In today’s post I will be reviewing; Gina Barrett’s; Making Braids and Cords DVD.
- Manufacturer/Brand; Gina Barrett/ Making Passementerie
- Item Name: Making Braids and Cords; Beginners Selection
- Item number ISBN: 978-0-9546618-8-5
- RRP at time of writing: £17
- Run Time: 94 minutes
- Tools & Materials
- Getting Started
- Plaited Braids
- Twisted (Spun) Cords
- Sewing Machine Cords
- Wrapped, Knotted & Woven Cords
- Hints & Tips
Details of projects in each chapter
- Tools & Materials: What you will need to create the projects shown on the DVD
- Getting Started: Preparing Warps, Elements & Ends, Constrictor Knot, Half Hitch, Binding
- Plaited Braids: 4 Element Flat Braid, 4 Element Round Braid, 5 Element Braid version, 5 Element Braid version 2, 8 Element Crossover Braid, 8 Element Soutache
- Finger loop Braids: Preparing Loops, Loop Replacement & Techniques, Round Lace 5 loops, Broad Lace 5 loops, German Lace 5 loops, Baston 5 loops, Lace Bend, Grene Dorge, Cheveron 8 Loops
- Twisted (Spun) Cords: Twist S and Z, Monk’s Cord, 3 Element Cord, 2 in 1 Cord, Wavy Gimp, Double-spun cord
- Sewing Machine Cords: Zig zag Cord, Encased Cord, Cutting Bias Strips, Rouleau
- Wrapped, Knotted & Woven Cords: Gimp (Bourdon cord), Soutache version 1, Soutache version 2, Spiral, Hand Knotted
- Hints & Tips: Uses for the braids
Reason For Buying
When I first saw Gina demonstrate some of these techniques on Create & Craft, I knew I wanted this DVD. There were so many ideas I had, for all the different things I’d use the cords with, especially to add a new dimension to my bookbinding projects and with boxes too.
- There are 25 braids and cord designs shown on the DVD
- There is a full pictorial list of all the designs, on the inside cover of the DVD, to help you find just the one you want.
- The eye level camera work, means it is like standing next to Gina as she braids. This makes it much easier to learn the techniques.
- Each design has a page about its history and how it has been used in the past. Next comes a slow walk through of the technique itself, followed by a really helpful page you can freeze frame and make notes from. This page lists the steps used for the project you just saw. This is really helpful as it’s the ‘chant’ you can use as you create the braid/cord for yourself, and helps to keep you on track, while you are learning.
- There is a clearly laid out menu system, each style has a dedicated chapter and then a large number of projects in each one. After you play a design, the menu returns you to the start of the chapter, to choose where you would like to go next.
- Very clear instructions and I like that it has the written element as well as the visual demonstrations. We all learn in different ways and the extra dimension means that the new technique stays with you for longer.
- There is an excellent description of the tools and materials you will need and for how to start and finish your chosen project.
- Buying directly from Gina’s website, you also have the choice to have the DVD in NTSC or in PAL formats.
- The menu system does not have a play all feature. Being new to the subject, I wanted to watch the whole thing, see what it was all about and then pick a design to re-create. Which without the play all feature, made it a bit awkward, as after each design, you kept being bumped back to the start of the chapter. Just a niggle, as in normal usage, I’m sure you would just go straight to the design you wanted to make, so for longer term use, it’s probably not a problem.
- The ‘theme’ is played at the start of each chapter: This is normal enough, but it it’s quite loud and without the ‘Play all’ feature you will hear it a lot, which gets a bit wearing. It also plays at the same volume as the narration throughout the getting started section, which was distracting and made it difficult to focus on what was being said. It does not play through the main demonstrations though.
Fantastic! The lighting is superb as is the camera work and angles used. You can see clearly what is being demonstrated and the view is as if you are standing next to Gina, so you get almost the same view of the braid, that you would have, when you make it. This makes learning the techniques MUCH easier.
The demonstrations are superb as are the explanations of what is happening, Gina is a very calming, encouraging teacher.
Value for Money
Excellent! In each section there are lots of designs a total novice could achieve and later in each chapter the difficulty/complexity increases so still plenty to stretch your new abilities as your skills and confidence grow.
Would I buy it Again?
Yes. This is a fantastic DVD. Even though my own limited dexterity will hamper what I can achieve with this craft, I still enjoyed learning about how the braids are created and the history behind them. I highly recommend this DVD to anyone interested in making or learning more about Braiding and cord making.
This is a fascinating subject. Gina has a wonderfully calming voice and walks you through everything step by step. Even if my lack of fine motor skills don’t let me braid very much, I have still highly enjoyed this DVD, to learn more designs and how they were used in the past. I highly recommend this DVD to everyone interested in using cords or braids with their creative projects. The projects would suit a wide age range and some of the simpler briads could also be achieved by younger children too. Great for jewellery making as well as for decoration.
I’m currently experimenting with alternative ways of holding thread/yarn, to see if I can find a work around for my poor dexterity. I’ll let you know how I get on and if I find any useful suggestions that may help others with dexterity problems.
Do follow the links below to find out more about Gina Barrett and where you can purchase this excellent DVD.
- Gina’s Website with links to her blog/facebook/Twitter pages. You can also buy here DVD from here too.
- Gina’s video demo of the Braid & Cord DVD on You Tube
- Gina was Featured Artist of the month in June 2012, this will take you to her interview.
Many thanks to Gina for this DVD, it has been a joy to watch and I look forward to your continuation of the series.
Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon