March 24, 2011

Beaded wrap tutorial

This is how I made the wrap I'll be wearing for my cousin's upcoming wedding (along with the LBD.) It was super-easy, and no pattern required, so I figured this might be a useful tutorial for someone. Here goes...

You'll need:
2 yards of drapey fabric. (Mine was 45" wide.)
Trim with beaded fringe, to equal one width of the fabric. (Half goes on each end, so I used about 45" for mine.)
Sewing machine with a zipper foot
Thread, iron, cutting supplies

Step 1: Lay your fabric out, matching up the selvages, and trim off just enough fabric to even up the ends. I used a hand-dyed-looking silky fabric that's been sitting in my stash for several years, but as long as it has some drape to it, pretty much anything could work. (I'm envisioning the refashionista crowd using some old curtains....)

Step 2: On the shorter ends, press under about 3/4". (This would be width-wise.)

Step 3: Pin the selvage edges together to make a long tube. (You're folding it lengthwise to do this.) The pressed-under edges should be on the outside of the tube, with the folded edges lined up. With the regular machine foot, sew together with a wide enough seam allowance to enclose the selvages. (I had to use about 3/4", but that would vary depending on how wide that selvage is.) Do not sew the folded-under edges. You want an open tube.

Before you turn it, trim the corners of the seam. You don't want that edge sticking out!

Step 4: I found it helpful to press the seam flat while it was still inside-out, just to start defining the edge. Turn the tube right-side out, with the folded edges inside the tube. Press the seamed edge flat, with the fold as close to the seam as possible. You might want to also press the opposite side to give that side a crisper edge as well.

Step 5: Get that beaded trim. It's probably best if you find something with the ribbon/twill tape as close to the color of your fabric as possible, because it's really hard to keep it from showing! I found this in the home dec section of the local Joann's, so it's pretty heavy, but it does help the wrap to hang very well!

Now start sandwiching the ribbon between the two folded edges. You want to keep the beads out, of course, but hide as much of the ribbon as you can. (It'll likely show a bit once you stitch it.) I highly recommend pinning the heck out of it to keep everything in place, because slippery fabric + heavy trim is pretty much a recipe for disaster without it!

I didn't actually cut the trim until I was very close to the opposite end of where I started, just to guarantee that it would fit exactly.
Step 6: With the zipper foot, topstitch as close to the edge of the fabric as possible. I took my time and went really slowly, but as stated before, it was still very hard to keep a bit of the twill tape from peeking out. So I'm quite thankful that I was able to find a color that matched my old fabric so well!

I don't have a picture of this step (sorry), but once you get the beaded edges stitched down, it's also good to do another close topstitching on the long edges, just to keep it lying nice and flat.

And here's the finished product!

And a closeup of the beaded edge. It really hangs quite nicely!

So there you have it. This really didn't take me very long at all...probably something like an hour and a half from start to finish, if I subtract the lunch break and how much reading other sewing blogs while I was pinning the trim in slowed me down. I hope someone finds this useful--and if you use the tutorial, I'd love to see the finished product! Also, if I need to clarify anything, let me know.

So this makes 3 successful things I've sewn for this wedding....does that mean I finally broke the wedding sewing jinx? :-)


  1. So pretty! Now I want to make one, even though I have no weddings to go to :).

  2. Anoriell3:40 PM

    'Tis lovely! Love the beading at the ends. Bravo! :o)

    And cheers on the wedding jinx being flushed forever! ;o)

  3. Very pretty! The beads are an excellent match for the fabric.

  4. Beautiful!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  5. Very nice, creative. I love the beads.
    Seattle Real Estate

  6. Very beautiful and luxurious looking. :)
    It's amazing what one can do with so little.


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