I am just now realizing the how little I've posted in the past few months. Between conference preparation, a nasty virus (that took about two months to lose), and general family stuff, the blog has been put on the back burner.
But I'm back with a project!
These little lovelies were easy to complete. Surprisingly, the directions were well-written (unlike MANY of the projects I've encountered...). They are adorable, fidgety things meant for ¨the decoration of ball-dresses or for wearing in the hair.¨
They are a little early for our time period, though I've found other primary sources that suggest beadwork with bugles could be found later than the 1850s. That blog post is slowly coming together. For now, I give you pictures and instructions!
Godey's Lady's Book, September, 1854: BEAD AND BUGLE WORK
VERY pretty flowers or sprays may be made of bugles for the decoration of ball-dresses, or for wearing in the hair. Black, white, gray green, purple, and pink bugles, well adapted for this purpose, may be obtained at any of the bead and bugle-makers, or rather retailers; for the greater part of those we use are imported from abroad. For flowers we use two sizes, the one about an eighth of an inch in length, or rather better, and the other one-third of an inch long. A bright, even-looking bugle, large in the tube, should be chosen—an ounce of each kind will make a fair-sized spray. Besides, we shall require beads rather larger than a mustard-seed—this size is usually solid, and sold in bunches; a bunch will be sufficient. The solid or grainlikebeads are preferable to the hollow, pearl-like bead for these sprays, not being so fragile, and the new style of canvas work in beads has created a supply of the size and sort needed. The other requisites are wire and floss-silk, the wire, as before said, being chosen to match the color of the bugles. These covered wires are to be obtained at artificial flower-makers, and are sold on reels; the green can be bought in knots at wax-flower makers. The floss-silk at any Berlin wool repository. The leaves are made of small bugles. About nine leaves will make a small spray. There are, however, various patterns of bugle leaves, many of which will suggest themselves to any one practising the work. We will, however, give a cut of another by way of illustration.
This one is made exactly on the same principle as the other, but the larger bugles and beads are employed in it. Thus in the top loop or point of the leaf, we thread a long bugle, a bead , a long bugle, a bead , a long bugle, a bead , and then another long bugle, and bringing them to the centre of the wire, twist it immediately below them for a quarter of an inch. The two next loops are made each on their separate wire in like manner, and then the two wires are again twisted together for a third of an inch. The second pair of loops, or base of the leaf, are made by threading first a long bugle, and then a bead , then three bugles, and a bead twice, and then a long bugle on each wire, and fixing the loops by a twist to each, and then twisting the two wires together as a stem. When complete, each leaf will require putting into shape.
The bugle flowers are of two kinds, double and single, and are composed of bugles of both sizes, and beads , and look all the handsomer if finished off with a larger bead , one the size of a pea in the centre.
Take about three-quarters of a yard of wire, thread on it a bead , a long bugle, seven short bugles, and a long bugle; push these to within two inches of one end of the wire, and then pass the longer end of the wire again through the bead from the outside, inwards, or towards the bugles; draw it up gently and closely, and the first loop or petal of the flower is formed. Thirteen loops are required, and each one is made in the same way, the wire being always put a second time through the bead , entering it from the side of the loop last made, and being drawn closely up. These loops or petals stand up, and overlay each other; when all are completed, the two ends of the wire are twisted together to form the stem, and the circular, cup-shape of the flower is thus finished up.
When the flower is to be double, a second cup, or circle of up-standing loops must be made; but this inner portion contains eleven instead of thirteen petals, and there are but five small bugles instead of seven in each; in all other respects it is exactly similar. The stem is passed down through the centre of the outer cup, and a large bead being threaded on a couple of inches of wire, and maintained in its place by a twist of the ends of the wire, is passed through the centre of the two cups, and the three twisted wires are wound together into one neat stem with floss-silk.
Single flowers look best small; therefore the inner cup, with the central large bead , should be used for them. Various fantastic groupings of beads and bugles may be combined to form other flowers, or to simulate buds. We give a cut of one of them, which is made of long bugles, short bugles, andbeads , threaded on four wires, and arranged in diamonds. About four flowers, two single and two double, a couple of buds, and nine or ten leaves, make a very pretty spray if tastefully grouped and neatly bound together with floss-silk. The size we make them of course depends upon the purpose for which they are required; for looping a dress, five leaves, a bud, and two flowers will be sufficient.
For mourning, black, white, or gray bugles make up very prettily. Green bugles, too, have a very brilliant effect, and elegant sets of sprays or wreaths may be made by following our directions, at a merely nominal price compared with the cost of them if we were to order them to be made. Besides, the work itself is a graceful and pretty employment for the fingers, and calls for a certain degree of taste and imagination, and is very suggestive. We therefore recommend it to our readers in full confidence that it will amuse and interest them.