Monday, July 24, 2017

Upcycled Bead Cuff - via 1980s beaded jacket

 I've been thinking about beaded garments and how they can be upcycled for several years now.  When I see them in the thrift stores sometimes my breath is taken away by the amount of work that went into them and the resulting beautiful beaded patterns. 

I remember when these were popular, a status symbol even.  

Sadly do not know anyone that will wear them anymore so they show up in thrift stores, on eBay, secondhand stores, etc..  Such a treasure of beads and sequins!  
Most are mounted on silk organza with a poly lining. 

 Motivation to experiment arrived unexpectedly.  I was invited very recently to have a Paganoonoo booth at the Santa Clara Bead and Design Show held August 10, 11, 12, and 13th at the Santa Clara Marriot in Santa Clara, California.  

There was also an opportunity to teach (which I love to do), and I immediately thought of beaded jackets. Hmmmm. I found a very beautiful one on eBay and purchased it. 
 I researched likely projects and saw that beaded cuffs are popular, so I set out to make a beaded cuff by harvesting from the jacket. 

I have to tell you that cutting up the jacket made me want to throw up a little bit.  It was tough to do.  

I gently removed a sleeve, and let it sit for awhile, contemplating what and were to harvest.  

Finally I made the call and gently, trying not to ruin my scissors by cutting through beads, began to cut the cuff shape away. 


I worked on removing beads to yield the pattern I wanted and devised a way to mount it securely then selected an appropriate bottom layer.  
Corded elastic and buttons will make the closures. 

I love the result!  I will be teaching a class on how to do this at the Bead and Design Show  in Santa Clara, CA, on Saturday, August 12th from 1-4 p.m.  The cost, including materials is $65. There is also an admission fee to get into the show.  The number of students is limited to 8 so if you are interested register ASAP! 

P.S. I have enough of that jacket so that you can make the exact same cuff and will also have a few other choices.
Happy Upcycling!


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