As promised, here’s how I made my bell fringe on my hanami dress.
- pink crochet thread [mine was called “orchard pink” and I bought it at Wal-Mart]
- appropriate sized needle
- 4mm black pony beads [these were difficult to find; I found them at Hobby Lobby]
- fabric glue
- Christmas bells [or craft bells; mine happened to be labeled “Christmas Jingle Bells”]
- To do this correctly, you will need an edge that has a lot of weight to it. All my edges were covered with bias tape and there were at least two, sometimes three, layers of cotton inside the bias tape. This was sufficient enough strength to support the weight of all the bells, but you might have to use a small piece of interfacing if you didn’t use bias tape.
- Mark on the fabric how wide you want the fringe to be and the spacing between each fringe. On mine, there is a one inch spacing between each bell and each fringe is one inch wide. I marked the center and sides of my fringe.
- Cut several pieces of the crochet thread. Make sure they are all the same length. Determine how many threads you want per fringe; I used five. It doesn’t matter how long they are as long as you have enough thread to fold over once and still have a working length. I think mine ended up being somewhere around six inches long.
I made several bunches and matched them up to a corresponding bell and bead.
- Thread the needle with the crochet thread. Starting from one side of the fringe, sew the thread through the edge about halfway. It should look like this:
Continue threading the crochet thread through the edge until you have completed one fringe. I sewed one at the edges, in the center and between the edge and the center, so mine turned out like this:
- Gather the threads together and even out the lengths as much as possible. Take one black pony bead and string it onto all the threads at once.
Make sure the bead sits in such a way that when the fabric falls on you, it stays centered without folding over. In this tutorial, I’m working on the obi, so all my beads are centered but on the vertical edges of my dress, I had to simulate the pull of gravity in order to get the correct placement. You still have to make adjustments later, but it’s something to keep in mind now.
- Evenly divide the ends.
Take one end and string it through the bell loop.
- Pull the ends until the bell comes to rest underneath the bead. At this point, you really want to check the placement as mentioned in step four. Pull the threads so that the bell sits in the desired position. On the vertical edges, the top threads were longer than the bottom threads and overall, the fringes were longer and more spaced out. It looks a little weird, but it doesn’t fold over or get tangled with its neighbors.
- Tie a knot at the front of the bell.
Then, pull the threads back and tie an knot at the back of the bell. It should look like this:
- Pull the ends as tight as you can. When it’s secure, add a dab of fabric glue onto both sides of the knot. This will help the threads stick together and prevent the knot from slipping. Once the glue has dried, cut the excess thread as close to the knot as possible. In this picture, I cut the threads close to the bell because the glue was still drying.
- Repeat until finished. 🙂
A couple tips:
- It’s a lot easier if you mark how many fringes you’re going to make so you can make sets of materials for each one.
- For corners, I used the corner as my center and measured half an inch on both sides for the edge. Though, it’s a lot easier if you avoid having a corner bell. It happens sometimes.
- For the vertical edges, I stopped at step seven, hung up my dress, and adjusted the bells while it was hanging.
- I’m pretty sure this will work with anything. Just modify as your materials call for it.
The final result: