Meet the Cinderella of Bead-weaving Stitches: Chevron Stitch
Chevron stitch is one of those bead weaving stitches that doesn't get enough attention, I think. It's an incredibly useful bead-weaving stitch that can be used to create simple beaded necklaces and bracelets as well as larger, more intricate, and sculptural beaded jewelry. If you love the lacy, open-work look of beaded netting, you'll love chevron stitch.
I think of chevron stitch as sort of the underdog of the bead-weaving world: lots of potential, but so underused! Here are a few of the reasons why I love chevron stitch and try to work it into a beading project of mine every now and then.
It's easy to learn chevron stitch. I use chevron stitch to teach basic off-loom bead-weaving and bead stitching techniques to middle school students. It's a simple thread path to learn, and it works up so fast that most students can complete a simple beaded bracelet using chevron stitch before the class is finished.
Learn about tension. Another reason I like to use chevron stitch for teaching bead-weaving techniques is that you can learn a lot about tension in bead-weaving from working just a few rows of chevron stitch. Pulling on your thread very tightly will produce a much different looking piece of beadwork than if you use a looser tension.
Chevron stitch is fast. Once you get the hang of the thread path, you can make a simple chevron stitch necklace or bracelet in a relatively short amount of time. With a finished base of chevron stitch, you have loads of options for embellishing
Mix it up with other bead-weaving stitches. Chevron stitch is also one of those bead-weaving stitches that you can combine easily with other beading stitches to create unique patterns and textures in your beadwork. Try some of these:
- Working herringbone stitch off the end of a row of chevron stitch
- Working peyote stitch (like for a bezel) by adding beads in between units of chevron stitch
- Or give your chevron stitch necklace base a gentle curve by working a couple of smaller beads in between each unit and pulling snugly
Change your beads, change your mood. One thing that I notice with chevron stitch more so than with other bead-weaving stitches is how the entire mood of a piece can be changed by changing the type of seed beads you use. I usually use opaque seed beads in bold colors when I teach chevron stitch to students, and the results are very tribal-looking beaded bracelets and necklaces. On the other hand, if I use a silver-lined matte seed bead with some fancy metallic seed beads as accent points, I walk away with a piece that resembles fine jewelry for a special occasion! Try it yourself and see!
Now, try this. If you want to learn the basics (and more!) of chevron stitch, you'll love the new Bead Stitching Chevron Chain with Melanie Potter DVD. Melanie takes you step-by-step through everything you ever wanted to know about chevron stitch, including basic flat chevron stitch, how to increase and decrease, making circular shapes with chevron stitch, how to make a chevron stitch tube or rope, and how to combine chevron stitch with your other favorite bead-weaving stitches. The best thing about learning a new bead-weaving stitch from a DVD like this is that you can stop, rewind, and watch each section over and over again, until you get it right!
After I watched this video about chevron stitch, I was inspired to pull out an old UFO of chevron stitch and looked at it in a different way. What else can I do with it? Add some ribbons to the end? Maybe I'll add some layers on top of the base and add a crystal stone in the center!
Pre-order your copy of Bead Stitching Chevron Chain with Melanie Potter and find out why we love chevron stitch, and what it can do for your bead-weaving projects! Or, if you're ready to dive right in and start working with this enormously enjoyable beading stitch, you can download Bead Stitching Chevron Chain with Melanie Potter instantly onto your favorite desktop or laptop computer and be ready to bead in just minutes.
Have you tried chevron stitch yet? What have you made with chevron stitch? How do you use it in your bead-weaving? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your thoughts about the Cinderella of bead-weaving stitches!
P.S. I have an easy chevron stitch tutorial over on the Beading Instructions blog, if you want to give it a try!