Monday, March 10, 2014

Steampunk tatted belt



Size 3 thread makes big, bold tatting
 Motivated by a desire to wow the visitors to my vendor's booth at the Concinnity Convention, April 5, 2014, I have come up with a tatted belt. I used size 3 Lizbeth thread, and worked at the design until I was satisfied that it was sturdy enough. I used metal beads, antiqued copper wheel buttons, and satin ribbon lacing in the front for my little attempt at steampunk detailing. The belt ties like a sash with ribbon in the back. The ribbon end feature saves the work of tatting an entire length of a belt, and also makes it one size fits all.

First attempt had a structural flaw...
...it folded when pulled - not good for a belt!
My first attempt didn't turn out, so I had to cut it apart and do over - yes, that happens a lot when designing! You don't want your belt to fold over or curl while you're wearing it. So, I changed how I added the beads. Instead of putting them over picots in the exact center, I moved them to picots set at an angle. I got the idea from a TV show that was explaining architecture. The strongest structural shape is a triangle. So, I added picots at an angle for joining the chains, thereby forming a sort of triangle. It works! The belt is nice and sturdy now.

I used big shuttles to tat the belt with, since size 3 thread gets used up very quickly. I wouldn't recommend working with size 3 for beginners, other than for when they need something big to see how the double stitch is made when they're first learning. Size 3 requires more physical effort to work with. But, I feel up to the challenge and wanted to design something suitable for the bold look of big tatting.

I sometimes get asked about needle tatting. Well, I do know how, but I like the firm product produced by shuttle tatting, since most of the time I don't need to bother with any stiffening. I also just simply enjoy the process of shuttle tatting and I appreciate its Victorian roots. If time allows in the future, I may design something specifically for needle tatting, but for sure it won't be anything conventional and won't be shuttle tatting convertible.

Need to figure out a bow tie next....

The finished belt shown on black

30 comments:

Nancy Dugas-Gilmore said...

This is absolutely gorgeous! Love it!

Debbie H said...

This is GREAT! I wonder if it could be used at a Renaissance Faire? My cousin is huge fan and goes in costumes weekly for 3-4 months during the summer. I think I'm too intimidated to attempt an entire bodice, but this might be a great gift for her.

God's Kid said...

It's amazing!!! Love the lacing in front design!! :)

Michelle said...

It's wonderful! My steam punk daughter would love it! Are you selling the pattern?

alveaenerle said...

Magnificent!!

Margarets designer cards said...

Wonderful belt, a gorgeous pattern and a lovely item to wear at the convention
Margaret

Silvana said...

molo originali e molto belle
silvana

Fox said...

Fabulous, fabulous fabulous! Timely and timeless. Congrats on a great new design.

Hélène Courville said...

Absolutly love it! Très beau!

victats@gmail.com said...

OMG! I love it! I have been trying to figure out how to an obi belt. I think this beats anything I could imagine.
On another note, I love the size 3 thread. Your right that it takes more thread and you need a bigger shuttle.

Marille said...

Wow, it's very beautiful :))) I admire... My congartulations !!!
Greetings from Poland :-)
Marille

Michelle Zahn said...

You are such an amazing artist! This is a very cool design.

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

You have amazed me again! I've never been one to wear belts, but I admire them on other people, especially skinny people! ;-)

mica said...

Awesome! The ribbon adds a nice luxurious touch and you can't go wrong with the color.

Miranda said...

Oh, that is wonderful! I do hope you'll write up the pattern. I'm not a fan of big threads generally, but I'd buy some size 3 for that!

I think the inherent Victorian-ness of tatting makes it perfect for steampunk looks. Of course, you could change the colors and buttons to fit it with some other style if you wanted to. In black, it would look stunning with a brightly colored dress. In white, it would go with a pastel dress for a fresh spring or summer look. In deep red or purple over a black dress, a goth girl would love it. Or a bright, variegated thread over a plain-colored dress for a bohemian look. I could keep going...

I love how you incorporated architectural principles into the design as well. The angled beaded picots give it a unique style; I never would have guessed they were so functional as well.

Overall, I'd say this one is a stunning success!

Kathy Niklewicz said...

As usual, a very unique and attractive wearable item coming from your magic shuttles and your 'research'! It will be noticed and admired! I'm sure your booth will get a lot of attention!

Corina said...

This is fantastic! I love it!

Jane McLellan said...

Wonderful, wonderful! I love the ways you push the boundaries.

Navette Bijoux said...

What a great idea and realisation !!
I really love it !

Susan LaVonne Meyer said...

I am amazed. It is beautiful to say the least.

Traci Otte said...

That is really cute, Marilee!

Marilee Rockley said...

Thanks so much, everyone, for your encouraging comments!

Lilas said...

What an original idea! beautiful!

Imoshen said...

It's gorgeous!

Imoshen said...

It's gorgeous!

Ugla said...

Hi :)
First of all, I will thank you for an incredibly great blog. :) I started with tatting a week ago. and through Pinterest I fell into your web page.
Your Steampunk belt is just absolutely beautiful. Now I've looked around a bit on the page and learned a lot from you. I also noticed that your tutorials are simple and straightforward to understand. It is a pleasure to see your work.
I have started on Your doily tut, and allready looking forward to trying out Your Jewelry tut.
Greatings from Lisbeth :)

Marilee Rockley said...

Lisbeth, thanks so much, and welcome!

Madtatter80 said...

I missed this one while I was gone and looks like every one liked it too! you did great and explain things so well, I think your lesson with folding was good and I have that size three and it is ruff to work with. at first I thought you could teach people with it but no that not a good idea! take care love your post!

ella kropka com said...

amazing and so original - like it so much!

Gemini said...

What an gorgeous piece!