Saturday, 5 July 2014

Repair room :: beaded shoes

The aim of this series of blog posts is to show how you can bring an item back to life with a simple repair job.

This repair room post is about bringing a pair of beaded shoes back to life - here's how ...

I have a lovely pair of flat shoes which are great for the Summer, but when I reached for them a couple of days ago I noticed that some of the beadwork was loose (on the left shoe) and some of it was missing (on the right shoe).

This can tend to happen to bead and sequin embellished items especially things that get a lot of wear or have things rubbing against them such as shoes and bags.

I was pretty sure I had beads in my stash that would be a great match for the beads on the shoes so I dug them out and set to work. The other materials I used were beading needle, clear beading thread, embroidery scissors.

The first step was to secure the existing loose threads, so I carefully stitched these into the fabric and trimmed any loose ends.

The next step was to secure the new length of thread. As the clear beading thread I was using was much finer than that used on the shoes originally I decided to work with double thickness. So I cut a length and thread the beading needle bringing the two ends together and securing with a double knot. I trimmed the ends of the knot to about 5mm (or short enough to hide under one of the metal discs).

I then sewed through the fabric of the shoe and secure the thread bringing up the needle about four beads from the end of the beaded row I would be adding to. 

These beads had been added using the couching method and that was the method I also used in my repair. It's quite a simple method of bead embellishment and involves adding some beads and then stitching back about halfway along the beads you have just added before then threading the needle back through those beads.

It's important to ensure that the beads you are adding are flush with the previous beads at all times otherwise your beadwork ends up too loose and you get gaps between your beads. You also have to be careful not to stitch them too close to the previous beads otherwise you get a bulge.

I repeated adding four beads and then stitching back through two and passing the needle back through until I got to the end. I then moved onto the left shoe which needed a slightly different repair. Again I cut a length of clear beading thread, doubled it up and knotted to secure. I started by stitching the knot under one of the metal discs.

This was a slightly simpler repair as it was just securing these metal discs, although the hole of the second disc that needed repairing has been broken so I ended up stitching over the disc. It's not quite an invisible repair but I think it was better to do this than have a flapping disc. You can barely notice it even in a close up.

Have you got any embellished items you have resurrected? Or do you have something you want to repair but don't know where to start? Do share your experiences.

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