April 11, 2010

Wearable Art ~ Little "Cuff" Fiber Art Bracelets

I have been admiring the work on "Bonheur" on etsy for a long time - fabulous, vintage bits of lace and beads and textiles all gathered into little wearable bundles of art - who couldn't resist such a treat??
So I decided to try it out - a SUPER fun, easy project!! With gorgeous results...

This particular bracelet is nice because it is adjustable, with eyelet and ribbon closure, which also adds another feminine detail - the bow! You can make this as "blingy" as you'd like, or opt for a simpler effect with less beads and/or vintage jewelry pieces. Adjust the size and number of focal flowers, adjust the width of the bracelet to make more of a "glove" effect, or change the color scheme to something more playful - a great way to use up little precious scraps into something wearable! : )

All you need is:
  • Satin or Silk, 2 pieces measuring about 2" x 7" (adjust for the width of bracelet you'd like or length for your own wrist)
  • Vintage bits of lace (in this case, I made it super simple and used lace that was already embroidered and beaded!)
  • If your lace isn't beaded and embellished already, you might want to add little beads and some embroidery thread, even silk ribbon embroidery would work beautifully - whatever embellishing you are comfortable with!
  • For the focal flower - Several circles of fabric that get smaller and smaller in size, largest measuring 2" in diameter, suggested fabrics: tulle, organza, silk, or satin
  • Vintage Jewelry Piece, for adorning the center of the focal flower (or even just some pretty beads would work here)
  • Eyelets and eyelet setting tool (I used 3/16" flower eyelets)
  • Thread (I used ultra strong "Silamide" thread)
  • Needle
  1. Make your "base" bracelet. Simply sew the long sides of your fabric, right sides together, and then sew one short end. Turn inside out, then tuck in the raw edges of the other short end, and whipstitch closed for a finished edge. Following directions on eyelet package, add eyelets to each end.
  2. Embellish the base of your bracelet - get creative! Use bits of lace, beading, hand-embroidery, ribbon embroidery, small appliques, or go for a "tattered" look and apply all sorts of fabric scraps in an artful arrangement onto your base. I like to use silamide thread, because I know it won't ever fall apart once I'm wearing the bracelet.
  3. Create focal flowers - starting with the largest of your circles, start stacking them on top of each other, from largest size down to smallest size, until you have the desired "poofiness" in your flower. A *great* way to seal the edges and create curl and texture on the edges of your petals is to lightly "kiss" a candle flame with the very edges of the fabric - ***Please be extremely careful while doing this - please have adult supervision if you are not an adult*** - this works especially well with polyester tulle and organza layers. It singes and sears the edges closed for a no-fray flower, and adds texture, almost like a real flower!
  4. Tack your layers of fabrics together with a few anchoring stitches at the center of the stacked circles.
  5. Sew your focal flower(s) onto the bracelet, adding extra stitches around the edge of the bottom most layer, so it stays flat against the bracelet while the bracelet is curved around your wrist.
  6. Add some "bling" to the centers of your flowers, adorn them! They need to be "crowned!" Use antique jewelry parts and pieces, or a cluster of hand-sewn beads.
  7. Finish your bracelet off with some satin or organza ribbon through the eyelets, and tie it on, and be admired!! : )

Back of the bracelet, with ribbon tied:

A better view of the eyelets:

I will be posting more variations on this bracelet soon - there are all sorts of ways to create these, for all sorts of different effects - enjoy!! : )

1 comment:

  1. Heather, it was so much fun meeting you at the Fiber Arts Group. I love your blog and will create a link in my next post. I was wondering about the small fiber piece you had tonight. I didn't see a picture of it on your blog and was also wondering just how you made it.


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