Thursday, 10 December 2015

How to Make Steampunk Military Epaulettes from Curtain Braid & Tassels

Years ago I bought a little sample pelmet in the John Lewis sale because it was decorated with some gorgeous classic old gold braiding & tassels.  These have been saved ever since waiting to be used in a sewing project.

I decided to see if I could make some braid epaulettes for this cute military style velvet jacket.

If you want to have a go yourself, here are some brief instructions of how I went about it!

Firstly, assemble some supplies ; braid & tassels; sellotape; fabric glue; thread

The most important thing is NEVER cut the braid without having first wrapped a small piece of sellotape around it, otherwise the whole thing will spring apart, fray & unravel.  You have been warned!

The tassels had already been stitched onto the braid (photo above) so I measured the seam on the jacket from the edge of the collar to the shoulder seam & used this as my cutting guide.  I cut a loop of braid twice this length with the tassel at the fold point.

I then cut a piece of braid without the sellotape method as I wanted some strands to wrap round the cut ends of the braid - you will see what these unbraided strands looked like on the left of the photo above.  REMEMBER though to use sellotape on the ends of these for the next stage.  Cut the individual strands so that you can wrap it around the cut ends of the main braid - I wrapped it round 4 times.  Be sure to put the taped ends of the strand on the underside (this might seem like a fine detail, but I did it wrong first time & had to rewind!)  I used repositionable 404 spray adhesive for this so I could adjust the strands.  I then glued the ends of the strands with fabric glue & left them overnight to dry.

I never trust just glue, so I then stitched the strands using matching old gold thread.  I stitched the ends which will go to the collar seam and then zigzagged across approx. halfway down the main braids with large stitches to join the top halves together.  Again, be sure to do this on what will be the UNDERSIDE (guess you can see I do things wrong first time otherwise I wouldn't have noticed this!!)

I then used BLACK thread to stitch the braid onto the shoulders of the jacket.  I stitched down the middle of the joined together section and then I spread the braid out into more of an epaulette shaped loop & stitched through the braid on the inside of the loop.

I think the final result is really effective & is great for steampunk & military costumes.  I will be making a medal next so watch this blog for details.  Bye, Karen xx


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