms.
I will be posting the  pattern, video tutorials, instructions and step by step photos for the Weave Along here on Tottie Talks Crafts.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The project is a Business Card Pouch, which also works well as a cellphone pouch, woven in Soumak, embellished with corded edges and chain stitch embroidery.
I have designed it to be welcoming to entry level weavers, but also, with options that will appeal (I hope) to more advanced weavers, too.
Because it can take awhile to get orders cleared and shipped, I am posting some suggested warp and weft yarns, as well as the links for ordering them now.
Hopefully, your yarns will arrive before September first.
Here are a few photos of some of the Business Card pouches that I have woven so far:

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This is the first Business card pouch that I wove, using:

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Harrisville Warp LINK
and: Wool weft:  Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack: Brights LINK

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I wove the second  pouch with the Harrisville warp and for weft:

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Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack Jewels LINK

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I quite like both p0uches, but …. OOPS!
They are slightly too small for their intended purpose!  EEGADS! Business cards don’t fit in them!

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So, I went back to the drawing board, and altered the pattern.
By then, gorgeous yarn had arrived from Lion Brand yarns: LINK TO BONBON YARN

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The photo doesn’t convey the scale of the balls of Bonbon…
They are tiny, perfect little balls of loveliness. Each of them is 2 1/2 inches (6cm) tall.
The cotton is simply gorgeous to weave with.  I love it.
I wove these Pouches in Bonbon cottons, with Metallic chain stitch embroidery:

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I used the  ‘Nature’ colorway for the pouch in the photo above, and ‘Beach for the pouch in the photo below:

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The Metallic yarns come in six packs, as does the cotton. I used yarns from both colorways: Party and Celebrate, for these pouches.

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My daughter in law suggested that I add a swivel snap hook to the upper corner of the pouch.
I thought that it was a great suggestion, and so I have added it.
The swivel clip allows you to clip it to your bag, or the belt loop of blue jeans.
If your cellphone is one of the larger ones, you may need to upsize your pouch if you would rather use it as a cellphone pouch instead of a business card pouch.

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I used Lion Cotton for the warp for these two pouches, because I wanted to use yarns that you can order at the same time to make this all easier for you:

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I wasn’t sure if it would work for the projects, but it does just fine.
I don’t think that I would use it for tapestry warp for a really large project, because it has a cheerful slightly bouncy nature.
Warp for tapestry really does need to be made of sterner stuff 😀  None of that youthful springiness!
Speaking of warp- a couple of my Ravelry friends have asked if carpet warp would be okay for the Weave Along, and yes, indeed, it will work fine.

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I am going to weave some of the pouches on carpet warp, and also on the green linen that’s on that ginormous spool.
I am waiting for yarn (both Warp and Weft) from Mirrix. When they arrive, I will edit them into this post.
They haven’t arrived yet, but Elena has posted a photo and a link for the kit:

Gorgeous, yes?  😀
Here’s the link to order them:  MIRRIX KIT LINK
In my next post, I will show you the equipment, materials and tools that you will need to gather up for the Weave Along.
Here’s the link to  a post that has all the blog post links, to keep everything quick and easy to refer to : LINK
You are invited to post comments on the blog posts here on Tottie Talks Crafts…. AND….
Please post your photos and join in the discussion on the Facebook group: LINK
And, you can post your weave along photos and chat with the other WAL participants on Ravelry, too: LINK
There’s a sign up on the Mirrix website so you’ll get notifications of the posts. LINK

– warp
-optional contrast yarn for chain stitch embellishment

You are so welcome to join in!
🙂 Noreen

Mirrix Looms Weave Along #8 Soumak Pouch-ALL the links

Mirrix Loom Weave Along #8  Soumak Pouch- All the links

This blog post is going to be growing, as I will be listing all the links to each of the posts for the Weave Along Soumak Business Card Pouch.

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along # 8 Soumak Pouch-1- Warp and Weft suggestions and links to order them: LINK

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Business Card or Cellphone pouch – 2 – Tools, equipment and materials: LINK

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Information about the Kit from Mirrix, and the tools and materials for edgings: LINK

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Two more pouches and links for Kreinik threads: LINK

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Part One: Setting up the Looms: LINK

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Part Two: Design Notes: LINK

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Part Three: Warping the Looms: LINK

Part Four: Weaving techniques: LINK

Weave-Along 7: Finishing Your Purse

It’s time to finish your lovely silk purse.  After having woven the header (the last few rows of warp material woven in as weft), cut your piece from the loom remembering to leave five inches of fringe to make tying them easier.
It ‘s time to finish your lovely silk purse.  After having woven the header (the last few rows of warp material woven in as weft), cut your piece from the loom remembering to leave five inches of fringe to make tying them easier.  Weight your piece with something so that while you are tying the fringe the piece is stable.  Take two warp ends from the left or right.  Tie the first part of a square knot (the one you use to tie your shoes before making the bow).  Make sure the knot is flush with the edge of your weaving. 
 Next, tie an overhand knot.  Stick a needle into the knot itself and then guide the knot to the base of your weaving.  Do this with the warps on the other side as well as the left and right warps on the other end of your piece.  This will prevent the weft from raveling.  Next, tie all the warps in this manner.
This is the back of the piece. You want to clean it up a bit.  Trim the weft ends so they are a half inch to an inch or so long.
So it looks like this.
Fold the header and footer to the back of the piece and pin down.  Use a whip stitch to sew it down to the back.
Lay your piece on top of the silk lining material.  Trim the material to look like below photo.
Pin lining to back of piece.
Sew lining to back of piece.
Fold piece together and sew and pin.
Sew two sides together.
Then use groups of three beads to sew all around the sides and top of the piece like so.
 Finished piece.
My iphone is very happy although I did promise to give it Elena.