an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

Tailoring options

As we say in many different types of endeavor, it’s easier to smallerize things than biggerize them.

That is certainly the case with beadwork. Here are a few options to tailor down a Winged or Petalled piece if it’s either a bit or a lot too big. The model is Kate McKinnon’s Art Nouveau ZigWing Bangle, featured on the Specials for Pre-Orders, Volume II page yesterday. (Have you pre-ordered yet? Click here for a link!)

Shown in this photo are three types of decrease; first, switching from size 11 cylinder beads to size 15 rounds for the Fill and Point Rounds of the inner Wings, and second, beginning a decrease as well. The inner Wings could be completely decreased to Horns, if desired, and then increased again into a third set.

Tailoring options, as seen on Kate McKinnon's ZigWing bangle, CGB Vol II, 2013

The third type of tailoring decrease demonstrated here is sewing together the open section of a petal. This is a more dramatic decrease than simply continuing the peyote-style decrease, and involves sewing the beads closed so that they resemble a zipper. Kate added orange Delicas into the teeth, so you could see exactly which beads were sewn together. Kate used a simple square stitch to connect hers, but any method that is clean and smooth is by definition good.

Please click the photo to enlarge. You can see several more shots on our Facebook page, here.

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

One comment on “Tailoring options

  1. BarbaraBriggsDesigns
    May 21, 2013

    This bangle is beautiful, Kate. I love the colors…they remind me of a lush Moroccan tiled mosaic. Thanks for all the great tips!

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This entry was posted on May 21, 2013 by .
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