How to Sew With Beads & Lace

Written by jennifer gigantino
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How to Sew With Beads & Lace
Any garment can be enhanced by the addition of beads in complementary colours. (bead curtain image by Bruce Hewitson from

Fashionistas with excellent fine motor skills and a taste for the glittery and the gaudy are in luck. Plain-Jane clothing items both old and new can be spruced up easily with the addition of lace edging or the creative use of beads. Try covering a cloth headband with glittery beads for the prom, or adding a lace trim to a boring old skirt. With a little lace, beads and glitter, your closet will look at home backstage at a Las Vegas musical revue.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Beads
  • Lace

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  1. 1

    To attach a line of beads to fabric in the simplest way possible, thread a needle. Tie a knot in the end of the thread. Bring the needle through the fabric from the underside (heretofore known as the "wrong side") to the side you wish to affix the bead to (heretofore known as the "right side.") and pull the thread taut. Thread one to four beads over the needle and let them slide down to the fabric. Bring the needle back through the fabric from the right side to the wrong side and pull the thread tightly to secure. Repeat as desired, in a straight line or a random zigzag pattern to accent the fabric.

  2. 2

    To attach a larger and smaller bead at the same time, begin as in Step 1. Bring the needle up through the fabric to the right side. Thread the larger bead onto the needle, then the smaller bead. Bring the needle back through the larger bead only, then through the fabric back to the wrong side. Pull the thread taut. Repeat as desired.

  3. 3

    To create a standing fence, begin the same way. Thread onto your needle a bugle bead (a small tube-shaped bead), a seed bead (a small, round bead) and another bugle bead. Bring the needle back down through the fabric in a short stitch, or as close to the first hole as possible, so that the bugles stand perpendicular to the fabric and parallel to each other. Repeat as necessary.

  4. 4

    To make a fence without the seed beads, thread on two bugles and stitch so they are standing perpendicular to the fabric and parallel to each other. Bring the needle back through to the right side of the fabric next to the second bugle. Bring it up through to the right side of the fabric and thread on a third bugle. Bring the needle down through the second bugle, so the third one is positioned standing up next to it. Repeat as desired.

  1. 1

    To gather lace, measure the area you wish to cover with it. Measure out twice as much lace as you have area. Pleat the lace to your desired fullness and sew it onto either the top or the underside of the fabric (depending on aesthetic preferences) by looping the needle and thread through the fabric and lace from the wrong side to the right side.

  2. 2

    To insert a lace panel into a piece of fabric, baste the lace onto the right side of the fabric using a needle and thread or sewing machine. Cut away the fabric underneath the lace and hem the ragged edges.

  3. 3

    To join two pieces of lace together, match their lace patterns and stitch them together.

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