Arabian River Soutache Pendant
Cut 1 metre of thread and 4 strands of soutache cord measuring 15 inches each. Thread your needle and tie a square knot, trimming off any excess. Stack the soutache cords together, ensuring the weave of the braids are all pointing in the same direction. Sew through all 4 of the cords at the centre point. Note: ensure your needle is sharp. A blunt needle will snag the cords.
Working from right to left, make 3 Shaping Stitches (sew down 6mm to the left (outside shaping stitch), and sew up 2mm to the left of the previous stitch (inside shaping stitch)).
Separate the cords back into 2 stacks of 4. Working on the left hand side stack, sew 3 shaping stitches and pick up and 8mm pearl. Pull both stacks around the pearl and find the centre point of the right hand side stack (the position at which the hole exits the pearl) and sew through the right stack. Sew back through both stacks and the pearl. Sew 3 shaping stitches followed by a 2 sided join. Repeat step 5 twice more.
Again, separate the cords into 2 stacks of 4. Sew through the stack as close to the 2 sided join as possible. Sew 3 small shaping stitches (3 and 1mm as opposed to 6 and 2mm) and pick up a 4mm pearl. Pull the 4 cord stack around the 4mm pearl and sew through the point where the hole in the pearl meets the cords sewn around the larger pearl (inner stack). Sew back through both stacks and the pearl. Sew more small shaping stitches until the cord can be wrapped around the 4mm pearl and meets the inner stack. Sew through the inner stack and back through the outer stack twice, using small stitches.
Separate the stacks again and sew small shaping stitches until it is possible to add another 4mm pearl and have it sit snugly into the curve made by the inner stack and 8mm pearls. Pick up a 4mm pearl and as before, sew through the inner stack. Sew back through both stacks and the pearl. Sew more small shaping stitches until the cord can be wrapped around the 4mm pearl and meets the inner stack. Sew through the inner stack and back through the outer stack twice, using small stitches. Repeat step 7 once more.
Turn work over. Sew 3 even stitches through the outer stack. Keeping the stack as straight as possible, tuck it in over the inner stack and pearls. Wrap the thread around the stack of cords and securely sew the outer stack to the back of the inner stack surrounding the 8mm pearls. Trim thread and cords.
Thread your needle with 10 inches of thread, tie a square knot and trim off any excess. Sew down through the stack beneath one of the bottom 4mm pearls. Sew up and down through at this point a few times to re-enforce. After the last stitch down, pick up 5 seed beads, 1 4mm pearl, 1 bicone, 4 seed beads, 1 swarovski drop and 4 seed beads. Skipping the drop and 8 seed beads, pass back through the bicone and pearl. Pick up 5 more seed beads and sew up through the opposite stack. Again, sew up and down through the stack at this point to re-enforece. Sew back through all the beads just added several times and back up through the stack you started from. Add a few extra stitches here too and tie off.
Using a thin layer of glue, secure your work to a piece of foundation. Allow to dry completely.
Once dry, trip the foundation around your work, leaving 1mm visible at the front. Thread your needle with 10 inches of thread, tie a square knot and trim off any excess. Sew through the Single 8mm pearl at the top and the cords above it.
Pick up 2 seed beads. Sew diagonally through the outermost cord and backing foundation. Sew back up through the second seed bead just added. Pick up 1 seed bead and again, sew diagonally through the outermost cord and backing foundation. Continue adding seed beads in this manner all the way around the piece.
Weave up and down through the topmost 6 beads, outer cords and foundation to re-enforce, ensuring you finish by exiting the topmost, centre seed bead. Pick up 13 seed beads. Skipping 12 of the beads just picked up, pass back trough the 13th and the seed bead you exited from. Sew diagonally through the cord and foundation. Re-enforce this loop just created as many times as your beads, thread and needle will allow. Weave through all the seed beads added around the outer edge of your work, making knots in several places and hiding them in the holes of the beads. Trim thread.
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