Tips when working with self-covered beaded fabric

by admin on August 27, 2012


I recently created a trio of mock-box decorative pillows for a client, made from a gorgeous but challenging diamond patterned silk fabric that was embellished with fabric-covered raised beads.  Here are a few tips that may help you navigate  a similar project.

1.  Realize that geometric patterns such as this, are often not evenly spaced. In order to match beads/points at the seam you will probably end up with a rectangle pillow rather than a true square.  This may also require your making a custom-sized pillow insert to follow the final dimensions of your finished pillow.

2.   Be sure to stay-stitch a piece of lining to the wrong side of each pillow section so you maintain the gathered shape near the cut edges of the decorative fabric.

3.  With right sides together, pin then stitch the two pillow sections together so that beads from each section match up along the stitching line.  Stitch as far as possible between the beads, reinforcing at each end of the stitching.   Complete around pillow in same manner, stopping and starting stitching about 1-inch from each set of matching beads.

4. Along each side, hand-stitch the opened areas of your pillow sections closed, concealing one bead on the inside of the seam allowance, and exposing the matching bead at the seam-line.

5. Complete the mock-box pillow as usual.  Leave a section open to insert your custom pillow form.  Insert filler of choice.  Hand-stitch the insert opening closed and then the decorative pillow opening.


Note pillow was completely lined and serge-stitched at edges; pillow inserts were made from the matching lining fabric and to the exact dimensions of decorative pillow.

It would be ideal if you could cut off the beads that were not needed, but due to that nature of the fabric and placement of the beads at the seamline, there is too great a chance that your fabric might ravel.

Concealed hand stitching closes seamlines near beads at insert opening.


 Side seam with one bead visible, one not, at each point. Beads should not be cut off since fabric may ravel.


Where beads meet at seam, one bead was pushed to inside, the other exposed to outside of seam. Hand stitching was required to each side of the beads to form seam since sewing machine can not pass close enough to beads.


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