I’d like to introduce you to somebody special. Her name is Flora Gattina, and she’s the queen of burlesque in and beyond Amsterdam. For one of her acts, the ‘Moon Godess’ she’s wearing a crown. It’s showing the phases of the moon, and guess what: it’s made of beads!
Flora, together with her twin sister Willemijn is the owner of Rasalila. It’s a studio where you can do yoga, hang from an areal hoop or silks in the same way as an artist of Cirque Soleil, or do pole sport, like me. It’s the perfect way to get a rest when my head is full, as it’s impossible to still think about anything else when you are hanging upside down, barely holding yourself. It makes you believe that you are strong (both mentally and physically) and can do anything you want if you work hard for it. Feeling the pain and getting bruised is part of the process, but results will come if you keep going.
While Flora teaches pole dance, too, her main territory is burlesque. She performs in The Netherlands and abroad.
Last year she asked me to design a special piece for her, which would become part of her tiara.
It was a great honor and a challenge, which I gladly accepted. And today I would like to share with you how did I do it!
LIST OF MATERIAL
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- Ultra Suede – bead embroidery foundation
- 1x 27 mm round cabochon in Crystal Golden Shadow
- 2x 23×18 mm filigree component
- 3 mm (ss12) Preciosa rhinestone chain in Light Sapphire Opal
- 2.1 mm (ss6.5) Preciosa rhinestone chain in Capri Blue, Light Sapphire Opal, Crystal Golden Shadow and Crystal
- 2x 12 mm round cabochon (rivoli) in Crystal AB
- Leather or imitation leather – backing
- Miyuki Delica 11/0 (C11)
- Miyuki round seed beads 15/0 (R15)
- Beading thread
- Thin needle
Is it your first time working with bead embroidery?
Check these tutorials to learn the basics:
- Bead a turtle – save a turtle! brooch or pendant
- Asia pendant bead embroidery tutorial
- Sashiko pendant bead embroidery tutorial
First I draw a 6 x 4 cm rectangle on the Ultra Suede. I connected the corners and the centers of the sides. This grid helped me to keep the design perfectly centered and proportional.
I placed the filigrees on the Ultra Suede and attached them with beading thread to the foundation. I used a color that blended in with the metal component.
I bezeled the 27 mm round cabochon with Peyote stitch, using Miyuki Delica 11/0 and Miyuki round seed beads in size 15/0. If you need more details about how to bezel the stone, I recommend you to download my free ‘Forget-me-not’ tutorial and then dig deeper in Peyote stitch following the e-book ‘How to make your work last by covering the back of all your Peyote bezels.’
I secured the Peyote bezel to the foundation with a double thread. After exiting a C11 bead in the middle row I stitched down through the foundation and came up again before the next C11 in the middle row. I sew through the next C11 in the middle row and repeated this all around.
Sew one row of 3 mm Sapphire Blue Opal Preciosa rhinestone chain (cupchain) around the cabochon. It’s a bit tricky to sew it to the part over the filigree. Use the holes of the filigree to secure it to the Ultra Suede.
Sew a row of 2.1 mm Capri Blue rhinestone chain around the motif.
I draw a half-moon on a thicker paper and drew the outlines on both sides of the motif. I embroidered the outlines of the moons with the 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads.
I bezeled two 12 mm rivolis with Peyote stitch and secured them to the middle of the half-moons.
I filled in the half moons with different shades of 2.1 mm (ss6.5) Preciosa cupchain.
I cut out the finished motif and glued it to the imitation leather. I cut it out one more time and stitched the two layers together.
This is how Flora received the motif. Actually, two identical pieces of them: one she used for her tiara, and the other she made into the clasp of her gown. How do you like it? If you are in Amsterdam, make sure to check out her gallery to see if you can catch one of her performances!